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Meryl Streep

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Basic Information

Meryl Streep



Date of Birth: 22 June 1949
Place of Birth: Summit, New Jersey, USA
Birth Name: Mary Louise Streep
Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)







Biography

Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep (born June 22, 1949) is an American actress who has worked in theatre, television and film. She is widely regarded as one of the most talented and respected movie actors both of her generation and of the present time.

Streep made her professional stage debut in 1971's The Playboy of Seville, before her screen debut in the television movie The Deadliest Season in 1977. In that same year, she made her film debut with Julia. Both critical and commercial success came quickly with roles in The Deer Hunter (1978) and Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), the former giving Streep her first Oscar nomination and the latter her first win. She later won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Sophie's Choice (1982).

Streep has received 16 Academy Award nominations, winning two, and 25 Golden Globe nominations, winning seven, more nominations than any other actor in the history of either award. Her work has also earned her two Emmy Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Cannes Film Festival award, four New York Film Critics Circle Awards, five Grammy Award nominations, a BAFTA award, an Australian Film Institute Award and a Tony Award nomination, amongst others. She was awarded the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.


Early life and background

Streep was born Mary Louise Streep in Summit, New Jersey, the daughter of Mary Wolf (née Wilkinson), a commercial artist and former art editor, and Harry William Streep, Jr., a pharmaceutical executive. She has two brothers, Dana and Harry. Streep is of German, Swiss and English ancestry. Her heritage can be traced back ten generations to Loffenau, from where her second great-grandfather, Gottfried Streeb, emigrated to the United States, and where one of her ancestors served as mayor. Another line of the Streep family was from Giswil, a small town in Switzerland. Her maternal ancestry can be traced to Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Her eighth great-grandfather, Lawrence Wilkinson, was one of the first Europeans to settle Rhode Island. Streep is also a distant relative of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, and records show her family were among the first purchasers of land in Pennsylvania.

She was raised a Presbyterian, and grew up in Bernardsville, New Jersey, where she attended Bernards High School. She received her B.A., cum laude in Drama at Vassar College in 1971 (where she briefly received instruction from Jean Arthur), but also enrolled as an exchange student at Dartmouth College for a semester before it became coeducational. She subsequently earned an M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama. While at Yale she played a variety of roles onstage, from the glamorous Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream to an eighty-year old woman in a wheelchair in a comedy written by then-unknown playwrights Christopher Durang and Albert Innaurato. "It was immediately apparent," said then-dean Robert Brustein, "that she was destined for greatness."

Early career

Streep performed in several theater productions in New York after graduating from Yale School of Drama, including the New York Shakespeare Festival productions of Henry V, The Taming of the Shrew with Raúl Juliá, and Measure for Measure opposite Sam Waterston and John Cazale, who became her fiancé. She starred on Broadway in the Brecht/Weill musical Happy End, and won an Obie for her performance in the all-sung off-Broadway production of Alice at the Palace.

Streep began auditioning for film roles, and later recalled an unsuccessful audition for Dino De Laurentiis for the leading role in King Kong. De Laurentiis commented to his son in Italian, "She's ugly. Why did you bring me this thing?" and was shocked when Streep replied in fluent Italian. Streep's first feature film was Julia (1977), in which she played a small but pivotal role during a flashback scene. Streep was living in New York City with her fiancé, Cazale, who had been diagnosed with bone cancer. He was cast in The Deer Hunter (1978), and Streep was delighted to secure a small role because it allowed her to remain with Cazale for the duration of filming. She was not specifically interested in the part, commenting, "They needed a girl between the two guys and I was it."

She played a leading role in the television miniseries Holocaust (1978) as an Aryan woman married to a Jewish artist in Nazi era Germany. She later explained that she had considered the material to be "unrelentingly noble", and had taken the role only because she had needed money. Streep travelled to Germany and Austria for filming while Cazale remained in New York. Upon her return, Streep found that Cazale's illness had progressed, and she nursed him until his death on March 12, 1978. She spoke of her grief and her hope that work would provide a diversion; she accepted a role in The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979) with Alan Alda, later commenting that she played it on "automatic pilot", and performed the role of Kate in The Taming of the Shrew for Shakespeare in the Park. With an estimated audience of 109 million, Holocaust brought a degree of public recognition to Streep, who was described in August 1978 as "on the verge of national visibility". She won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie for her performance.

