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Meryl Streep Biography and Filmography
Meryl Streep
Birthday: June 22, 1949
Birth Place: Summit, New Jersey, USA
Height: 5' 6"
Below is a complete filmography (list of movies he's appeared in)
for Meryl Streep.
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Sydney Pollack — one of Meryl Streep's collaborators time and again — once proclaimed her the most gifted film actress of the late 20th century. Most insiders would concur with this assessment. To avid moviegoers, she represents the essence of onscreen dramatic art, and classifying her as a contemporary reincarnation of Eleonora Duse or Sarah Bernhardt would not overstate the case. To be certain, Streep's filmography claims its share of near-misses and outright disasters (She-Devil, Falling in Love, Death Becomes Her) — like Dustin Hoffman, she thrived in the '70s and early '80s, but seemed somewhat crippled in the late '80s and early '90s by the paucity of eloquent scripts. But the intelligence and refinement of her craft endure. For, also like Hoffman (and De Niro), she demonstrates a transcendent ability to plunge into her characters and lose herself inside of them, transforming herself physically to meet the demands of her roles. A luminous blonde with nearly translucent pale skin, intelligent blue eyes, and an elegant facial bone structure, Streep sustains a fragile, fleeting beauty that allows her to travel the spectrum between earthily plain (Ironweed), and ethereally glamorous and radiant (Manhattan, Heartburn). Born June 22, 1949 in Summit, NJ, Streep took operatic voice lessons, and subsequently cultivated a fascination with acting while she attended Bernards High School. Streep graced several school productions (she took an early bow as Daisy Mae in Lil' Abner) , earned decent grades, and became popular among fellow students (she joined the cheerleaders and won the title of homecoming queen). Upon high school graduation, Streep studied drama at Vassar, Dartmouth, and Yale, where she appeared in 30 to 40 productions with the Yale Repertory Theater.With a five-star education and years of collegiate stage work under her belt, Streep headed for the New York footlights and launched her off-Broadway career. Streep's performance in Tennessee Williams' 27 Wagons Full of Cotton, for which she received a Tony nomination, constitutes a particularly strong theatrical highlight from this period. She made her television debut in Robert Markowitz's The Deadliest Season (1977). That year she also appeared onscreen for the first time in Fred Zinnmann's Julia (1977), as Anna Marie, opposite heavyweights Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, and Hal Holbrook. The following year, Streep picked up an Emmy for her performance in Marvin J. Chomsky's miniseries Holocaust. She first teamed with DeNiro in Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter (1978). Despite a minor role in the epic, she played the part with an energetic sensitivity that earned her only the first of innumerable Oscar nominations. Around this time, Streep became engaged to the diminutive performer John Cazale (whom she met on the set of the Cimino film), predominantly known for his evocations of Fredo Corleone in The Godfather and Sal in Dog Day Afternoon. Tragically, this marriage was ill-fated from day one, Cazale's frail body ridden with bone cancer. Forty-two at the time, he passed away in March 1978, nine months prior to the premiere of The Deer Hunter. Not six months later, Streep wed Don Gummer, unaffiliated with Hollywood in any capacity. To date, the couple are still married and have several children; together, they have sustained a longer marriage than almost anyone in Hollywood.Streep next appeared Woody Allen's ruthless lesbian ex-wife in his elegiac comedy-drama Manhattan (1979) and Alan Alda's southern mistress in the scathing political satire The Seduction of Joe Tynan. Her shattering interpretation of the scarred and torn Joanna Kramer opposite Dustin Hoffman in Robert Benton's heartbreaking divorce saga Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979), netted her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in early 1980, alongside a plethora of L.A. Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Circle, and Golden Globe Awards for the Allen, Benton, and Alda films. Streep continued her ascent over the next decade by establishing herself as Hollywood's top box office draw and a critical darling. Her double performance in the innovative Karel Reisz/Harold Pinter triumph The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), her gut-wrenching interpretation of the titular Holocaust survivor in Alan J. Pakula's haunting Styron adaptation Sophie's Choice (1982), and her thoughtful evocation of Karen Silkwood in Mike Nichols' drama Silkwood were highlights of the period. In the latter, she portrays a real-life victimized nuclear plant worker who mysteriously disappears just prior to turning in crucial evidence against her employers. A observation about Silkwood by Roger Ebert illustrates the almost-unprecedented amount of research that Streep poured into the role of Karen, as she does for all of her films: "Silkwood is played by Meryl Streep, in another of her great performances, and there's a tiny detail in the first moments of the movie that reveals how completely Streep has thought through the role. Silkwood walks into the factory, punches her time card, automatically looks at her own wristwatch, and then shakes her wrist: It's a self-winding watch, I guess. That little shake of the wrist is an actor's choice. There are a lot of them in this movie, all almost as invisible as the