Meryl Streep is considered by many film critics to be the best living actress of all time and her fourteen Academy Award nominations (3 wins), 21 Golden Globe nominations (6 wins) and 3 Primetime Emmy nominations (2 wins) certainly credit this.
Born as Mary Louise Streep in
In 2004, Meryl won another Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie playing Hannah Pitt, Ethel Rosenberg, The Rabbi and The Angel Australia on Angels in America.
In 1983, won another Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role playing Sophie on Sophie's Choice.
In 1980, Meryl won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role playing Joanna Kramer on Kramer vs. Kramer.
In 1978, Meryl won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series playing Inga Helms Weiss on Holocaust.
Meryl has a fear of helicopters.
Meryl is known for her ability to master a wide variety of accents, portraying non-fictional characters, and being a perfectionist when it comes to her roles.
Meryl is 5' 6" (1.68 m) tall.
Meryl, whose musical blockbuster Mamma Mia (released July 2008) earned $603 million at the box office, ranked #64 on Forbes' 2009 The Celebrity 100. This annual ranking of the world's most powerful–-and best-paid--celebrities is a measure of show business-related earnings (based on a before-taxes estimate of earnings accumulated during a June 2008 to June 2009 calendar) and media exposure. Ms. Streep's 2009 specified income totaled $24 million.
In the 1979 film Kramer vs. Kramer, there was a courtroom scene where Meryl's character had to give a speech about why she was fighting for custody of her son. Meryl felt that the originally scripted speech didn't allow anyone to understand, sympathize with, or relate to her character, so she had permission from the director to re-write it herself.
Meryl was originally cast to play Dustin Hoffman's one-night stand in the 1979 film Kramer vs. Kramer. An actress named Kate Jackson was chosen to portray the ex-wife Joanne, but when she had to back out at the last minute, Meryl took over the role.
In 2001, Meryl took her youngest daughter Louisa and a group of her friends to the Mamma Mia stage production, to celebrate Louisa's 10th birthday. It was shortly after the September 11 attacks, and although the kids' spirits were low at first, they really got into the show once it started. Afterwards, Meryl wrote a letter to the people involved in the production, letting them know how much she enjoyed it. She was approached several years later to play the lead role of Donna in the 2008 film version.
Seven men were required to help Meryl into her white spandex jumpsuit she wore in Mamma Mia as the suit was so tight.
Meryl forgot her Oscar trophy and left it on a toilet seat during her celebrations in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion bathroom after her win for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Kramer vs. Kramer in 1980.
Meryl won the Hasty Pudding Theatricals award for Woman of the Year in 1980.
Meryl learned to play the violin in preparation for her role in the 1999 film Music of the Heart.
Meryl appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair's April 2001 issue.
Meryl presented Paul McCartney his Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1990 Grammy Awards.
At the 1986 Oscar's ceremony Meryl was considered the lock-favourite to win the Best Actress gong for Out of Africa. However it was Geraldine Page, an eight-time nominee, who eventually won and it was Meryl who led the standing ovation Geraldine received.
In January 2007, Meryl was voted the world's third sexiest older woman. The poll was to find the sexiest female stars who have passed 50-years-old.
Meryl was not present at the 1990 Academy Awards ceremony where she was nominated for an award for Best Actress.
Meryl was placed in the No.10 position on ex-fashion designer, Mr Blackwell's, 47th annual report of the worst-dressed women of 2006.
Meryl was considered for the role of Evita Peron in the film Evita, a role which eventually went to the singer Madonna.
Meryl voiced the Blue Mecha character in the Steven Spielberg film, A.I..
Meryl has a star on the Hollwood Walk of Fame, in honour of her contribution to motion pictures, at 7018 Hollywood Blvd.
In preparation for her role as Sophie in the movie, Sophie's Choice, Meryl learned how to speak German fluently, as well as learning a Polish accent. In 2006, Meryl's performance as Sophie was ranked No.3 on Premiere Magazine's "100 Greatest Performances of All Time".
