Meryl Streep Biography – Oscar Award Winning American Actress

Published Date   21st Sep. 2017, 22:40 pm  Update Date: March 1st, 2019  11:03 am
Meryl Streep Biography – Oscar Award Winning American Actress
Quick Info
Birth Name: Mary Louise Streep
Birth Place: Summit, New Jersey, U.S.
Birth Sign: Cancer
Father: Harry William Streep Jr.
Mother: Mary Wilkinson Streep
Spouse: Don Gummer
Hair Color: Blonde
Date of Birth: 22/06/1949
Age: 71 years old
Nationality: American
Net Worth: $65 Million
College: Yale University
Children: 4 (Henry, Mamie, Grace, and Louisa)

American actress, Meryl Streep movies appearances and versatility has made her “best actress of her generation” after her Oscar-winning performances.


Born in 1949, Meryl Streep is best known for her versatile roles from The Devil Wears Prada to Mamma Mia! Starting career from the New York stage at the age of 11, she turned to awards winning actress. Out of many Meryl Streep movies, she has won tons of accolades for Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie’s Choice and The Iron Lady.

For Meryl Streep movies performances, she has won Oscars and 30 Golden Globe Award nominations. Similarly, she has won an Emmy Award for her role in miniseries Holocaust and Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a play.

Early Life and Education

Meryl Louise Streep was born on June 22, 1949, in Summit, New Jersey. She is an American born to a commercial artist and art director mother Mary Wolf Wilkinson and commercial artist and art director father Harry William Streep. The actress grew up with her two younger brothers, Dana David and Harry William III.

Streep grew as a Presbyterian and went to Cedar Hill Elementary School. Later, she attended Oak Street School. As a junior high student, Street starred as Lousie Heller in the play The Family Upstairs.

The Streep family moved to Bernardsville, New Jersey where she attended Bernards High School. She sang at the school recital when she was 12 years old. Consequently, she went to Estelle Liebling to take her opera lessons. Dissatisfied with the lack of understanding and feeling for songs, she quit singing after 4 years.

Meryl Streep movies base started to form as she developed an interest in acting after enrolling in Vassar College in 1969. The same year, she acted in the play Miss Julie that grew her interest in acting. She proved to be the quick mimicking and memorizing one.

After graduating from Vassar College with BA as cum laude in 1971, she got an admission in Yale School of Drama. She completed her MFA from there before which she acted in a number of stage plays including A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Helena.

She finished her MFA in 1975. In between, she enrolled as a  visiting student at Dartmouth College in fall of 1970. Subsequently, she received an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the college in 1981.

Acting Highlights, Movies, and Awards

Meryl Streep began her acting career from Broadway production during the 1960s and 70s including The Cherry Orchard (1977). Soon, she landed film roles in the 1970s with Julia (1977). Next, she appeared in The Deer Hunter for which she earned her first Academy Award nomination.

The following year, Meryl Streep movies appearance in Kramer vs. Kramer won her first Academy Award. In the movie, she portrayed a woman who abandons her family and then returns back to fight for her son’s custody. For the role, she won best supporting actress.

The Manhattan Dilemma

Acting is not always easy and an actor has to meet the demands of the director and writer. Meryl found out about it the hard way when she was cast in a supporting role for the 1979 movie Manhattan by the director Woody Allen.

For the movie, Streep wasn’t given the full script by the director. Meryl herself stated that she was only handed six pages of her own script. In addition, Allen also didn’t allow her to improvise a single word of dialogue, making it very difficult for her.

Streep is a very versatile actress who fits into any role provided. She portrayed a Polish woman traumatized by Holocaust in Sophie’s Choice (1982). For this performance, Streep won her second Academy Award for Best Actress. Similarly, she played Danish plantation owner living in Kenya in Out of Africa (1985). Through this role, she won another Academy Award nomination.

Furthermore, Meryl Streep movies performances including Postcards from the Edge (1990) and The Bridges of Madison County (1995) have won Academy Award nominations. In addition, her prominence grew as she won Oscar nod for her work in Music of the Heart (1999). The movie outlines the true story of a music teacher.

Meryl Streep continued to bestow her magic of acting in the new millennium. A number of Meryl Streep movies mushroomed in the 2000s. The Hours and Adaptations are the movies that came first during the 2000s that received high critical acclamations.

Moreover, she appeared in small screen television series Angels in America for which she won her second Emmy Award.

The actress got chances to play a villain in the political thriller The Manchurian Candidate (2004). In 2005, she starred in the romantic comedy, Prime where she played psychoanalyst Lisa Metzger. However, Streep gained the height of prominence and success with her role as a magazine editor, Miranda Priestly, in The Devil Wears Prada (2006). For this performance, she earned both Academy and Golden Globe nominations.

The other Meryl Streep movies of the similar time frame are A Prairie Home Companion (2006) and Mamma Mia! (2008). In 2008 film Doubt, Streep plays a nun who becomes suspicious about priest’s behavior towards young students. The role further earned her Academy and Golden Globe Award nominations.

Recent Career and Roles

In 2009, Meryl Streep movies appearances continued with different roles. She portrayed a famous chef in Julie & Julia. The movie is based on a bestselling nonfiction with the same title. Streep again won another Golden Globe Award for lead actress in a comedy or musical. For the same, she received an Academy Award nomination.

She won another Golden Globe for her starring role in It’s Complicated. Nevertheless, she gained much more fame and acclamation for her work in The Iron Lady (2011) in which she portrayed Margaret Thatcher. For her performance as powerful British Prime Minister in the movie, she won several awards including a Golden Globe. Furthermore, The Iron Lady earned her third Academy Award in 2012.

The variety of Meryl Streep movies roles have worked successfully all because of her being immersed in the role. She won another Oscar nomination in 2014 for her starring role in family drama August: Osage County. Similarly, she won Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for playing a witch in Into the Woods.

Streep portrayed aging rock star in Ricki and the Flash while she played activist Emmeline Pankhurst in Suffragette. For the latter role, she received a Golden Globe nomination and a Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.

Recently, Meryl Streep movies appearances won her another Oscar nomination. She received the nomination for her role in Florence Foster Jenkins. It was her 20th Oscar nomination.

Meryl Streep Knows Her Work

Over the course of her long career, Meryl has been known as a hard-working and tireless performer. Her co-actors have labeled her as obsessively hard-working and too focused on her work.

Dustin Hoffman, who starred with Streep in the award-winning movie Kramer vs. Kramer, said that Meryl is obsessively hard-working to the point that she only thinks about her work and nothing else. The same sentiment was echoed by film critic Stephan Farber while reviewing the movie.

Family and Political Involvement

Meryl Streep married sculptor Don Gummer in 1978. The couple has been married since the time. They have four grown-up children: Henry (born in 1979), Mamie (born in 1983), Grace (born in 1986) and Louisa (born in 1991).

Out of the four, Henry is a musician, Mamie and Grace pursued their career in acting while Louisa is a model.

During the Golden Globe Award function, she spoke against her intolerance and disrespect of President-elect Donald Trump without mentioning his name. She spoke in the context of Trump mocking a disabled New York Times reporter.

In return, Trump tweeted claiming that he did not disrespect a disabled reporter, but rather pointed out the dishonesty of media making him look bad. In the same context, he mocked the actress calling her “Hillary flunky”.

Salary and Net Worth

As cited by media, the “best actress of her generation”, Meryl Streep movies roles which are diverse and dynamic have raised her net worth to millions. As of 2017, the actress has accumulated the net worth of $65 million through her acting aptitude.


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