Born in: Summit, New Jersey
Education: B.A. in Drama (Vassar College) and M.F.A. (Yale University)
Meryl Streep is one of the most applauded actresses of the late 20th century and continues to impress the audience even today. Apart from working in films, she has also been involved in theatre and television. In fact, she made her acting debut with theater only, following it with television. It was only later that she stepped into the world of movies, carving out a separate niche for herself. Till date, Streep has received two Academy Awards, a Cannes award, six Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG), two Emmy Awards and one BAFTA Award. She is one of the few actors who have won all four major acting awards (Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA).
Meryl Streep was born as ‘Mary Louise Streep’ on 22nd June 1949, in Summit, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Harry William Streep, Jr. - a pharmaceutical executive, and Mary W. Streep - a commercial artist. She is of Dutch descent from her father’s side and has Swiss, Irish, and English ancestry, from her mother’s side. Streep has two younger brothers - Dana and Harry. She spent her childhood in Bernardsville, New Jersey, where she graduated from Bernards High School. She did her B.A., in Drama, from Vassar College and also completed her MFA, from Yale University.
Streep entered the world of acting when she did her debut play ‘The Playboy of Seville’, in the year 1971. In 1976, she was seen in Broadway double bill of Tennessee Williams' ‘27 Wagons Full of Cotton’ and Arthur Miller's ‘A Memory of Two Mondays’. The latter won her a Tony Award nomination (for Best Featured Actress in a Play). However, it was another year before she made her screen debut, in ‘The Deadliest Season’, a made-for-television movie released in 1977. In July 2001, Streep returned to stage for Public Theater's revival of ‘The Seagull’. In 2006, she did Public Theater's ‘Mother Courage and Her Children’.
In 1977, Streep made her film debut in ‘Julia’, opposite Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave. Her second feature film was ‘The Deer Hunter’ (1978), the film which won her the first Academy Award nomination (for Best Supporting Actress). The same year, she starred in the miniseries ‘Holocaust’, receiving her first Emmy Award (for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie). In 1979, she was seen in Kramer vs. Kramer, opposite Dustin Hoffman, and was awarded with the first Academy Award as well as the first Golden Globe Award of her career (for Best Supporting Actress).
Next, Streep was seen in ‘The French Lieutenant's Woman’ (1981), winning her first BAFTA Award and second Golden Globe Award (for Best Actress). The decade of 1980s saw Streep performing in a number of notable movies, like ‘Sophie's Choice’, ‘Silkwood’, ‘Out of Africa’, ‘A Cry in the Dark’, etc. It was the first movie that won her Academy Award and Golden Globe Award (for Best Actress), while the last one got her AFI Award (for Best Actress). From 1984 to 1990, Streep won six People's Choice Awards (for Favorite Motion Picture Actress) and, in 1990, was named as the ‘World Favorite’.
The decade of 1990s saw Streep trying her hands at a wide variety of roles. She played a strung-out B-movie actor in ‘Postcards from the Edge’ and did a ludicrous role in ‘Death Becomes Her’. She was also seen in movie version of Isabel Allende's ‘The House of the Spirits’ as well as Clint Eastwood's screen adaptation of ‘The Bridges of Madison County’. Her other noteworthy films of the decade were ‘The River Wild’, ‘She-Devil’, ‘Marvin's Room’, ‘ One True Thing’ and ‘Music of the Heart’. She also did voice-overs for the animated series ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘King of the Hill’, along with Steven Spielberg’s film ‘A.I.’.
The year 2002 saw Streep costarring with Nicolas Cage, in ‘Adaptation’, winning Golden Globe Award (for Best Supporting Actress). She also starred as ‘Susan Orlean’ in ‘The Hours’ and was seen in HBO adaptation of Tony Kushner's six-hour play, ‘Angels in America’. The latter one won her Emmy Award, Golden Globe Award and SAG Award (for Best Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie). In 2003, Streep did ‘Stuck on You’, followed, the next year, by ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ and ‘Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events’. In 2006, she did ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, winning Golden Globe Award for the same.
The latest films of Streep are ‘Dark Matter’, ‘Evening’, ‘Rendition’ and ‘Lions for Lambs’. Her upcoming projects include ‘Mamma Mia!’, ‘Julie and Julia’, ‘Dirty Tricks’ and ‘A Question of Mercy’. Her Academy Award nominations, numbering 14, are more than any other actor or actress has received till date. With 21 Golden Globe nominations, she is second only to Jack Lemmon, who had 22. Since 2002, Streep has been hosting the annual event ‘Poetry & the Creative Mind’, a benefit in support of National Poetry Month and a program of the Academy of American Poets.
Meryl Streep was engaged to John Cazale, her co-star in ‘The Deer Hunter’. However, with his death, in March 1978, because of bone cancer, the engagement could not culminate into marriage. She married sculptor Don Gummer in September 1978 and has been with him, since then. The couple has four children Henry W. "Hank" Gummer (1979), Mamie Gummer (1983), Grace Jane Gummer (1986), and Louisa Jacobson Gummer (1991). Just like Streep, Mamie is involved in acting and made her off-Broadway debut in 2005, in a production of ‘Mr. Marmalade’, at the Laura Pels Theatre.
1978 - Emmy Award for Best Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie (Holocaust)
1979 - Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress (Kramer vs. Kramer)
1981 - BAFTA Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress (The French Lieutenant's Woman)
1983 - Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress (Sophie's Choice)
1985 - People's Choice Award for Favorite Actress (Silkwood)
1985 - People's Choice Awards Award for Favorite Actress (Out of Africa)
1988 - AFI Award for Best Actress (A Cry in the Dark)
2003 - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress (Adaptation)
2004 - Emmy Award, Golden Globe Award and SAG Award for Best Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie (Angels in America)
2006 - Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy (The Devil Wears Prada)
1977 - Julia
1978 - The Deer Hunter
1979 - Manhattan, The Seduction of Joe Tynan, Kramer vs. Kramer
1981 - The French Lieutenant's Woman
1982 - Still of the Night, Sophie's Choice
1983 - Silkwood
1984 - Falling in Love
1985 - Plenty, Out of Africa
1986 - Heartburn
1987 - Ironweed
1988 - A Cry in the Dark
1989 - She-Devil
1990 - Postcards from the Edge
1991 - Defending Your Life
1992 - Death Becomes Her
1993 - The House of the Spirits
1994 - The River Wild
1995 - The Bridges of Madison County
1996 - Before and After, Marvin's Room
1998 - Dancing at Lughnasa, One True Thing
1999 - Chrysanthemum (Narrator), Music of the Heart
2001 - Artificial Intelligence: A.I. (voice)
2002 - Adaptation, The Hours
2003 - Stuck on You
2004 - The Manchurian Candidate, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
2005 - Prime
2006 - A Prairie Home Companion, The Music of Regret, The Devil Wears Prada, The Ant Bully (voice)2007 - Dark Matter, Evening, Rendition, Lions for Lambs