Meryl Streep, the most celebrated actress of her generation, turns 70 on Saturday (June 22).
She has won three Oscars, three Emmys and eight Golden Globes during her 40-year long career on stage, screen and television. She is widely regarded as the best living movie actress.
Streep holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations, with 21 received since 1980.
She won her first Oscar in 1980 for best supporting actress in “Kramer vs. Kramer.” She has twice won the prestigious best lead actress Academy Award – first in the 1982 film “Sophie’s Choice”, and again for her portrayal of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the 2011 film “The Iron Lady”.
Most critics said she turned in her best performance ever as Thatcher.
Streep first appeared on screen in 1977 in “Julia” after having honed her craft at the Yale School of Drama and on stage.
She quickly became known for the depth and breadth of her characterizations, and for her gift with accents such as the Polish Holocaust survivor she played in “Sophie’s Choice”.
Dozens of other movies followed, ranging from romantic fare like “Out of Africa” and “The Bridges of Madison County” to biographical movies such as “Silkwood”, and dramas like “Doubt” and the HBO television series “Angels in America” for which Streep won an Emmy.
In 2006, Streep changed direction to comedy, playing a ferocious fashion boss in “The Devil Wears Prada” and then camping it up in her first musical “Mamma Mia!”.
She followed up with a dead-on impersonation of TV cook Julia Child in “Julie & Julia” and showed her flair for romantic comedy with “It’s Complicated” opposite Alec Baldwin.
Last year, she joined the cast of HBO’s award-winning drama series “Big Little Lies” for its second season.
In 2014, she was presented the highest U.S. civilian honour – the Presidential Medal of Freedom – by then U.S. President Barack Obama. Two years later, she visited Morocco with his wife Michelle on on a six-day tour to try to promote girls’ education.
She also has been a vocal supporter of the Democrats. Ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, she campaigned for candidate Hillary Clinton, telling a huge crowd of supporters: “She will be a great president and she will be the first in a long line of women and men who serve with grit and grace.”
Streep turned a 2017 acceptance speech at the Golden Globe awards into a blistering attack on the then U.S. President-elect, Donald Trump, condemning his imitation of a disabled reporter in 2015
Trump hit back at her on Twitter, calling her an overated actress and repeated his denial that he had mocked the reporter.
Streep, without naming Trump, used almost the entire speech when accepting the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award to criticize the real estate mogul’s behavior and policies, while calling for Hollywood to stand strong against any attacks and to support a free press.
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