first one." Streep's decision to headline Sydney Pollack's lush epic Out of Africa (1985), as Karen Blixen, sustained her reputation (she held the film together with her brilliant performance and picked up an Academy nom for Best Actress) but raised the bar of expectation almost cruelly high for her. This could partially account for a series of slight disappointments in Streep's career during the late eighties and early nineties. With the exception of Hector Babenco's astonishing Ironweed, Streep headlined several efforts that, if they didn't exactly constitute unqualified disasters, invariably disappointed audiences and critics. These included the lackluster 1986 Ephron/Nichols soaper Heartburn, Susan Seidelman's grotesque 1991 comedy She-Devil, Nichols' Postcards from the Edge (also 1991) and Robert Zemeckis' effects-laden piece of fluff Death Becomes Her (1992). Critics noticed, but responded too viciously. The typically acid-tongued Pauline Kael derided the aloofness that she felt Streep projected onscreen during this period, comparing her to a technician or an automaton rather than a living, breathing, and fallible actress. Some even had the gall to attack Streep's extraordinary ability to convincingly reproduce accents. Never one to feel daunted, Streep took these criticisms as a challenge, further expanding her range by lending her voice to a guest character on the satirical Fox animated television series The Simpsons in the early nineties. In 1994, she again surprised her fans when she appeared as a muscular expert whitewater rafter who must fight a raging river and two dangerous fugitives to save her family in the action thriller River Wild (1994). In interviews, she said she did the film because she wanted to have an adventure like Harrison Ford and to overcome a few of her own fears. Streep returned to the depth and multifacetedness of her early roles — with much concomitant success — when she took a more low-key role as a dowdy, earthbound farm wife who finds Illicit love with an itinerant photographer (Clint Eastwood) in The Bridges of Madison County. Following the critical and commercial heights of Bridges, Streep co-headlined Marvin's Room with Diane Keaton and Leonardo DiCaprio before picking up yet another Oscar nomination for her performance as a terminally ill wife and mother in Carl Franklin's One True Thing (1998). Streep's follow-up, a screen adaptation of Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa (1998), was a decidedly quieter affair, in which Streep once again showcased her uncanny aptitude for foreign accents — in this case, a thick Irish brogue. Though she would play things relatively low-key in the first two years of the new millennium (such as lending her voice to the Blue Mecha in Steven Spielberg's A.I.), Streep proved she was still an actress of considerable dramatic power when she hit audiences with the back-to-back success d'estimes Adaptation and The Hours as the curtain fell on 2002. Earning an Oscar nomination for the former and a Golden Globe nomination for the latter, Streep's remarkable range connected with audiences in her respective roles as an author looking to recapture the unpredictibility of youth and a woman who prepares a final party for a close friend (Ed Harris) and soon-to-be AIDS victim. On the heels of this success, Streep won an Emmy in 2004 for her participation in longtime friend and collaborator Mike Nichols' Angels in America, a mini-series adaptation of Tony Kushner's acclaimed play about the AIDS crisis of the '80s. In this film, Streep delivered a triple role: Hannah Pitt, Ethel Rosenberg, and Rabbi Isador Chemelwitz. Streep soon afterward won even greater audience and critic approval for her biting role as a corporate and political conspirator in Jonathan Demme's remake of the 1962 thriller The Manchurian Candidate. Streep followed this up with a part in the lighthearted comedy Prime, as a good-natured psychologist who discovers that the man her patient is sexually involved with is none other than Streep's adult son. Since neither of the frisky lovebirds realize their mutual connection to Streep's character, the poor therapist must endure hearing all about her son's sexual exploits in order to fulfill her obligation to her patient. The film was a moderate success, but as usual, Streep's performance was much better received than the motion picture itself. Never one to be typecast, however, Streep moved immediately on to play one-half of a sister singing team (alongside Lily Tomlin) in Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion (2006), and — that same year — the evil and abusive boss of Anne Hathaway in David Frankel's The Devil Wears Prada. Streep continues to develop and hone her craft, her dramatic intuition mellowing and deepening with age. As of this writing, her forthcoming film appearances through the end of 2007 include roles in: the John Davis-directed IMAX CGI animated film The Ant Bully (2006), as the voice of The Ant Queen; Dirty Tricks (2006), helmed by Nip-Tuck creator Ryan Murphy, where Streep plays Martha Mitchell, the whistleblowing wife of Nixon-aide John Mitchell; Chen Shi-Zheng's Dark Matter (2007) (alongside Val Kilmer), about a Chinese scholar studying in America, embroiled in collegiate politic; and Coline Serreau's Chaos (2007). Streep has been intermittently attached for several years to the Jodie Foster circus epic Flora Plum, despite constant delays and cast changes.In addition to her feature-film career, Streep has also narrated documentaries such as Arctic Refuge: A Vanishing Wilderness; she has even continued to make the rare television appearance, as in the 1997 ABC network telemovie ...First Do No Harm.