The Deer Hunter (1978) was released a month later, and Streep was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.

Streep played a supporting role in Manhattan (1979) for Woody Allen, later stating that she had not seen a complete script and was given only the six pages of her own scenes, and that she had not been permitted to improvise a word of her dialogue. Asked to comment on the script for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), in a meeting with the producer Stan Jaffee, director Robert Benton and star Dustin Hoffman, Streep insisted that the female character was not representative of many real women who faced marriage breakdown and child custody battles, and was written as "too evil". Jaffee, Benton and Hoffman agreed with Streep, and the script was revised. In preparing for the part, Streep spoke to her own mother about her life as a mother and housewife with a career, and frequented the Upper East Side neighborhood in which the film was set. Benton allowed Streep to write her dialogue in two of her key scenes, despite some objection from Hoffman. Jaffee and Hoffman later spoke of Streep's tirelessness, with Hoffman commenting, "She's extraordinarily hardworking, to the extent that she's obsessive. I think that she thinks about nothing else but what she's doing."

Streep drew critical acclaim for her performance in each of her three films released in 1979: the romantic comedy Manhattan, the political drama, The Seduction of Joe Tynan and the family drama, Kramer vs. Kramer. She was awarded the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress, National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress and National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress for her collective work in the three films. Among the awards won for Kramer vs. Kramer were the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.

1980s

After prominent supporting roles in two of the 1970s most successful films, the consecutive winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture, The Deer Hunter and Kramer vs. Kramer, and praise for her versatility in several supporting roles, Streep progressed to leading roles. Her first was The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981). A story within a story drama, the film paired Streep with Jeremy Irons as contemporary actors, telling their modern story as well as the Victorian era drama they were performing. A New York Magazine article commented that while many female stars of the past had cultivated a singular identity in their films, Streep was a "chameleon", willing to play any type of role. Streep was awarded a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her work.

Her next film, the psychological thriller, Still of the Night (1982) reunited her with Robert Benton, the director of Kramer vs. Kramer, and co-starred Roy Scheider and Jessica Tandy. Vincent Canby, writing for the New York Times noted that the film was an homage to the works of Alfred Hitchcock, but that one of its main weaknesses was a lack of chemistry between Streep and Scheider, concluding that Streep "is stunning, but she's not on screen anywhere near long enough".

As the Polish holocaust survivor in Sophie's Choice (1982), Streep's emotional dramatic performance and her apparent mastery of a Polish accent drew praise. William Styron wrote the novel with Ursula Andress in mind for the part of Sophie, but Streep was very determined to get the role. After she obtained a pirated copy of the script, she went to Alan J. Pakula and threw herself on the ground begging him to give her the part. Streep filmed the "choice" scene in one take and refused to do it again, as she found shooting the scene extremely painful and emotionally draining. Among several notable acting awards, Streep won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance. She followed this success with a biographical film, Silkwood (1983), in which she played her first real-life character, the union activist Karen Silkwood. She discussed her preparation for the role in an interview with Roger Ebert and said that she had met with people close to Silkwood to learn more about her, and in doing so realized that each person saw a different aspect of Silkwood. Streep concentrated on the events of Silkwood's life and concluded, "I didn't try to turn myself into Karen. I just tried to look at what she did. I put together every piece of information I could find about her... What I finally did was look at the events in her life, and try to understand her from the inside."

Her next films were a romantic comedy, Falling in Love (1984) opposite Robert De Niro, and a British drama, Plenty (1985). Roger Ebert said of Streep's performance in Plenty that she conveyed "great subtlety; it is hard to play an unbalanced, neurotic, self-destructive woman, and do it with such gentleness and charm... Streep creates a whole character around a woman who could have simply been a catalogue of symptoms."

Out of Africa (1985) starred Streep as the Danish writer Karen Blixen and co-starred Robert Redford. A significant critical success, the film received a 63% "fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Streep co-starred with Jack Nicholson in her next two films, the dramas Heartburn (1986) and Ironweed (1987), in which she sang onscreen for the first time since the television movie, Secret Service, in 1977. In A Cry in the Dark (1988), she played the biographical role of Lindy Chamberlain, an Australian woman who had been convicted of the murder of her infant daughter in which Chamberlain claimed her baby had been taken by a dingo. Filmed in Australia, Streep won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, a Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival, the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress and was nominated for several other awards for her portrayal of Lindy Chamberlain.

