She leaps into her roles effortlessly to transform into a completely different person. She portrays her character like nobody else and becomes irreplaceable in the entertainment industry. Who is she? That’s our beloved Sophie (From Sophie’s Choice), Maryl Streep. For an average human, it takes months or years to master the role for any movie, however, Meryl can do it in a matter of weeks before filming a role. She has acted and sung in dozens of movies for decades. In this article, we will read about the biography of Meryl Streep and some lesser-known facts that will blow your mind.
From a Cheerleader to an Actress
Almost every actor/actress who makes it big has to go through some sort of struggle at least once in their lives. This holds true for Merly Streep as well. Meryl Streep began her career at the age of 12 with voice training and took up acting in high school. In her high school days,
she even was a cheerleader. During her struggling days, she worked as a waitress at the Hotel Somerset in Somerville, New Jersey. After graduating with a degree in drama and costume design, she started working in summer stock theatre. Later, she moved to New York City for her professional career as an actress.
Despite her struggle, she was quite a bright student. She has acknowledged multiple time that she possesses photographic memory, which allows her to memorize lines in one reading.
She had learned to play Violin, by practicing for just six hours a day for eight weeks as preparation for her role in “Music of the Heart (1999)”. However, the most surprising thing is she has a weird fear of Helicopter.
Memorable Performances from ‘Miss Perfectionist’
Meryl Streep is best known for her perfectionist nature while working on set. Famous for her ability to master any accent fluently, she has played real-life characters of Julia Child, Ethel Rosenberg, Karen Silkwood, Karen Blixen, Roberta Guaspari, Lindy Chamberlain, Susan Orlean, and Margaret Thatcher in movies. Moreover, she has frequently worked with director Mike Nichols, an Academy-award-winning director.
In her early days, Meryl had applied to Law School, however, she slept on the morning of her interview and missed the opportunity. She took it as a sign and started working on things that are destined for her. Today, her fans called themselves ‘Streepers’.
Meryl’s performance as Sophie Zawistowska in “Sophie’s Choice” is ranked third among the 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006) by Premiere magazine. She gained 15 pounds for her role in “Julie & Julia”. You’ll be surprised to know that she replaced Madonna in the lead role of Roberta Guaspari in Music of the Heart. Meryl Streep played the character of Karen Silkwood in the movie “Silkwood” which was ranked 47th in the list of the 100 years of the Greatest Screen Heroes and Villians by the American Film Institute Heroes.
Moreover, she became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Meryl has received her honorary degree from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. For these and many other memorable performances, she was ranked 37th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Things you probably don’t know about Meryl Streep
Do you know Meryl is her nickname given by her father? Being a die-hard fan of Meryl Streep, you might know many interesting facts about her. In this section, you will explore some lesser-known facts about her.
- Meryl had applied to trademark her name
Just a celebrity thing, Meryl Streep had applied to trademark her name. She applied to the United States Trademark Office to trademark her name officially. It gave her exclusive rights to use her name in the entertainment industry of Hollywood. This application referred to her movie appearances, engagements, television, etc. to prevent anyone else from using her name and earning money off their brand. It gave her an extra advantage to protect her name from any unauthorized commercial use.
- She holds an advanced degree from an Ivy League university
Being a cheerleader in high school, Meryl didn’t neglect her studies. In 1969, she joined Vassar College after completing her high school studies and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. Later in 1975, she completed her Master’s degree in the same field from Yale University. Furthermore, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree by Dartmouth College. Meryl Streep has honorary degrees from Ivy League universities.
- Meryl Streep was once evicted from her apartment
Meryl Streep was involved in a relationship with John Cazale who was a part of “The Godfather” movie. She shared an apartment with him and their relationship lasted for almost three years. John was detected with lung cancer and Meryl had to settle his medical bills after his death. Consequently, she was evicted from the apartment. Eventually, Meryl had to stay with her brother and his friend.
- She gave away her salary to the Women’s History Museum
In 2011, Meryl Streep played the role of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the first female prime minister of the United Kingdom in the movie “The Iron Lady”. Surprisingly, she was paid one million dollars for the movie and the role made her win the third Oscar. She donated her entire earning from the movie to build a History Museum at the National Mall in Washington. The museum was built to teach the history of women in the world.
- Meryl Streep has taken training for opera singing
You might know that Meryl Streep has been nominated for Grammy Awards for her work in “Mamma Mia”. She has been trained as an Opera Singer under her teacher Estelle Liebling. Meryl Streep starred in Musicals such as “Into the Woods”, and “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!”
- She was nominated for 21 Academy Awards
Meryl Streep was nominated for a total of 21 Academy Awards and won three Oscars for her outstanding performance in “Kramer vs. Kramer”, “Sophie’s Choice”, and “The Iron Lady”. Most of these nominations were for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.
- Meryl Streep donated Devil Wears Prada wardrobe for the cause of charity
Meryl Streep played the role of Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada”. It was one of the most famous roles she played ever in her career. More than one million dollars were spent on her costume despite the loans from various designers. The movie spent huge money on the costume as its main focus was on high-end fashion. Rather than keeping that wardrobe, Meryl donated it to a charity auction.
- She left her first Oscar Award in the ladies’ room by mistake
Meryl Streep won the first Oscar Award for her role in Kramer vs. Kramer as the Best Supporting Actress in 1979. After giving her acceptance speech on the stage, she went to the ladies’ room and mistakenly left the award. The moment was hilarious as she got to know about it only when someone shouted, “Someone has left the Oscar Award in the ladies’ room.”
Award Series of Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep has been the Top Achiever in various Award Nominations and has won many of them. She is the recipient of 3 Primetime Emmy Awards along with nominations for 17 Screen Actors Guild Awards and 15 British Academy Awards. Meryl had 31 Golden Globe Nominations, however, she had received 8 such awards. Furthermore, in 1979, she performed in the small television series known as Holocaust, which granted her Emmy Award. Later on, she got nominated for Academy Award for the film Deer Hunter.
Various Oscar-assigned roles of Meryl Streep include, The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981), Silkwood (1983), Out of Africa (1985), Ironweed (1987), Evil Angels (1988), Postcards from the Edge (1990), The Bridges of Madison County (1995), Doubt (2008), One True Thing (1998), Music of the Heart (1999), Adaptation (2002), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), Into the Woods (2014), and Florence Foster Jenkins (2016).
10 Must-Watch Meryl Streep Films
Meryl Streep has performed in numerous movies and has been acclaimed for her performance not just by audiences but also by critics. Since 1975, she was featured in 75 movies and appeared on some other platforms in media. It is a difficult job to choose the best Meryl Streep performance. However, there are a few Meryl Streep films you can’t miss:
- Sophie’s Choice (1982)
- Doubt (2008)
- The Hours (2002)
- The Bridges Of Madison County (1995)
- Adaptation (2002)
- Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979)
- Little Women (2019)
- Manhattan (1979)
- Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
- The Deer Hunter (1979)
- How old is Meryl Streep?
Currently, in 2023, Meryl Streep is 73 years old.
- What is Meryl Streep’s net worth?
According to Celebrity Networth, Meryl Streep’s net worth is 160 million dollars.
- Who is Meryl Streep’s husband?
Meryl Streep married Don Gummer in 1978 and the couple has four children.
- When did Meryl Streep start acting?
Meryl started acting in her early college days, however, she was featured first time in 1977 in the movie “Julia”.