Chaos (2007)
[ Aishwarya Rai ]
Wanted (2007)
[ Jennifer Aniston ]
First Man (2007)
Dark Matter (2007)
[ Blair Brown ]
Dirty Tricks (2006)
[ Gwyneth Paltrow ][ Annette Benning ]
The Ant Bully (2006)
[ Julia Roberts ][ Regina King ][ Lily Tomlin ][ Nicole Sullivan ][ Tress MacNeille ]
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
[ Anne Hathaway ][ Madonna ][ Gisele Bundchen ][ Alanis Morisette ][ Tracie Thoms ]
A Prairie Home Companion (2006)
[ Lindsay Lohan ][ Virginia Madsen ][ Lily Tomlin ][ Maya Rudolph ]
Prime (2005)
[ Uma Thurman ][ Annie Parisse ][ Donna Summer ][ Mimi Anden ][ Penny Ellington ]
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
[ Jennifer Coolidge ][ Catherine O'Hara ][ Emily Browning ][ Jane Adams ][ Jane Lynch ]
The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
[ Vera Farmiga ][ Kimberly Elise ]
The Hours (2002)
[ Nicole Kidman ][ Claire Danes ][ Julianne Moore ][ Miranda Richardson ][ Toni Collette ]
Adaptation. (2002)
[ Maggie Gyllenhaal ][ Tilda Swinton ][ Judy Greer ]
Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)
[ Ashley Scott ][ Daveigh Chase ][ Frances O'Connor ][ Katie Lohmann ][ Justina Machado ]
Chrysanthemum (1999)
Music of the Heart (1999)
[ Aaliyah ][ Angela Basset ][ Cloris Leachman ][ Jane Leeves ][ Gloria Estefan ]
One True Thing (1998)
[ Renee Zellweger ][ Julianne Nicholson ][ Hallee Hirsh ][ Barbara Harris ][ Julie Tawney ]
Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)
[ Catherine McCormack ][ Kathy Burke ]
...First Do No Harm (1997)
[ Allison Janney ]
Marvin's Room (1996)
[ Diane Keaton ][ Cynthia Nixon ][ Kelly Ripa ][ Bitty Schram ]
Before and After (1996)
[ Sharon Taggart ]
The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
The River Wild (1994)
[ Diane Delano ][ Lika Mc ]
The House of the Spirits (1993)
[ Winona Ryder ][ Glenn Close ][ Teri Polo ][ Vanessa Redgrave ][ Maria Conchita Alonso ]
Death Becomes Her (1992)
[ Goldie Hawn ][ Isabella Rossellini ][ Debra Jo Rupp ][ Carrie Yazell ][ Anya Longwell ]
Defending Your Life (1991)
[ Barbra Streisand ][ Lee Grant ]
Postcards from the Edge (1990)
[ Annette Benning ][ Shirley McLaine ][ CCH Pounder ][ Mary Wickes ][ Dana Ivey ]
She-Devil (1989)
[ Rosanne Barr ][ Linda Hunt ]
Rabbit Ears: The Fisherman and His Wife (1989)
[ Jodie Foster ]
A Cry in the Dark (1988)
[ Deborra-Lee Furness ][ Debra Lawrance ]
The Tailor of Gloucester (1988)
Ironweed (1987)
[ Diane Venora ][ Carroll Baker ][ Margaret Whitton ]
Rabbit Ears: The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1987)
Rabbit Ears: The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher (1987)
Heartburn (1986)
[ Natasha Lyonne ][ Stockard Channing ][ Catherine O'Hara ][ Mercedes Ruehl ][ Anna Maria Horsford ]
Out of Africa (1985)
[ Iman ][ Suzannah Hamilton ][ Barbara Harris ]
Plenty (1985)
[ Tracey Ullman ]
Falling in Love (1984)
[ Dianne Wiest ][ Jane Kaczmarek ][ Frances Conroy ]
Little Ears: The Velveteen Rabbit (1984)
Silkwood (1983)
[ Cher ][ Diana Scarwid ][ E Katherine Kerr ]
Sophie's Choice (1982)
[ Katharina Thalbach ]
Still of the Night (1982)
[ Jessica Tandy ]
Alice at the Palace (1982)
The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)
[ Harriet Walters ][ Lynsey Baxter ]
Manhattan (1979)