In She-Devil (1989), Streep played her first comedic film role, opposite Roseanne Barr. Richard Corliss, writing for Time, commented that Streep was the "one reason" to see the film and observed that it marked a departure from the type of role for which she had been known, saying, "Surprise! Inside the Greer Garson roles Streep usually plays, a vixenish Carole Lombard is screaming to be cut loose."

1990s and 2000s

From 1984 to 1990, Streep won six People's Choice Awards for Favorite Motion Picture Actress and, in 1990, was named World Favorite.

In the 1990s, Streep took a greater variety of roles, including a drug addicted movie actress in a screen adaptation of Carrie Fisher's novel Postcards from the Edge, with Dennis Quaid and Shirley MacLaine. Streep and Goldie Hawn had established a friendship and were interested in making a film together. After considering various projects, they decided upon Thelma and Louise, until Streep's pregnancy coincided with the filming schedule, and the producers decided to proceed with Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis. They subsequently filmed the farcical black comedy, Death Becomes Her, with Bruce Willis as their co-star. Time's Richard Corliss wrote approvingly of Streep's "wicked-witch routine" but dismissed the film as "She-Devil with a make-over".

Biographer Karen Hollinger describes this period as a downturn in the popularity of Streep's films, which reached its nadir with the failure of Death Becomes Her, attributing this partly to a critical perception that her comedies had been an attempt to convey a lighter image following several serious but commercially unsuccessful dramas, and more significantly to the lack of options available to an actress in her forties. Streep commented that she had limited her options by her preference to work in Los Angeles, close to her family, a situation that she had anticipated in a 1981 interview when she commented, "By the time an actress hits her mid-forties, no one's interested in her anymore. And if you want to fit a couple of babies into that schedule as well, you've got to pick your parts with great care."

Streep appeared with Glenn Close in the movie version of Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits, the screen adaptation of The Bridges of Madison County with Clint Eastwood, The River Wild, Marvin's Room (with Diane Keaton and Leonardo DiCaprio), One True Thing, and Music of the Heart, in a role that required her to learn to play the violin.

Streep is adept with foreign accents and some of her best known roles have called for them. In The Bridges of Madison County, she played a woman from Bari, Italy, in Sophie's Choice she adopted a Polish accent, and in Out of Africa she spoke in a Danish accent.

In 2001, Streep voiced the Blue Fairy in Steven Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence. In 2002, Meryl Streep costarred with Nicolas Cage in Spike Jonze's Adaptation. as real-life author Susan Orlean, for which she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress, and with Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore in The Hours. She also appeared with Al Pacino and Emma Thompson in the HBO adaptation of Tony Kushner's six-hour play, Angels in America, in which she had four roles. She received her second Emmy Award for Angels in America, which reunited her with director Mike Nichols (who had previously directed her in Silkwood, Heartburn, and Postcards from the Edge). Meryl Streep also played Aunt Josephine in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events with Jim Carrey.

In addition, she appeared in Jonathan Demme's remake of The Manchurian Candidate, costarring Denzel Washington, in which she played a role first performed by Angela Lansbury. Since 2002, Streep has hosted the annual event Poetry & the Creative Mind, a benefit in support of National Poetry Month and a program of the Academy of American Poets. Streep co-hosted the annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert with Liam Neeson in Oslo, Norway, in 2001.

In 2004, Streep was awarded the AFI Life Achievement Award by the Board of Directors of the American Film Institute, which honors an individual for a lifetime contribution to enriching American culture through motion pictures and television.

Streep's more recent film releases are Prime (2005); the Robert Altman film A Prairie Home Companion, with Lindsay Lohan and Lily Tomlin; and the box office success The Devil Wears Prada, with Anne Hathaway, which earned Streep the 2007 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy and an Academy Award nomination.

