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Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep

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Also Known As: Mary Louise Streep Died:
Born: June 22, 1949 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Summit, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Meryl Streep began her acting career with a level of worship typically reserved for seasoned veterans. From her early work in "The Deer Hunter" (1978) and "Kramer vs. Kramer" (1979), it quickly became apparent to the sharpest of critics - even the most casual of moviegoers - that the chameleon-like Streep was an unparalleled master of character, accents and genres. The benchmark was set for every working actress with Streep's work as a Polish Nazi camp survivor, damaged by the unthinkable decision she was once forced to make in her Oscar-winning performance in "Sophie's Choice" (1982). Through "Silkwood" (1983), "Out of Africa" (1985) and "A Cry in the Dark" (1988) Streep continued to set a standard few could hope to achieve, primarily with her mastery of accents that included Polish, Danish and Australian, among others. After her peak in the early 1980s, the multi-Oscar winner spent the subsequent decades maintaining her brilliance, showcasing yet another of her talents - singing competently - in "Postcards from the Edge" (1990) and "Mamma Mia" (2008), capturing the aching desire of an aging woman in "The Bridges of Madison County" (1995), and proving she could draw laughter as well as tears in...

Meryl Streep began her acting career with a level of worship typically reserved for seasoned veterans. From her early work in "The Deer Hunter" (1978) and "Kramer vs. Kramer" (1979), it quickly became apparent to the sharpest of critics - even the most casual of moviegoers - that the chameleon-like Streep was an unparalleled master of character, accents and genres. The benchmark was set for every working actress with Streep's work as a Polish Nazi camp survivor, damaged by the unthinkable decision she was once forced to make in her Oscar-winning performance in "Sophie's Choice" (1982). Through "Silkwood" (1983), "Out of Africa" (1985) and "A Cry in the Dark" (1988) Streep continued to set a standard few could hope to achieve, primarily with her mastery of accents that included Polish, Danish and Australian, among others. After her peak in the early 1980s, the multi-Oscar winner spent the subsequent decades maintaining her brilliance, showcasing yet another of her talents - singing competently - in "Postcards from the Edge" (1990) and "Mamma Mia" (2008), capturing the aching desire of an aging woman in "The Bridges of Madison County" (1995), and proving she could draw laughter as well as tears in "The Devil Wears Prada (2006). Simply put, Streep could do it all, and generations of actresses coming up behind her often cited her work as the reason they pursued the craft in the first place.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
3.
 Giver, The (2014)
4.
 Homesman, The (2014)
5.
 Into the Woods (2014)
6.
7.
 To The Arctic 3D (2012)
8.
9.
 Hope Springs (2012)
10.
 Julie & Julia (2009)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Acted with Green Mountain Guild, a traveling theater company in Vermont
1971:
Made professional acting debut in NYC in "The Playboy of Seville" at the Cubiculo Theatre
:
Appeared with the Yale student repertory company in the Stephen Sondheim-Burt Shevelove musical, "The Frogs"
1975:
Debuted on Broadway in "Trelawny of the Wells" at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater
1976:
Appeared in the double bill "27 Wagons Full of Cotton" and "A Memory of Two Mondays"; received a Tony nomination as Featured Actress in a Play for the former
1976:
Appeared in the Central Park productions of "Henry V" and "Measure for Measure"
1977:
Made TV acting debut, reprising her stage role in the PBS "Theater in America" production of "Secret Service"
1977:
Made TV-movie debut as the wife of a professional hockey player accused of manslaughter in "The Deadliest Season" (CBS)
1986:
Cast opposite Jack Nicholson in "Heartburn"; second collaboration with Nichols
1987:
Re-teamed with Jack Nicholson for "Ironweed"
1989:
Played first comedic role in "She-Devil" opposite Roseanne Barr
1990:
Co-starred with Shirley MacLaine in "Postcards from the Edge," a screen adaptation of Carrie Fisher's semi-autobiographical novel; third collaboration with Mike Nichols
1992:
Cast as an aging actress who trades her soul for a youthful appearance in the black comedy "Death Becomes Her"
1994:
Played first role as an action heroine in "The River Wild"
1996:
Co-starred with Diane Keaton and Leonardo DiCaprio in "Marvin's Room"
1997:
Debut as executive producer (also starred) with her first TV-movie in eighteen years, "...First Do No Harm"
1998:
Earned eleveth Academy Award nomination for her role in "One True Thing"
1998:
Featured in the ensemble drama "Dancing at Lughnasa"; adapted from Brian Friel's award-winning play
1999:
Portrayed NYC violin teacher Roberta Guaspari-Tzavaras in "Music of the Heart"; required her to learn to play the violin.
2001:
Returned to the stage to star in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of "The Seagull"; staged by Mike Nichols
2002:
Cast as Clarissa Vaughn in the film adaptation of the Pulitzer-winning novel "The Hours"; received a Golden Globe nomination
2004:
Featured with Denzel Washington in "The Manchurian Candidate" directed by Jonathan Demme; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress
2004:
Cast as Aunt Josephine opposite Jim Carrey in "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," based on the books by Daniel Handler
2005:
Played a psychoanalyst who discovers that her client (Uma Thurman) is dating her son in "Prime"
2006:
Cast in Robert Altman's adaptation of Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion"
2007:
Cast in Michael Cunningham's film adaptation of Susan Minot's novel "Evening"; also starring her daughter, Mamie Gummer as a younger version of herself
2007:
Portrayed a TV journalist in the Robert Redford directed drama "Lions for Lambs"
2008:
Portrayed Sister Aloysius Beauvier in the film adaptation of John Patrick Shanley's play "Doubt"; earned Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Actress
2009:
Voiced Mr. Fox's (George Clooney) wife in Wes Anderson's animated adaptation of the Roald Dahl book "Fantastic Mr. Fox"
2009:
Co-starred with Alec Baldwin in the comedy film "It's Complicated"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress
2010:
Began recurring role as Camilla Bowner on comedy webseries "Web Therapy," starring Lisa Kudrow.
2011:
Portrayed former U.K. prime minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady"
2012:
Co-starred with Tommy Lee Jones as a couple trying to bring some spark back to their marriage in "Hope Springs"
2013:
Starred as matriarch Violet Weston in the film adaption of Tracy Letts' stage hit "August: Osage County"
2014:
Co-starred as the Chief Elder in Young Adult fantasy "The Giver"
2014:
Co-starred in western drama "The Homesman," co-written and directed by Tommy Lee Jones
2014:
Starred as The Witch in Rob Marshall's screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods."
2015:
Starred as a faded rock star in Jonathan Demme's "Ricki and the Flash"
2015:
Co-starred as Emmeline Pankhurst in Sarah Gavron's historical drama "Suffragette"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Dartmouth College: Hanover , New Hampshire -
Dartmouth College: Hanover , New Hampshire -
Bernardsville High School: Bernardsville , New Jersey - 1967
Vassar College: Poughkeepsie , New York - 1971
Vassar College: Poughkeepsie , New York - 1971
Yale University: New Haven , Connecticut - 1975