[ Diane Keaton ][ Karen Allen ][ Mariel Hemingway ][ Frances Conroy ][ Tisa Farrow ]
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
[ Jo Beth Williams ][ Jane Alexander ]
The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979)
Uncommon Women... and Others (1979)
[ Swoosie Kurtz ][ Anna Thompson ][ Jill Eikenberry ]
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Julia (1977)
[ Jane Fonda ][ Vanessa Redgrave ][ Lisa Pelikan ]
The Deadliest Season (1977)
[ Jill Eikenberry ]
Secret Service (1977)
  • Named Best Modern Actress in an Entertainment Weekly on-line poll, substantially beating out runner-up Michelle Pfeiffer. [September 1999]
  • Learned to play the violin, by practicing 6 hours a day for 8 weeks, for her role in Music of the Heart (1999).
  • Has a fear of helicopters.
  • Received her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. [16 September 1998]
  • Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1977" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 29.
  • Ranked #24 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
  • Educated at Yale University. Studied Drama.
  • Graduated from Vassar College in 1971.
  • Once engaged to actor John Cazale
  • Graduated from Bernards High School.
  • Before making it big, she was a waitress at The Hotel Somerset in Somerville, New Jersey, USA.
  • Was a cheerleader and homecoming queen in high school.
  • She left her just-claimed Oscar for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) on the back of a toilet during the 1979 festivities.
  • Replaced Madonna for the lead in Music of the Heart (1999).
  • Her son, Henry W. Gummer ("Hank"), is a student at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. [2001]
  • Sister-in-law of Maeve Kinkead.
  • Named an Officer of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. [2000]
  • Born at 8:05 AM EDT
  • Tennessee Williams wanted her for a film version of "A Streetcar Named Desire" in the 80s. When Streep proved unavailable, the project was refashioned for television and the role of Blanche given to Ann-Margret.
  • She is the most nominated actor ever for an Academy Award, with 13 nominations.
  • Has a deviated septum which she refuses to have fixed. Directors work around it by avoiding straight-on close-ups.
  • Has 4 children; Henry Gummer (aka Harry Gummer) (b. 1979), Mary Willa Gummer (aka Mamie Gummer aka Jane Gray) (b. 1983), Grace Jane Gummer (b. 1986), and Louisa Jacobson Gummer (b. 12 June, 1991)
  • Measurements: 34B-26-36 (from film SFX torso mold done in 1982), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
  • The children's TV series "Sesame Street" (1969) has featured a character named "Meryl Sheep", in her honor.
  • Was originally supposed to play the role of Iris Hineman is the film Minority Report (2002), but had to back out. She was replaced by Lois Smith.
  • Her character Karen Silkwood from her 1983 film Silkwood (1983) was ranked #47 on the American Film Institute Heroes list of the 100 years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villians.
  • Presented Paul McCartney with the 1990 Grammy Lifetime Achievement award. Attended the Beatles concert at Shea Stadium in 1965 with an "I love Paul" sign. which she mentioned when presenting the award to McCartney.