In 2008 she appeared as Donna in the film version of the ABBA musical Mamma Mia!, For this role she won the award of Best Female Performance at the National Movie Awards (UK), and received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical. She played Sister Aloysius in the 2008 film adaptation of John Patrick Shanley's Doubt. She received both an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Drama for that film. She also shared the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress with Anne Hathaway for the role, and won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role.

In 2009, she starred in Julie & Julia, in which she played the late Julia Child. For this role she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and also shared the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress with Sandra Bullock. Streep also received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress for this performance. She then starred in Nancy Meyers' romantic comedy It's Complicated, with Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. She received nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for this film as well. Streep also lent her voice to Mrs. Felicity Fox in the stop-motion film Fantastic Mr. Fox.

In July 2010 it was announced that Streep will star in an upcoming comedy entitle Mommy & Me alongside Tina Fey who will play her daughter. The film is being directed by Stanley Tucci.

Theatre

In New York City, she appeared in the 1976 Broadway double bill of Tennessee Williams' 27 Wagons Full of Cotton and Arthur Miller's A Memory of Two Mondays. For the former, she received a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play. Her other early Broadway credits include Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard and the Bertolt Brecht-Kurt Weill musical Happy End in which she originally appeared off-Broadway at the Chelsea Theater Center. She received Drama Desk Award nominations for both productions. Once Streep's film career flourished, she took a long break from stage acting.

In July 2001, Streep returned to the stage for the first time in more than twenty years, playing Arkadina in the Public Theater's revival of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull. The staging, directed by Mike Nichols, also featured Kevin Kline, Natalie Portman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Marcia Gay Harden, and John Goodman.

In August and September 2006, she starred onstage at The Public Theater's production of Mother Courage and Her Children at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park. The Public Theater production was a new translation by playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America), with songs in the Weill/Brecht style written by composer Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change); veteran director George C. Wolfe was at the helm. Streep starred alongside Kevin Kline and Austin Pendleton in this three-and-a-half-hour play in which she sang and appeared in almost every scene.

Music

After appearing in Mamma Mia!, Streep's rendition of the song "Mamma Mia" rose to popularity in the Portuguese music charts, where it has so far peaked at #8.

At the 35th People's Choice Awards, her version of "Mamma Mia" won an award for "Favorite Song From A Soundtrack". In 2008, Streep was nominated for a Grammy Award (her fifth nomination) for her work on the Mamma Mia! soundtrack.

Personal life

Meryl Streep was once in a relationship with John Cazale until his death in March of 1978. Streep then married sculptor Don Gummer on September 30, 1978. They have four children: Louisa Jacobson Gummer (b June 1991), Grace Jane, Henry Wolfe, and Mamie Gummer. Both Grace and Mamie are actresses.

When asked if religion plays a part in her life in an interview in 2009, Meryl Streep replied, "I follow no doctrine. I don't belong to a church or a temple or a synagogue or an ashram."

Awards

Streep holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations of any actor, having been nominated 16 times since her first nomination in 1979 for The Deer Hunter (13 for Best Actress and 3 for Best Supporting Actress).

Meryl Streep is the most nominated performer for a Golden Globe Award (she has 25 nominations as of 2009) and has won the most Golden Globes overall since her win for Julie & Julia in 2010. Streep received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998.

In 2003, she was awarded an honorary César Award by the French Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma. In 2004 at the Moscow International Film Festival, Meryl Streep was honored with the Stanislavsky Award for the outstanding achievement in the career of acting and devotion to the principles of Stanislavsky's school.

In 2004, Streep received the AFI Life Achievement Award.

May 27, 2004 was proclaimed "Meryl Streep Day" by Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields.

In 2009, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts by Princeton University.

In 2010, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree by Harvard University.

