Meryl Streep

Hollywood Actress: Meryl Streep Biography and Profile.
Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep (born June 22, 1949) is an American actress who has worked in theatre, television and film. She is widely regarded as one of the most talented and respected actresses of the contemporary era.

Streep made her professional stage debut in 1971's The Playboy of Seville, before her screen debut in the television movie The Deadliest Season in 1977. In that same year, she made her film debut with Julia. Both critical and commercial success came quickly with roles in The Deer Hunter (1978) and Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), the former giving Streep her first Oscar nomination and the latter her first win. She later won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Sophie's Choice (1982).

Streep has received 16 Academy Award nominations, winning two, and 25 Golden Globe nominations, winning seven, more nominations than any other actor in the history of either award. Her work has also earned her two Emmy Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Cannes Film Festival award, four New York Film Critics Circle Awards, five Grammy Award nominations, a BAFTA award, an Australian Film Institute Award and a Tony Award nomination, amongst others. She was awarded the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2004.

Early life and background
Streep was born Mary Louise Streep in Summit, New Jersey, the daughter of Mary Wolf (née Wilkinson), a commercial artist and former art editor, and Harry William Streep, Jr., a pharmaceutical executive. She has two brothers, Dana and Harry.

She was raised a Presbyterian, and grew up in Bernardsville, New Jersey, where she attended Bernards High School. She had many school friends who were Catholic, and regularly attended Mass because she loved its rituals. She received her B.A., in Drama at Vassar College in 1971 (where she briefly received instruction from actress Jean Arthur), but also enrolled as an exchange student at Dartmouth College for a quarter before it became coeducational. She subsequently earned an M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama. While at Yale, she played a variety of roles onstage, from the glamorous Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream to an eighty-year old woman in a wheelchair in a comedy written by then-unknown playwrights Christopher Durang and Albert Innaurato.

Personal life
Meryl Streep was engaged to actor John Cazale until his death in March 1978. Streep married sculptor Don Gummer on September 15, 1978. They have four children: Henry "Hank" Wolfe 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). Both Mamie and Grace are actresses. Hank is a musician who performs under the name Henry Wolfe.

When asked if religion plays a part in her life in an interview in 2009, Streep replied, "I follow no doctrine. I don't belong to a church or a temple or a synagogue or an ashram." Streep does not rule out the possibility that God exists. “I do have a sense of trying to make things better. Where does that come from?”

Streep holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations of any actor, having been nominated sixteen times since her first nomination in 1979 for The Deer Hunter (thirteen for Best Actress and three for Best Supporting Actress). Streep is also the most-nominated performer for a Golden Globe Award (with 25 nominations) and, with her overall seventh win for Julie & Julia in 2010, has won the most Golden Globes (excluding special awards).
In 1998, Women in Film awarded Streep with the Crystal Award for outstanding women who have helped expand the role of women within the entertainment industry.

In 2003, Streep was awarded an honorary César Award by the French Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma. In 2004, at the Moscow International Film Festival, Streep was honored with the Stanislavsky Award for the outstanding achievement in the career of acting and devotion to the principles of Stanislavsky's school. Also in 2004, Streep received the AFI Life Achievement Award. In 2009, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts by Princeton University. In 2010, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree by Harvard University.

Streep received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998, and May 27, 2004. was proclaimed "Meryl Streep Day" by Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields.

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