  • Sister of Harry Streep.
  • Spent a year as a transfer student at Dartmouth College where she participated in theater.
  • Applied to Law School.
  • Sigourney Weaver was a fellow classmate at Yale Drama School
  • Back at the Drama school, she and Sigourney Weaver appeared in a play staged in a swimming pool together. The play is called 'The Frogs'.
  • Diane Keaton calls her "my generation's genius."
  • May 27, 2004 was proclaimed "Meryl Streep Day" by Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields. [May 2004]
  • She was voted the 37th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
  • As a young actor, she performed at the Yale Repertory Theater with Christopher Lloyd.
  • According to Katharine Hepburn's official biographer A. Scott Berg, Meryl Streep was her least favorite modern actress on screen: "Click, click, click," she said, referring to the wheels turning inside Streep's head.
  • Has only been turned down for two roles. Patsy Cline in Sweet Dreams (1985) and Miss Kenton in The Remains of the Day (1993).
  • Christine Estabrook was a fellow classmate at Yale Drama School.
  • She often works with Academy award-winning director Mike Nichols.
  • Mentioned by first name only (with two-time co-star Jack Nicholson) in Michael Crichton's 2004 novel "State of Fear".
  • Tony Nominee in 1976 as Best Actress (Featured Role - Play) for Tennessee Williams' "27 Wagons Full of Cotton"
  • Premiere Magazine ranked her as #46 on a list of the Greatest Movie Stars of All Time in their Stars in Our Constellation feature (2005).
  • Born and raised in suburban New Jersey.
  • Took serious singing lessons. At age 12, she studied to become an opera singer.
  • Acting career began on the stage.
  • Is the second of 4 consecutive winners of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar to have the initials "M.S.". The others are: Maggie Smith - California Suite (1978), Mary Steenburgen - Melvin and Howard (1980), and Maureen Stapleton - Reds (1981).
  • Received an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Middlebury College during her nephew's graduation in 2004.
  • She attended Harding Township Middle School, in Harding, New Jersey for 1 or 2 years
  • Sold her New York City townhouse for .1 million in February 2006. She was forced to slash the asking price for the eight-bedroom Manhattan property from million to secure a sale. Streep bought the house for .2 million in 1995, according to the New York Post.
  • Early in her career, Streep received a letter from Bette Davis, whom most critics and cinema historians ranks as the greatest American movie actress ever. Davis told Streep that she felt that she was her successor as the premier American actress. Ironicaly, Katharine Hepburn despised Streep as an actress. Davis, a double winner who was nominated 10 times for an Academy Award, all of them Best Actress nods, set the record for most acting nominations with her tenth in 1963 for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), a record later surpassed by Hepburn with her 11th nomination (and 3rd win) for The Lion in Winter (1968). Hepburn extended her record with her 12th nomination (and fourth win) for On Golden Pond (1981), a record ironically eclipsed by by Streep -- the actress anointed Davis' successor -- with her own 13th nod for Adaptation. (2002).
  • Was nominated 13 times for the Academy Award, ten times as Best Actress, and three times as Best Supporting Actress, winning twice (Best Supporting Actress for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and 'Best Actress' for Sophie's Choice (1982). Her 10 nominations in the top acting category are equaled by acting greats Laurence Olivier (who was nominated 10 times as Best Actor and once as Best Supporting Actor) and Bette Davis (ten Best Actress nominations) and surpassed by the legendary Katharine Hepburn. with 12 Best Actress nods.
  • Her performance as "Sophie Zawistowska" in Sophie's Choice (1982) is ranked #3 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
  • Her performance as "Karen Silkwood" in Silkwood (1983) is ranked #71 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
  • Her husband, Don Gummer, is a sculptor.
  • Her father was a drug-company exec; her mother an artist-turned-housewife who kept an art studio behind the house. Her father loved to play the piano and her mother sing. Meryl was given singing lessons at a young age. Her mother died in 2001 and father in 2004.
  • Son, Henry Gummer, is an actor, filmmaker and co-founder of a rock band. Daughter, Mary Willa, whose stage name is Mamie Gummer, is an off-Broadway actress (Also, she goes by the name of Jane Gray.
  • Friend of Jill Clayburgh. First met in their roles as mothers.

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