Work

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1977 Julia Anne Marie
1978 The Deer Hunter Linda National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress

Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture

1979 Manhattan Jill Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress (also for The Seduction of Joe Tynan and Kramer vs. Kramer)National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress (also for The Seduction of Joe Tynan and Kramer vs. Kramer)National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress (also for The Seduction of Joe Tynan and Kramer vs. Kramer)

Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role

The Seduction of Joe Tynan Karen Traynor Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress (also for Manhattan and Kramer vs. Kramer)National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress (also for Manhattan and Kramer vs. Kramer)National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress (also for Manhattan and Kramer vs. Kramer)New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress (also for Kramer vs. Kramer)
Kramer vs. Kramer Joanna Kramer Academy Award for Best Supporting ActressGolden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion PictureKansas City Film Critics Award for Best Supporting ActressLos Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress (also for The Seduction of Joe Tynan and Manhattan)National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress (also for The Seduction of Joe Tynan and Manhattan)National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress (also for The Seduction of Joe Tynan and Manhattan)New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress (also for The Seduction of Joe Tynan)

Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role

1981 The French Lieutenant's Woman Sarah/Anna BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading RoleGolden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture DramaLos Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress

Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress

1982 Still of the Night Brooke Reynolds
Sophie's Choice Sophie Zawistowski Academy Award for Best ActressBoston Society of Film Critics Award for Best ActressGolden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture DramaKansas City Film Critics Award for Best Actress (shared with Julie Andrews for Victor Victoria)Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best ActressNational Board of Review Award for Best ActressNational Society of Film Critics Award for Best ActressNew York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress

Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role

1983 Silkwood Karen Silkwood Kansas City Film Critics Award for Best Actress

Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama

1984 Falling in Love Molly Gilmore David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actress
1985 Plenty Susan Traherne
Out of Africa Karen Blixen David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign ActressKansas City Film Critics Award for Best ActressLos Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress

Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama

1986 Heartburn Rachel Samstat Valladolid International Film Festival Best Actress
1987 Ironweed Helen Archer Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress
1988 A Cry in the Dark Lindy Chamberlain Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading RoleBest Actress Award (Cannes Film Festival)New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress

Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama

1989 She-Devil Mary Fisher Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1990 Postcards from the Edge Suzanne Vale Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress

Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

1991 Defending Your Life Julia Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actress
1992 Death Becomes Her Madeline Ashton Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1993 The House of the Spirits Clara del Valle Trueba
1994 The River Wild Gail Hartman Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama

Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

1995 The Bridges of Madison County Francesca Johnson Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress

Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

1996 Before and After Dr. Carolyn Ryan
Marvin's Room Lee Nominated—Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actress

Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

1998 Dancing at Lughnasa Kate 'Kit' Mundy Nominated—Irish Film and Television Awards — Best Actor in a Female Role
One True Thing Kate Gulden Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress

Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

1999 Chrysanthemum Narrator
Music of the Heart Roberta Guaspari Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress

Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

2001 A.I. Artificial Intelligence Blue Fairy (voice cameo)
2002 Adaptation. Susan Orlean Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting ActressFlorida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting ActressGolden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion PictureSoutheastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress

Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated—London Film Critics Circle Film Award for Actress of the Year Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

The Hours Clarissa Vaughan Silver Bear for Best Actress (shared with Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman)

Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Nominated—Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

2003 Stuck on You Herself
2004 The Manchurian Candidate Eleanor Shaw Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actress

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Aunt Josephine
2005 Prime Lisa Metzger, therapist
2006 A Prairie Home Companion Yolanda Johnson National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress (also for The Devil Wears Prada)

Nominated—Gotham Awards – Best Ensemble Cast

"The Music of Regret" The Woman (short musical)
The Devil Wears Prada Miranda Priestly, editor-in-chief Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

North Texas Film Critics Award for Best ActressLondon Film Critics Circle Film Award for Actress of the YearNational Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress (also for A Prairie Home Companion)Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Villain

The Ant Bully Queen Ant (voice)
2007 Dark Matter Joanna Silver
Evening Lila Wittenborn Ross
Rendition Corrine Whitman, CIA official
Lions for Lambs Janine Roth
2008 Mamma Mia! Donna Sheridan Irish Film and Television Award for Best International Actress – People's Choice

Rembrandt Award (NL) – Best International Actress National Movie Award (UK) — Best Female Performance Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Doubt Sister Aloysius Beauvier Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress( tied with Anne Hathway for Rachel Getting Married)Iowa Film Critics Award for Best ActressKansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress

North Texas Film Critics Award for Best ActressPhoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best ActressScreen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading RoleWashington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Nominated—London Film Critics Circle Film Award for Actress of the Year Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

