Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep

Biography: Meryl Streep

Early Life

What can be said about the beautiful and talented Meryl Streep?  She is by far the greatest actress that has ever graced the silver screen.  She was born Mary Louise Streep on June 22, 1949 in Summit, New Jersey.  She is the daughter of Mary Wolf, who was a commercial artist and former art editor, and Harry William Streep, Jr., who made his living as a pharmaceutical executive.

Meryl received a B.A. in Drama from Vassar College in 1971 and went on to earn her M.F.A. at Yale University in 1975.   


Meryl started her career in the theatre.  She was in several plays in college including, “Miss Julie,” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”  After college she moved to New York and starred in several plays before starting her career in film.  Streep performed in several theater productions in New York, including “Henry V”, “The Taming of the Shrew”, “Measure for Measure”. and “Alice at the Palace.” In 1976, she starred in Arthur Miller’s “A Memory of Two Mondays” in which she earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play. 


Meryl Streep is greatly known for her tremendous ability to imitate foreign and domestic accents.  She has spoken with Danish, Italian, Polish, Midwestern, English accents and more throughout her career.


Meryl got her first film role in 1977’s Julia.  She then got a small part in the movie, “The Deer Hunter” alongside her then fiancé John Cazale.  In 1979, she got a supporting role in a movie called, “Kramer vs. Kramer”.  It is about a couple’s divorce and how a custody battle affects them and their son.  Meryl won her first Academy Award for this film.  She also took home the Golden Globe.


She continued to play various roles throughout the 1980’s including one called “Sophie’s Choice”.  She starred as a Polish immigrant, Sophie, and her emotional lover who share a boarding house with a young writer in Brooklyn.  For this film, she won her second Academy Award.  Other notable films starring Meryl in the 1980’s include, “Silkwood”, “Falling in Love”, and “Out of Africa”.  In 1989’s She-Devil, she played her comedic role opposite Roseanne Barr. 


Well into the 1990s she continued to choose a variety of film roles.  She starred in the screen adaptation of Postcards from the Edge”.  She starred in “The House of Spirits” with Glenn Close and “The Bridges of Madison County” with Clint Eastwood.  She went on to star in movies, such as, “The River Wild” and “Music from the Heart”. 


There aren’t many words that can express what this decade has meant to “Streepers” or the Meryl Streep fans out there.  This has proven to be her best decade yet.  She went on to star in various films including, “The Hours”, “Prime”, “The Devil Wears Prada”, “Mamma Mia!”, “Julie & Julia”, and “It’s complicated”.

In 2004, Meryl was awarded the American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors an individual for a lifetime contribution to enriching American culture through motion pictures and television.

2010 and beyond

It was announced that Meryl will star in the comedy “Mommy & Me” with Tina Fey, who will play her daughter.  She has also been cast as Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady”.  This follows her life as Prime Minister during the Falklands War and into her retirement.

Personal life

Streep married sculptor Don Gummer on September 15, 1978.  They have been married for over thirty years, which is very rare in Hollywood. 

They have four children:

Henry Wolf “Harry” Gummer – born November 13, 1979, Mary Willa “Mamie” Gummer – born August 3, 1983, Grace Jane Gummer – born May 9, 1986, and Louisa Jacobson Gummer – born June 12, 1991.


Meryl holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations.  She has been nominated 16 times, winning twice.  She also has won seven Golden Globes and several other awards. 

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

In 2010, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree by Harvard University.

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