Notes

As of 2003, Streep has been nominated for 13 Academy Awards, breaking her tie at 12 with Katharine Hepburn as the most nominated actor in Oscar history. Streep's nominations are as Best Supporting Actress for "The Deer Hunter" (1978) and "Kramer vs. Kramer" (1979). Best Actress for "The French Lieutenant's Woman" (1981), "Sophie's Choice" (1982), "Silkwood" (1983), "Out of Africa" (1985), "Ironweed" (1987), "A Cry in the Dark" (1988), "Postcards from the Edge" (1990), "The Bridges of Madison County" (1995), "One True Thing" (1998) and "Music of the Heart" (1999).

When she lived in Los Angeles, she formed a child support group with Annette Bening, Carrie Fisher and Tracey Ullman, where the actresses watched one other's children.

Streep received a Mademoiselle Magazine Award (1976)

She received Woman of the Year Award from B'nai Brith in 1979

Streep received Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Award as Woman of the Year in 1980

She was awarded honorary degrees from Dartmouth College (DFA, 1981), Yale University (DFA, 1983) and Vassar College (DFA, 1983)

In April 1998, Streep received the initial Bette Davis Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by the Bette Davis Foundation.

She was one of the 1998 recipients of the Crystal Award presented by Women in Films

Janet Maslin in her New York Times review of "The River Wild" described Streep as "the finest actress of her generation."

"My biggest problem in my entire life is time management. But it really defines the big, important things.

I've made career judgments on the basis of making [my family] happy. Like not taking location things, and if it is on location, writing it in the contract that, I'm going to be home at a certain time and work so many days. And then I'm out of there!

It makes you hard-nosed a little bit. I'm not as free to do certain kinds of material, but what I bring is richer."---Meryl Streep quoted in New York Post, December 11, 1996.

"I don't go anywhere. You have to go to openings and be on E! entertainment, and I've never enjoyed doing that. I don't even go to openings of my friends' movies, even though it's supportive and lovely to do. It poses a problem marketing a movie, because they want you out and about. So it's always a tug, it's always a battle with the guilt making machine."---Streep in The Boston Globe, December 22, 1996.

"In L.A., I was 'Meryl Streep' all the time. It's so driven by the industry, and how you look. There was always the feeling that I should clean up before dropping the kids off. People would look at me, and I'd realize I looked like hell and probably wouldn't get work next time, so I better clean up, better work out, better get that blackhead removed. I couldn't deal with it."---Streep on why she and her family moved backed East to The Boston Globe, December 22, 1996.

"If there's a heaven for directors, it would be to direct Meryl Streep your whole life. And my wish for the world is that Meryl will [someday] be 90 years old, acting in a great role written about a 90-year-old woman."---director Alan J. Pakula quoted in People, June 26, 1995.

"When you're being watched unnaturally you feel it, if you're a sensitive person. Who knows what this delicate thing is that actors are making? So if that's diva behavior, sorry. I don't have handlers. I do have a longtime makeup man and hairdresser who performs the scourge role in my on-set life and keeps people away."---Streep on asking reporters to leave the set while she is working to Entertainment Weekly, October 7, 1994.

"She's past the analyzing of the character. Her training and her experience have taken her to a point where she can be effortless with a lot of things other people have to work really hard at."---Robert Redford quoted in Entertainment Weekly, October 7, 1994.

"Every time I think it's a silly way to spend my life, I see a performance by another actor and think, 'I couldn't live if I didn't have this in my life.' I really think that. Or a piece of music. We need art. We really need art. Maybe we need to feel we count, like our existence matters. Acting can do that; it can make you feel more alive and proud to be a human being. Even seeing the worst of humanity."---Streep on why people need to act to USA Weekend, December 1, 2002.

"When you watch her work in something like "Adaptation," where it's so kind-of idealistic - it's slippery sort of stuff - she just brings you along. You feel as if you're experiencing it with her: When she starts laughing like, 'This is nuts; this is crazy,' you start thinking, 'This really is crazy!' She's very funny, very bright and really bossy, which is another quality I like about her. I think that comes from being four people's mother."---Julianne Moore Hollywood Reporter June 6, 2004

"I grew up with Meryl Streep, and she was the greatest actress that my whole generation of women aspire to be. She raised the standard in terms of what you can do, as a woman, as a mother and as an actress. You can still have a life and be an actress; she shows you how to do it and give these brilliant performances that are so diverse. She's a lot of fun, on top of that; she has a lot of joie de vivre."---Nicole Kidman Hollywood Reporter June 6, 2004

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
John Cazale. Actor. Appeared opposite Streep in "Measure for Measure" in 1976; lived together until his death from bone cancer in March 1978.
husband:
Donald J Gummer. Sculptor. Married in September 1978; introduced by her brother Harry.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Harry Streep Jr. Pharmaceutical executive.
mother:
Mary W Streep. Commercial artist.
brother:
Harry Streep III. Choreographer, dancer. Younger; married to actor Maeve Kinkead.
brother:
Dana Streep. Bond salesman. Younger.
son:
Henry Gummer. Actor. Born c. 1979.
daughter:
Mary Willa Gummer. Born c. 1983.
daughter:
Grace Jane Gummer. Born c. 1986.
daughter:
Louisa Jacobson Gummer. Born on June 12, 1991.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Meryl Streep: A Critical Biography" McFarland

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