2009 Julie & Julia Julia Child Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress

North Texas Film Critics Award for Best ActressGolden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or ComedyNew York Film Critics OnlineNew York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress( also for The Fantastic Mr. Fox)Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best ActressSan Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best ActressSoutheastern Film Critics Association Award for Best ActressOklahoma Film Critics Circle Award for Best ActressSatellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or ComedyKansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best ActressBroadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress ((tied with Sandra Bullock)) Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress Nominated—Alliance of Woman Journalists Award for Best Actress Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated—Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Nominated—San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress Nominated—Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress Nominated—St Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated—Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated—Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association for Best Actress

Fantastic Mr. Fox Mrs. Fox (voice)New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (also for Julie & Julia)
It's Complicated Jane Adler Irish Film and Television Award for Best International Actress – People's ChoiceNational Board of Review Award for Best Cast

Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

2010 Mommy and Me
2011 The Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher
Great Hope Springs

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1978 Holocaust Inga Helms Weiss Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Miniseries or a Movie
1994 The Simpsons Jessica Lovejoy Episode: "Bart's Girlfriend"
1999 King of the Hill Aunt Esme Dauterive Episode: "A Beer Can Named Desire"
1997 …First Do No Harm Lori Reimuller Nominated—Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Television Movie

Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Film Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Television Film

2003 Angels in America Ethel Rosenberg

The Rabbi Hannah Pitt Angel Australia

Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a MiniseriesGolden Globe Award for Best Actress in a MiniseriesGracie Allen Award for Outstanding Female Lead in a Drama SpecialSatellite Award for Best Actress in a MiniseriesScreen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Female Actor in a Miniseries

Stage

Year Production Role Notes
1975 Trelawny of the Wells Miss Imogen Parrott
1976 27 Wagons Full of Cotton Flora Meighan Theatre World Award – Debut performance, Broadway/Off-Broadway

Nominated—Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play Nominated—Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play

A Memory of Two Mondays Patricia
Secret Service Edith Varney
Henry V Katherine
Measure for Measure Isabella
1977 Happy End Lieutenant Lillian Holiday
The Cherry Orchard Dunyasha
1978 Alice at the Palace Alice
The Taming of the Shrew Kate
1979 Taken in Marriage Andrea
1980–81 Alice at the Palace Alice
2001 The Seagull Irina Nikolayevna Nominated—Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play
2006 Mother Courage and Her Children Mother Courage Drama League Award — Distinguished Performance Award

