Meryl Streep

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Meryl Streep
BirthplaceSummit, New Jersey, U.S.

Streep, Meryl,

1949–, American actress, b. Summit, N.J., as Mary Louise Streep. She attended Yale Drama School and appeared in many Broadway and off-Broadway productions during the early 1970s. Moving to Hollywood, she made her film debut in Julia (1977), and since has become one of the most acclaimed film actresses of her generation. The coolly elegant Streep, famous for her pitch-perfect mastery of a myriad of accents, employs superb technique in her varied and often uncannily telling portrayals. These include the edgily ironic wife of Kramer vs. Kramer (1979; Academy Award), the anguished Polish émigré of Sophie's Choice (1982; Academy Award), the rebellious factory worker of Silkwood (1983), the accused Australian mother of A Cry in the Dark (1988), and Britain's Prime Minister ThatcherThatcher, Margaret Hilda Roberts Thatcher, Baroness,
1925–2013, British political leader. Great Britain's first woman prime minister, nicknamed the "Iron Lady" for her uncompromising political stance, Thatcher served longer than any other British prime minister in the 20th
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 in The Iron Lady (2011; Academy Award). Among her other motion pictures are The Deer Hunter (1978), The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), Out of Africa (1985), Postcards from the Edge (1990), The Bridges of Madison County (1995), The Hours (2002), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), August: Osage County (2013), Florence Foster Jenkins (2016), and The Post (2017). She also has appeared in Angels in America (2003) and other television dramas. Streep returned to the New York theater in 2006 to star in Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children.
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Streep, Meryl

(1951–  ) movie actress; born in Basking Ridge, N.J. After majoring in drama at Vassar College and attending Yale's School of Drama, she appeared in several Broadway plays and with the New York Shakespeare Festival. Her film debut in Julia (1977) led to a succession of strong roles, many of which gained her Academy Award nominations and Oscars—the latter for best supporting actress in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and best actress in Sophie's Choice (1982). A radiant, serious actress, she became legendary for the perfectionist approach she brought to linguistic and other details of each role.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.