Meryl's character, "Karen Silkwood" from her 1983 film Silkwood, was ranked No.47 on the American Film Institute's list of "Heroes of the 100 years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains".
The children's TV series Sesame Street has featured a character named "Meryl Sheep", in her honor.
With a total of twenty-three Golden Globe nominations, Meryl is the most nominated Golden Globe performer.
Meryl is a supporter of the US Democratic Party.
Meryl co-hosted the annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert with Liam Neeson in Oslo, Norway in 2001. The winner of the prize was United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
With a total of fourteen nominations, Meryl is the most nominated actor or actress ever for an Academy Award.
Meryl was ranked No.24 in Empire magazine's list of "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" in October 1997.
Meryl has a Masters degree in Drama from Yale University, in 1975.
Meryl has appeared in over 30 productions with the Yale Repertory Theatre.
She studied drama and English at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New Hampshire.
In high school she was both a cheerleader and a Homecoming Queen.
When she was young Meryl dreamed of becoming an opera star.
Meryl: (on being one of the most renowned actresses of all time) I'm not amazed by it. It's like with Obama. Two days after he won, people were still going up to every black person they knew and saying, "Aren't you amazed?" Why should you be amazed when the most qualified person is elected? I've worked hard, so this is what I expect. It may not be the norm, but it should be.
Meryl: Motherhood, marriage, it's a balancing act-especially when you have a job you consider rewarding. It's the best kind of challenge.
Meryl: (about the 2008 film "Mamma Mia") It was such an opportunity to just sing and dance and be happy, and I was happy every single day of this shoot, and it was just completely joyful. I mean, we were in Greece, for goodness sake! The movie has a lot of great female stuff, and I think that's good. It's a wonderful movie that makes you feel better.
Meryl: (on filming Mamma Mia) Wearing those overalls for four months was a bit of trial and the platform shoes and the spandex jumpsuit that took seven men to get me into – that was painful! But it was fun to dress up in those silly clothes!
Meryl: (On the ABBA songs in the film "Mamma Mia") I think I have sung all of these songs about 70,000 times - starting in my closet, which was the only place my family would allow me to practise, all the way to Pinewood and Holland Park where we were living. But I never got sick of singing these songs.
Meryl: Sometimes under-preparation is very good, because it instills fear and fear is galvanizing. It makes you break out of yourself. If you're prepared, then you think you're ready, and if you think you're ready, then you're not ready.
Meryl: But ... in my own experience of male and female directors, people have a much, much harder time taking a direct command from a woman. It's somehow very difficult for people.
Meryl: Let's face it, we were all once 3-year-olds who stood in the middle of the living room and everybody thought we were so adorable. Only some of us grow up and get paid for it.
Meryl (On whether Madonna should play Eva Peron in the film version of "Evita" instead of her): I can sing better than she can. If Madonna gets it, I'll rip her throat out!
Meryl: I have seriously thought about giving up unless there are roles available that do not depict women of my age as either dotty or horrible. For many female actors who turn 40 it means the end of their career, its time to retire. There aren't that many good roles for women over 40. A lot of them don't have much substance, other than being someone's mother or wife. If we are told we are not valuable once we hit 30 it is a problem.
Meryl: I think I was wired for family. You know how they say people are wired for religion, or wired for this or that? I always knew I would like to, if I could find the right person, have a family. I can't imagine living single.
Meryl: I know how inadequate they made me feel, so I've always tried to tell them that it's what they do, not how they look that counts.
- Meryl slams the fashion industry as a menace for the pressure it puts on girls to look good.
Meryl: You can't get spoiled if you do your own ironing.
Meryl: Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.
Meryl: It's bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children's health than the pediatrician.
Meryl: Integrate what you believe in every single area of your life. Take your heart to work and ask the most and best of everybody else, too.
Meryl (A comment made by a young Meryl in 1978): I'm looking forward to bigger parts in the future, but I'm not doing soft-core scripts where the character emerges in half-light, half-dressed.
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