Nominated—Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play

Trivia

  • Named Best Modern Actress in an Entertainment Weekly on-line poll, substantially beating out runner-up Michelle Pfeiffer. [September 1999]
  • Learned to play the violin, by practicing 6 hours a day for 8 weeks, for her role in Music of the Heart (1999).
  • Has a fear of helicopters.
  • Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1977" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 29.
  • Ranked #24 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
  • Educated at Yale University. Studied Drama.
  • Graduated from Vassar College in 1971.
  • Once in a relationship with actor John Cazale.
  • Graduated from Bernards High School.
  • Before making it big, she was a waitress at The Hotel Somerset in Somerville, New Jersey, USA.
  • Was a cheerleader and homecoming queen in high school.
  • She left her just-claimed Oscar for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) on the back of a toilet during the 1979 festivities.
  • Replaced Madonna for the lead in Music of the Heart (1999).
  • Her son, Henry W. Gummer ("Hank"), is a student at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. [2001]
  • Sister-in-law of Maeve Kinkead.
  • Named an Officer of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. [2000]
  • Born at 8:05 a.m. EDT.
  • Tennessee Williams wanted her for a film version of "A Streetcar Named Desire" in the 1980s. When Streep proved unavailable, the project was refashioned for television and the role of Blanche given to Ann-Margret.
  • Has a deviated septum, which she refuses to have fixed. Directors work around it by avoiding straight-on close-ups.
  • Has 4 children; Henry Gummer (aka Harry Gummer) (b. 1979), Mary Willa Gummer (aka Mamie Gummer) (b. 1983), Grace Jane Gummer (aka Grace Gummer) (b. 1986), and Louisa Jacobson Gummer (b. 12 June, 1991).
  • Measurements: 34B-26-36 (from film SFX torso mold done in 1982) (source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine).
  • The children's TV series "Sesame Street" (1969) has featured a character named "Meryl Sheep" in her honor.
  • Was originally supposed to play the role of Iris Hineman is the film Minority Report (2002), but had to back out. She was replaced by Lois Smith.
  • Her character Karen Silkwood from her 1983 film Silkwood (1983) was ranked #47 on the American Film Institute Heroes list of the 100 years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villians.
  • Presented Paul McCartney with the 1990 Grammy Lifetime Achievement award. Attended The Beatles concert at Shea Stadium in 1965 with an "I love Paul" sign, which she mentioned when presenting the award to McCartney.
  • Older sister of Harry Streep and Dana Streep.
  • Spent a year as a transfer student at Dartmouth College where she participated in theater.
  • Originally applied to Law School but slept in on the morning of her interview and took it as a sign she was destined for other things.
  • Sigourney Weaver and Christine Estabrook were fellow classmates at Yale Drama School.
  • Back at the Drama school, she and Sigourney Weaver appeared in a play staged in a swimming pool together. The play is called 'The Frogs.'.
  • Diane Keaton calls her "my generation's genius."
  • May 27, 2004 was proclaimed "Meryl Streep Day" by Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields. [May 2004]
  • She was voted the 37th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
  • As a young actor, she performed at the Yale Repertory Theater with Christopher Lloyd.
  • According to Katharine Hepburn's official biographer A. Scott Berg, Meryl Streep was her least favorite modern actress on screen: "Click, click, click," she said, referring to the wheels turning inside Streep's head.
  • Has only been turned down for four roles: Michelle Straton in American Gigolo (1980), Patsy Cline in Sweet Dreams (1985), Miss Kenton in The Remains of the Day (1993), and Elizabeth I in Elizabeth (1998).
  • She often works with Academy award-winning director Mike Nichols.
  • Mentioned by first name only (with two-time co-star Jack Nicholson) in Michael Crichton's 2004 novel "State of Fear.".
  • Tony Nominee in 1976 as Best Actress (Featured Role - Play) for Tennessee Williams' "27 Wagons Full of Cotton.".
  • Premiere Magazine ranked her as #46 on a list of the Greatest Movie Stars of All Time in their Stars in Our Constellation feature (2005).
  • Took serious singing lessons. At age 12, she studied to become an opera singer.
  • Acting career began on the stage.
  • Is the second of 4 consecutive winners of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar to have the initials "M.S.". The others are: Maggie Smith - California Suite (1978), Mary Steenburgen - Melvin and Howard (1980), and Maureen Stapleton - Reds (1981).
  • Received an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Middlebury College during her nephew's graduation in 2004.
  • She attended Harding Township Middle School, in Harding, New Jersey for 1 or 2 years
  • Sold her New York City townhouse for $9.1 million in February 2006. She was forced to slash the asking price for the eight-bedroom Manhattan property from $12 million to secure a sale. Streep bought the house for $2.2 million in 1995, according to the New York Post.
  • Early in her career, Streep received a letter from Bette Davis, whom most critics and cinema historians ranks as the greatest American movie actress ever. Davis told Streep that she felt that she was her successor as the premier American actress. Davis, a double winner who was nominated 10 times for an Academy Award, all of them Best Actress nods, set the record for most acting nominations with her tenth in 1963 for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), a record later surpassed by Katharine Hepburn with her 11th nomination (and 3rd win) for The Lion in Winter (1968). Hepburn extended her record with her 12th nomination (and fourth win) for On Golden Pond (1981), a record ironically eclipsed by by Streep -- the actress anointed Davis' successor -- with her own 13th nod for Adaptation. (2002) though three of the nominations were for best supporting actress.
