Meryl Streep: Bio of Hollywood's Greatest Living Film Actress

Mary Louise Streep was born June 22nd, 1949 in Summit, New Jersey. As a child, Streep loved music and practiced as an opera singer. She eventually began acting lessons, and this unearthed her passion for performance. She then started out in entertainment by taking part in a number of major theater productions, before leaping to the television and the silver screen. During her long and illustrious career as a dynamic method actor, she has earned countless Academy Award nominations and several awards. Join WatchMojo.com as we take a look at the life and career of Meryl Streep.
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Meryl Streep: Bio of Hollywood's Greatest Living Film Actress

She is considered by many to be the greatest film actress of all time. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be taking a look at the life and career of Meryl Streep.

Mary Louise Streep was born June 22nd, 1949 in Summit, New Jersey. As a child, Streep loved music and practiced as an opera singer. She eventually began acting lessons, and this unearthed her passion for performance. She studied drama at a variety of notable schools, including the Yale School of Drama.

Streep then took part in a number of major theater productions, and through these efforts she met and became engaged to actor John Cazale. She also auditioned for the lead in the 1976 remake of “King Kong,” but was turned away when producer Dino De Laurentiis announced she was too unattractive for the role.

Instead, Streep made her film debut in 1977’s “Julia.” At the time, she was living in New York with Cazale when they discovered he had contracted terminal bone cancer. In an effort to spend as much time together as possible, the pair found work in 1978’s “The Deer Hunter.”

Streep then landed the starring role in the television miniseries “Holocaust.” In that project, she played a German woman who was married to a Jewish artist at the outbreak of the war. Unfortunately, when her overseas shooting finally ended, she returned home to find her fiancé’s illness had worsened. He died soon afterward.

In the wake of this tragedy, she received a primetime Emmy for her role in “Holocaust,” and an Academy Award nomination for her part in “The Deer Hunter.”

By the end of the ‘70s, Streep took on even more critically-acclaimed roles. These included her part in Woody Allen’s romantic comedy “Manhattan” and the 1979 political drama “The Seduction of Joe Tynan.” That same year, she won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her part opposite Dustin Hoffman in “Kramer vs. Kramer.” Meanwhile, she married sculptor Don Gummer.

Streep accepted many leading roles throughout the 1980s. These movies included the drama “The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” the psychological thriller “Still of the Night,” and the critically-praised “Sophie’s Choice.” Her willingness to completely submerge herself in her role as a Polish Holocaust survivor won her an Oscar, and cemented her reputation as a method actor.

Streep then played a union activist in the biographical film “Silkwood,” became involved with Robert De Niro in “Falling in Love,” and played a self-destructive woman in 1985’s “Plenty.”

The latter half of the decade saw Streep co-star with Robert Redford in “Out of Africa,” and Jack Nicholson in both “Heartburn” and “Ironweed.”

Streep earned further praise for portraying a woman convicted of murdering her infant in 1988’s “Cry in the Dark,” before she entertained crowds with much lighter comedic fare in 1989’s “She-Devil.” Overall, the actress claimed six People’s Choice Awards for favorite motion picture actress in the years leading up to the ‘90s.

That decade saw Streep in films like 1992’s black comedy “Death Becomes her,” opposite Goldie Hawn and Bruce Willis. She continued taking diverse roles by appearing opposite Clint Eastwood in “The Bridges of Madison County,” and by starring in “The River Wild” and “Marvin’s Room.”

At the turn of the millennium, Streep was cast in Steven Spielberg’s “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence,” Spike Jonze’s “Adaptation,” and alongside Nicole Kidman in “The Hours.” She even played a supporting role in “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,” before being honored with a 2004 AFI Lifetime achievement award.

However, her most prominent projects were “The Devil Wears Prada,” the musical “Mamma Mia!” and “Julie & Julia,” in which she played chef and TV personality Julia Child. Streep even lent her voice to Wes Anderson’s stop-motion adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “The Fantastic Mr. Fox.”

In 2011 she was cast as former British Prime-Minister Margaret Thatcher in the biopic, “The Iron Lady.”

Meryl Streep boasts countless talents, including the ability to sing and flawlessly imitate accents. This, paired with her willingness to take on dynamic roles, has garnered her much praise and recognition over her career. Her staggering number of Academy Award nominations and wins has made her the most critically-acclaimed actress in contemporary film.
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