Ask nearly anyone to name one of the best actresses in Hollywood and you will probably get this answer: Meryl Streep. In her over-forty year career, she has demonstrated her unique acting versatility. From incredible portrayals of a struggling Holocaust survivor to a drug-addicted actress to a over-the-top, demanding editor, Meryl Streep never fails to amaze. For this reason, we shine our Hollywood Spotlight on this talented celebrity’s illustrious career. (Sylvain Gaboury / PR Photos)
From Broadway to Hollywood
Meryl Streep’s acting career began on the stage. In fact, originally, the Hollywood mainstay had no intention of becoming a screen actress. It wasn’t until she saw an iconic movie performance of Robert DeNiro’s that she set her sights on Hollywood. But before that pivotal decision, the celebrity was already building a name for herself in New York City. The Yale-educated celebrity starred in many Shakespeare plays and often worked opposite some of Hollywood’s future famous men like Mandy Patinkin and John Lithgow. And impressively, though she only starting her professional acting career in 1975, in 1976, she was nominated for a Tony award!
Coincidentally, as it was Robert DeNiro who inspired Meryl Streep to pursue a career in Hollywood, it was also Robert DeNiro who helped her get her first major movie role. After seeing the talented celebrity in a Broadway play, Robert DeNiro suggested her for a role in his upcoming movie, The Deer Hunter. Meryl Streep’s involvement in the film proved to be a portent for what was to come in her Hollywood career. Although a fledgling movie star, she garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in the success movie.
The First Big Win
Following the success of The Deer Hunter, Meryl Streep starred opposite Dustin Hoffman in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979). The drama focused on a family broken when the mother leaves her husband and son and later returns. The movie was a critical and commercial darling. The film and its cast earned many awards. Notably, the Academy recognized Meryl Streep with an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. And in addition to the Golden Globe she also received for her performance, she was lauded with many critic awards.
By now, Hollywood was beginning to understand the magic of Meryl Streep. In 1982, opposite Kevin Kline, she gave a masterful performance in Sophie’s Choice with the heart-breaking role of a Polish immigrant who survived the Holocaust but suffered tremendous loss. And it proved to be another award-winning role for the actress. Again, the talented movie star earned an Academy Award and a Golden Globe!
However, it was her role in Out of Africa (1985) that proved her mettle. Cast as the narrator and lead in the romance movie, she held her own with her co-star, Hollywood powerhouse Robert Redford. And while the film received mixed critical reviews, it certainly enchanted Hollywood. It swept the Oscars with multiple nominations and wins. And it solidified Meryl Streep’s star status.
After a few years of quiet successes, it was another romance movie that reminded audiences of the Hollywood star’s unparalleled acting skills. The Bridges of Madison County (1995) again paired the actress with one of Hollywood’s icons, Clint Eastwood, who not only acted in the movie but directed and produced as well. Not unexpectedly, the movie was loved by audiences and critics alike.
A Meryl for the New Millennium
While dramas make up much of this famous celebrity’s resume, in the 2000’s we started seeing a lighter side of the star. Most notably, in 2006, she starred in The Devil Wears Prada. Cast as an overly-demanding magazine editor-in-chief in the comedy, Meryl Streep shined in the role. Her performance, along with those of Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, and a not-yet-famous Emily Blunt, delighted audiences. Although critics did not love the film, they universally agreed that Meryl Streep’s performance was on point. And the movie was a financial success.
Just two years later, audiences were introduced to another side of the star. The celebrity was part of the all-star ensemble cast of Mamma Mia! (2008). For the first time, with the musical rom-com, audiences got to hear Meryl Streep sing! And it certainly wasn’t the last. In fact, her singing abilities grace a handful of the star’s most recent movies. She played a wicked witch in Into the Woods (2014), a film adaptation of the Broadway musical. Ricki and the Flash (2015) gave the celebrity a stage to show off her rock singing capabilities. And with a comedic twist, she starred in Florence Foster Jenkins (2016), a movie based on the life of a 1940’s socialite who loved to sing but did not have the skill to back it up.
Countless Awards, Accolades, and Recognitions
Throughout her career, Meryl Streep has earned myriad awards for her outstanding performances. Of her 21 Academy Award nominations, she has won 3 times. She also has 3 Primetime Emmy Awards. And notably, she was nominated for 31 Golden Globe award, winning for 8 performances. As such, she has more Golden Globe nominations and wins than any other actor!
In addition to these recognitions, the celebrity has earned even more prestigious accolades. Meryl Streep received the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. In 2011, she was recognized with the Kennedy Center Honor.
Some of the other movies on this Hollywood icon’s resume include: She-Devil (1989), Postcards from the Edge (1990), Defending Your Life (1991), Death Becomes Her (1992), The River Wild (1994), Marvin’s Room (1996), Music of the Heart (1999), The Hours (2002), Adaptation (2002), A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004), The Manchurian Candidate (2004), Prime (2005), Doubt (2008), Julie & Julia (2009), It’s Complicated (2009), The Iron Lady (2011), August: Osage County (2013), The Giver (2014), The Post (2017), Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018), and Mary Poppins Returns (2018).
2019 will be a big year for fans of this famous celebrity! Netflix’s The Laundromat should hit the streaming service later this year. The drama focuses on the journalists who exposed a large number politicians engaging in offshore financial play. Meryl Streep is not the only Hollywood icon in the cast. She joins a number of other famous stars in the movie including Gary Oldman, James Cromwell, David Schwimmer, Antonio Banderas, and Melissa Ranch.
On Christmas, audiences can enjoy the newest adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Some of Hollywood’s freshest faces star in the movie, such as Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, and Timothée Chalamet. However, Meryl Streep will anchor the film in the role of Aunt March.
But first, Meryl Streep is lending her skills to HBO’s Big Little Lies. Cast as the mother of the first season’s villain, the seasoned star will join an already hard-hitting Hollywood cast. The show is currently in production. No premiere date has been published, though those in-the-know anticipate a June release. Don’t forget to program those DVR’s! With Meryl Streep in the cast, we are sure to be in for a ride!