  • Was nominated 16 times for an acting Academy Award, more often than any other performer. Three of these nominations were for supporting part, and 13 times she was nominated for Best Actress (she is tied for most Best Actress nominations with Katharine Hepburn.
  • Her performance as "Sophie Zawistowska" in Sophie's Choice (1982) is ranked #3 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
  • Her performance as "Karen Silkwood" in Silkwood (1983) is ranked #71 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
  • Her husband, Don Gummer, is a sculptor.
  • Her father was a drug company exec; her mother, an artist-turned-housewife who kept an art studio behind the house. Her father loved to play the piano and her mother to sing. Meryl was given singing lessons at a young age. Her mother died in 2001 and her father in 2004.
  • Son Henry Gummer is an actor, filmmaker and co-founder of a rock band. Daughter Mary Willa, whose stage name is Mamie Gummer, is an off-Broadway actress.
  • Friend of Jill Clayburgh. First met in their roles as mothers.
  • Drives a Toyota Prius (September 2006).
  • The longest she has gone without an Oscar nomination is five years, between Postcards from the Edge (1990) and The Bridges of Madison County (1995).
  • Robert De Niro said she is his favorite actress to work with.
  • Was nominated for Best Actress in 1987 along with Cher. When Cher was announced, just before the cameras cut away from the other four actresses, Streep could be seen springing to her feet in delight and applauding for Cher. During her acceptance speech, Cher thanked Streep personally, as they had worked together on Cher's first film, Silkwood (1983). As the camera briefly cut away to Streep sitting in the audience, she blew Cher a kiss.
  • Considered for the role of Evita Peron in Evita (1996).
  • Holds the record as the actor (both male and female) with the most Golden Globe wins, with seven wins. Jack Nicholson is the male actor with the most wins, a total of six.
  • Donated her wardrobe from The Devil Wears Prada (2006) to a charity auction.
  • Has named her favorite actresses working today as Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt, Dame Helen Mirren, and Nicole Kidman.
  • Uses music, most often Classical, to get into character.
  • Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
  • Currently holds the record for most Oscar nominations for acting (16 total), including both actors and actresses.
  • Nominated for a 2007 Drama Desk Award for her performance in "Mother Courage and Her Children" (Outstanding Actress in a Play).
  • Daughter of Mary Streep and Harry Streep (a pharmaceutical executive).
  • Her accumulation of 15 Oscar nominations (2 wins) was accomplished over a period of only 30 years. Bette Davis scored 10 nominations (2 wins) over 28 years (all leading roles). Katharine Hepburn garnered 12 nominations (4 wins) after a relatively lengthy 48 years (all leading roles).
  • Occasionally mistaken for friend Glenn Close, Streep was pregnant with her fourth child while shopping in a Los Angeles baby store where the staff lavished her with huge amounts of baby paraphernalia. Just as she was about to leave they whispered, "We loved you in Fatal Attraction (1987)".
  • Elected to the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2007 for her services to arts and entertainment (inaugural election). Official induction ceremonies held in May 2008.
  • She and her daughter Mamie Gummer portrayed the same role at different ages in Evening (2007).
  • 2007 - Ranked #6 on EW's The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood.
  • Nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award for "The One and Only Shrek" (Best Spoken Word Album For Children).
  • Has said she is a great fan of actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
  • With the announcement of the 66th Annual Golden Globe Award nominations and receiving two nominations, the actress surpassed Jack Lemmon's count of 22 nominations and is now, besides holding the record for most Oscar nominations, the actor with the most Golden Globe nominations of all time with a total of 23 nominations.
  • She is the role model of Emily Blunt , Anne Hathaway and Claire Danes.
  • British actress Julie Christie is one of her huge fans.
  • She was one of closest friends of late actress Natasha Richardson.
  • She attended Natasha Richardson's funeral along with husband Don Gummer.
  • Signs her grocery cheques with her real name - Mary Louise Gummer.
  • She was ranked #87 in 'Ellen Degeneress s most sexy movie actors list. (2009).
  • She was awarded honorary Princeton degree in June 2009.
  • She gained as much as 15 pounds while filming the Julie & Julia (2009) movie.
  • Her fans call themselves "The Streepers".
  • In the stage show of Fame, though other actors are mentioned in song lyrics, she is the only actress to have her name in a song title. The song is called "Think of Meryl Streep" and takes place after Carmen kisses Nick when he asks her how she relaxes, and Serena (who wants Nick for herself) sees them.
  • Studied acting with Michael Howard in New York City.
  • Penélope Cruz adores her and Meryl is her role-model.
  • Through the television series "Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates Jr." (2010), she learned that she is a distant relative of director Mike Nichols.
  • Lives in Taconic, Connecticut.
  • She presented leadership award to ex-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt on March 2010.


Nudography