Happy Meryl Streep Day!


As some of you may know, my passion for cinema began with Meryl Streep. Not only is she my favorite actress in the whole world (like many other people out there), she is also one of the people who have inspired me the most in my entire life (and as a bonus, I’ve met her twice). Today, May 27 (actually, as I write this it’s not May 27 anymore in most parts of Europe, but it is in Los Angeles), is Meryl Streep Day! How many actors do you know have their own official day? But, of course, Meryl is not like most actors… she’s Meryl Streep!

To celebrate Meryl Streep Day, I’m going to choose 100 facts about Meryl Streep everyone should know (I have to admit, listing only 100 was extremely difficult and I’ve left so many things out)!


  1. Meryl Streep was born on June 22 1949 in Summit, New Jersey.
  2. Her real name is Mary Louise.
  3. Her parents were Mary Wolf Wilkinson and Harry William Streep Jr, and she has two brothers, Harry and Dana.
  4. Before she became an actress, she wanted to be an opera singer.cheerleading2
  5. She was a cheerleader and homecoming queen at Bernads High School.
  6. She graduated from Vassar College in 1971.
  7. After studying in Vassar, Meryl did her Master of Fine Arts at the Yale School of Drama, graduating in 1975.
  8. She planed on going to law school but overslept on the day of the exam, which she thought was a sign she should become an actress.
  9. After graduating from Yale, she moved to New York, where she worked as a stage actress.
  10. One of her stage roles was in Measure for Measure, in 1976, opposite John Cazale.MS
  11. Streep and Cazale staring dating in the mid-1970’s until his death, in 1978.
  12. In 1976 she auditioned for the main role in Dino De Laurentiis’ King Kong (which ultimately went to Jessica Lang).
  13. She was nominated for the tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play in 1976, for her role in 27 Wagons Full of Cotton.
  14. Her first film role was in the 1977 film Julia opposite Jane Fonda.
  15. She appeared opposite Robert de Niro and John Cazale in the 1978 film The Deer Hunter.
  16. Streep had accepted the role to be able to take care of Cazale, who was dying of lung cancer.
  17. The Deer Hunter was Cazale’s final film. He died on March 12, 1978, before the film was released.merylstreep-onetimeusew-young-5f2b66c72b1a1672dba0fc8a4e2110fe-large-458339
  18. For her performance, Meryl Streep received her first Oscar nomination (as best supporting actress).
  19. In that same year, she appeared in the miniseries Holocaust, for which she won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Television Movie.
  20. She starred in three films in 1979: The Seduction of Joe Tynan, Woody Allen’s Manhattan and Kramer vs Kramer.
  21. In Kramer vs Kramer, Streep was originally cast as Phyllis, Dustin Hoffman’s one-night-stand.
  22. The role of Joanna, which ultimately went to Meryl, was first offered to Kate Jackson (Charlie’s Angels), who was forced to turn it down due to schedule conflictskramer-contre-kramer-79-08-g.jpg
  23. In the original version of the script, Meryl considered that the character of Joanna was too evil, misrepresented the women of the 70’s. The director of the film, Robert Benton, allowed her to rewrite parts of the script.
  24. To prepare for her role, she read magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Glamour (the sort of things Joanna would read) and studied the Upper East Side mothers, to understand her character’s motivations.
  25. Hoffman’s acting techniques deeply affected Meryl: he slapped her, threw a glass at her and taunted her about John Cazale (who had just passed away).
  26. For her role in Kramer vs Kramer, Meryl won her first Academy Award (for Best Supporting actress).Meryl-Streep-con-il-marito-Don-Gummer.jpg
  27. On September 30, 1978, just a few months after Cazale’s death, Streep married Don Gummer, a friend of her bother Henry. Unlike most Hollywood couples, Gummer and Streep are still married.
  28. Gummer is a renowned sculptor.
  29. On November 13, 1979, Streep gave birth to her first child, Henry. Henry, who goes by Henry Wolfe, is a musician based in Los Angeles.
  30. In 1981, Meryl received a Bafta Award for Best Actress for her role in The French Lieutenant’s Woman, as well as an Academy Award nomination. Sophies_Choice_Still.jpg
  31. In 1982 she gave one of her most memorable performances, as Polish Holocaust survivor Sophie Zawitowska in Sophie’s Choice.
  32. To prepare for the role, she trained with Polish and German coaches (whom she thanked in her Academy Awards acceptance speech)
  33. In fact, in the film she speaks English, German and Polish
  34. Meryl personally begged the director, Alan J. Pakula, to give her the part of Sophie.
  35. The “choice scene” was only shot once, due to its emotional impact.tumblr_o3a39lV34x1tryds5o1_1280
  36. Meryl won her second Academy Award for her performance in Sophie’s Choice.
  37. She was pregnant with her daughter Mamie when she attended the ceremony.
  38. Her second child, Mary Willa (Mamie) was born on August 3, 1983 in New York City. Mamie is an actress, just like her mother, and has appeared in films, television shows and plays.
  39. Meryl played her first real-life character in 1983, when she was cast as Karen Silkwood in Mike Nichols’ Silkwood.
  40. Nichols and Streep remained very close friends until his death in 2014.
  41. Meryl received an Academy Award nomination for Silkwood.
  42. Her next film, Falling in Love, is a modern version of the 1945 film Brief Encounter.
  43. In the 70’s and 80’s, Streep was represented by legendary talent agent Sam Cohn.037-meryl-streep-.jpeg
  44. She played real-life writer and aristocrat Isaac Dinesen (Karen Blixen) in Out of Africa, opposite Robert Redford.
  45. Director Sidney Pollack had refused to give her the part because he thought she wasn’t “sexy enough”.
  46. For the film, Streep learnt to speak English with a Danish accent.
  47. Out of Africa was shot on location in Kenya.
  48. She received an Academy Award nomination for her performance as Karen Blixen, considered one of the best of her career.
  49. On May 9, 1986, she gave birth to her third child, Grace Jane Gummer, who is also an actress.Ironweed.jpg
