When I say “iconic American actress,” who comes to mind?
For me, it’s always the one and only Meryl Streep. The amazingly talented and successful actress is back in the headlines after recently appearing in the latest season of the hit Hulu series “Only Murders in the Building,” and it’s a great time to learn about how she got where she is today.
Meryl was born in New Jersey in 1949 and began performing at a young age. She acted in school productions as a girl and took singing lessons when she was 12. After high school, Meryl earned a drama and costume design degree from Vassar College. She gained a lot of attention for her talents after acting in Vassar’s production of “Miss Julie” in 1969.
After graduating from Vassar and participating in some summer stock theater, Meryl attended Yale and got her master of fine arts degree in 1975. Then, she moved to New York to become a professional actress.
While Meryl deeply loved performing in theatrical productions, she began auditioning for films while starring in multiple on and off-Broadway shows. Her first film role was a small part in the 1977 film “Julia,” but she had a breakthrough moment when she starred as the lead in the 1978 film “The Deer Hunter.”
It didn’t take long for Meryl to become one of the most recognized actresses of all time. Her filmography is incredible, as throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s, she landed roles that gained immense critical acclaim, like Joanna Kramer in “Kramer vs. Kramer” and Sophie in the tragic film “Sophie’s Choice,” and she won an Oscar for each one.
Those who identify as members of the Gen Z era may know Meryl best for her roles in the late 90s and early 200s, like Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada” and Donna Sheridan in “Mamma Mia!”
Meryl has also made a huge impact on audiences while playing notable women in history like Julia Child, Margaret Thatcher, Katharine Graham, and Florence Foster Jenkins.
Today, Meryl has won over 200 awards, three of them being Academy Awards. Even though she’s only won three Oscars, she is the record holder as the actress with the most Oscar nominations of all time, with a remarkable 21 nominations.