Biography

Routinely hailed as the greatest actress of her generation, Streep earned that accolade with her amazing ability to transform herself physically, vocally and emotionally into seemingly any character. Equally adept at drama and comedy, comfortable on stage and screen, able to embody contemporary and classical roles, and even a formidable singer (she showed off her vocal chops in Death Becomes Her, Postcards from the Edge, Mamma Mia), Streep has earned a record number of Academy Award acting nods and has won three Oscars, a pair of Emmys, eight Golden Globes, not to mention a host of other honors during her lauded career. After earning an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, she made her mark in New York theater, picking up a 1976 Tony nomination for her turn in a revival of two Tennessee Williams one-acts, A Memory of Two Mondays/27 Wagons Full of Cotton. Two years later, she proved she could command both the big and small screens, winning her first Emmy for her riveting turn as a Catholic married to a Jew in Holocaust, and picking up her first Oscar nomination for her devastating work in The Deer Hunter. In 1979, she took home her first Academy Award as a mom trying to find herself in the divorce drama Kramer vs. Kramer and she snagged her second statuette as the tormented title character in 1982's Sophie Choice. Impossible to pigeonhole, Streep spent the next three decades stretching herself and her remarkable talents, portraying characters of all ethnic backgrounds (a reviled Australian mom in A Cry in the Dark, a lovesick Danish noblewoman in Out of Africa, an Irish spinster in Dancing at Lughnasa, an Italian immigrant in love in The Bridges of Madison County); all temperaments (comic turns as callous women in Death Becomes Her and The Devil Wears Prada, a mom-cum-action hero in The River Wild); different sexual orientations (a literary lesbian in The Hours); and even both genders (a male rabbi, one of a quartet of characters that earned her a 2004 Emmy Award for her multitasking in the miniseries Angels in America). For a star of her caliber, she also managed to stay out of the tabloids. Still engaged to her Deer Hunter costar John Cazale when he died of cancer in 1978, she married sculptor Don Gummer soon after and had a son and three daughters (one of whom is up-and-coming actress Mamie Gummer) and is beloved by the Hollywood community.

Fast Facts

  • Wanted to be an opera singer when she was young.
  • Was a cheerleader and the homecoming queen in high school.
  • Sigourney Weaver was a classmate at Yale Drama School.
  • Said that her all-time favorite actress is Bette Davis, who sent Streep a complimentary letter early in her career.
  • Received Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Award as Woman of the Year in 1980.
  • With her Oscar nomination for Adaptation (2002), surpassed Katharine Hepburn's record 12 nominations to become the most nominated actor/actress in Oscar history.
  • Had to wear extra-high heels while playing Julia Child in 2009's Julie & Julia because she's 8 inches shorter than Child.
  • Help fund the Writers Lab, run by the New York Women in Film and Television and IRIS (a collective of female filmmakers), which aims to increase opportunities for female screenwriters over the age of 40.

Awards

  • 1986, People's Choice Awards — Favorite All-Around Female Entertainer: Winner
  • 2009, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Song from a Soundtrack: Winner
  • 1998, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1979, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actress: Nominee
  • 2008, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Winner
  • 2003, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Winner
  • 2009, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1984, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 2002, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2011, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2009, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1994, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1990, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Motion Picture Actress: Winner
  • 2010, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Winner
  • 2008, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2003, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1998, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 1983, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Winner
  • 1995, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1979, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Actress: Nominee
  • 1978, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series: Winner
  • 1985, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2010, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1993, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1980, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1979, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2008, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1989, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 2004, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie: Winner
  • 2006, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1996, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2009, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Leading Actress: Nominee
  • 1985, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Motion Picture Actress: Winner
  • 1976, Tony — Actress (Featured Role--Play): Nominee
  • 2008, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Leading Actress: Nominee
  • 2002, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2009, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1980, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actress: Nominee
  • 1981, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actress: Winner
  • 2002, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2013, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical: Nominee
  • 1995, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1978, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 1984, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Motion Picture Actress: Winner
  • 2014, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical: Nominee
  • 1989, Cannes Film Festival — Best Actress: Winner
  • 2004, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Winner
  • 1982, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Winner
  • 1997, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 2009, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1986, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Motion Picture Actress: Winner
  • 1989, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Actress in a Dramatic Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1987, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Motion Picture Actress: Winner
  • 1986, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1984, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actress: Nominee
  • 1983, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actress: Nominee
  • 2012, Berlin Film Festival — Lifetime Achievement (Honorary Golden Bear): Winner
  • 1998, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1999, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 2003, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 2014, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 1990, People's Choice Awards — World Favorite Motion Picture Actress: Winner
  • 2015, Critics' Choice Movie Awards — Best Supporting Actress: Nominee
  • 2014, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 1986, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 2015, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1982, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Winner
  • 1988, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2007, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Winner
  • 1981, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1987, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2012, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Winner
  • 2011, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Winner
  • 1995, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2013, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Movie Icon: Winner
  • 1999, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2004, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 1989, Australian Film Institute Awards — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Winner
  • 2011, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Leading Actress: Winner
  • 1983, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
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  • 2013, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2013, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2013, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1990, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1999, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1979, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Winner
  • 2006, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2003, Berlin Film Festival — Silver Bear for Best Actress: Winner
  • 2002, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 1990, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 2005, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1997, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Special: Nominee
  • 1996, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 2000, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1991, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee

Relationships

  • Harry Streep III — Brother
  • Henry Gummer — Son
  • John Cazale — Ex-fiancé
  • Dana Streep — Brother
  • Donald J. Gummer — Husband
  • Louisa Jacobson Gummer — Daughter
  • Mamie Gummer — Daughter
  • Grace Gummer — Daughter
  • Harry Streep Jr. — Father
  • Mary W. Streep — Mother

College

  • Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, United States (BA, 1971); attended Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, United States; Yale University, School of Drama, New Haven, Connecticut, United States (MFA, 1975)

Details

  • Birth Name: Mary Louise Streep
  • Birth Place: Summit, New Jersey, United States
  • Birthday: June 22, 1949, Cancer
  • Profession: Actor
  • User Rating:4.79 out of 5 (619 ratings)
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