  50. Her next Oscar nomination was for her performance in Ironweed, opposite Jack Nicholson.
  51. In 2013, New York Times Bestselling Author Marc Eliot claimed in his book Nicholson, A Biography, that Streep and Nicholson had had an affair during the shooting of Ironweed, although these claims have been denied by Streep.
  52. She played real-life person Lindy Chamberlain, an Australian woman wrongly accused of having murdered her daughter, in A Cry in the Dark.
  53. The film was shot in Australia.
  54. Streep had to learn to speak with an Australian accent.
  55. For this film, Streep won the award for Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award.postcards-from-the-edge-02.jpg
  56. In 1991 she starred in Postcards From the Edge, based on the semiautobiographical novel by Carrie Fisher.
  57. Fisher and Streep have remained excellent friends.
  58. Meryl received an Academy Award nomination for Postcards from the Edge.
  59. On June 12, 1991, she gave birth to her fourth child, Louisa Jacobson Gummer, who works as a model.
  60. Meryl’s popularity dropped in the early 1990’s due to the lack of interesting roles for women in her 40’s.BridgesMadisonCo_058Pyxurz.jpg
  61. He regained popularity with the 1995 classic The Bridges of Madison County.
  62. Meryl drew inspiration from Anna Magnani and Sofia Loren to play the part of Francesca, an Italian woman living in Iowa.
  63. For the film, Meryl had to learn to speak with an Italian accent.
  64. The Bridges of Madison County was a box office hit, grossing 182 million dollars worldwide.
  65. Meryl received an Academy Award nomination for this film.
  66. Her next Oscar nomination was in 1999, for her role as woman battling cancer in One True Thing.music-of-the-heart-meryl-streep-3-rcm0x1920u.jpg
  67. In 1999 she played real-life musician Roberta Guaspari in Wes Craven’s Music of the Heart.
  68. Streep’s part was originally offered to Madonna, who ultimately turned it down due to artistic differences with the director.
  69. To prepare for her role as a violinist, Streep practiced for six hours every day during two months.
  70. Her performance was critically acclaimed and earned her an Academy Award nomination.
  71. In 2000, she was named an Officer of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
  72. In 2001 Streep and Liam Neeson co-hosted the Nobel Peace Prize concert.
  73. That same year she returned to the stage with Anton Checkov’s The Seagull, directed by Mike Nichols.Meryl-Streep-meryl-streep-33067719-1024-768.png
  74. She played real-life journalist Susan Orlean in Spike Jonze’s Adaptation, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award.
  75. For Adaptation, Streep received her first Golden Globe since Sophie’s Choice.
  76. Meryl played multiple part in the miniseries Angels in America: a rabbi, a Mormon woman and spy Ethel Rosenberg.
  77. The miniseries was nominated for 21 Emmy Awards, winning 11 (including Best Actress for Streep): Angels in America broke the record for the most Emmys awarded to a show in a year (the record was broken four years later by John Adams).
  78. In 2004, Streep became the youngest woman to receive the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award.335dc1fc4c8d963f704a06ea84fe.jpg
  79. In 2006, she starred in The Devil Wears Prada, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in Comedy.
  80. Her character, Miranda Priestly, is inspired by Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
  81. In 2007 she appeared in Lajos Koltai’s Evening, playing the same role as her daughter Mamie.picture-credit-mamma-mia-the-movie-c-peter-mountain
  82. In 2008 she starred in Mamma Mia!, the film adaptation of the stage musical based on the songs of the Swedish group Abba.
  83. The film was shot in the U.K and Greece.
  84. Mamma Mia! grossed over 600 million dollars worldwide.
  85. That same year, she starred opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman, Viola Davis and Amy Adams in Doubt, for which she received an Academy Award nomination
  86. In 2009 she played real-life chef and television celebrity Julia Child in Julie & Julia, which earned her an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe for Best Actress in Comedy.
  87. She portrayed former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 2011 drama The Iron Lady.meryl-streep-oscar-2012.jpg
  88. For her performance in The Iron Lady, Meryl Streep won her third Academy Award, a feat only accomplished by six actors in history: Walter Brennan, Katharine Hepburn (who has four), Ingrid Berman, Jack Nicholson and Daniel Day-Lewis.
  89. She donated her salary for The Iron Lady (1 million dollars) to the National Women’s History Museum
  90. For her role in the film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning August: Osage County, Streep received an Academy Award nomination.
  91. In 2014 she acted in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Into the Woods, which earned her an Academy Award nomination.
  92. Streep learnt to play the guitar to play the role of Ricki in Ricki and the Flash.l-actrice-americaine-et-presidente-du-jury-de-la-berlinale-meryl-streep-donne-une-conference-de-presse-a-berlin-le-11-fevrier-2016_5515819.jpg
  93. In 2016, Streep was president of the jury at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival.
  94. Thought her career, Streep has been praised for her ability to transform herself into her characters, both physically and psychologically.
  95. Streep is a well-known philanthropist and advocate for women’s rights.
  96. As a young actress, she received a letter from Bette Davis telling her that she saw her as her successor.
  97. Her mentors are Joe Papp and Jean Arthur (who was one of her professors at Vassar).
  98. She holds the record for most Academy Awards (19) and Golden Globes acting nominations (29).
  99. In 2004, May 27 was proclaimed Meryl Streep Day by Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields.
  100. I love her.

Happy Meryl Streep Day!

(I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible, so if I got some details wrong, please try not to destroy this blog…).

Copyright disclamer: I do not own any of the pictures used in this article. 

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