Meryl Streep

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Date of Birth: June 22nd 1949

Routinely hailed as the greatest actress of her generation, Streep earned that accolade with her amazing ability to transform herself physically, vocally and emotionally into seemingly any character. Equally adept at drama and comedy, comfortable on stage and screen, able to embody contemporary and classical roles, and even a formidable singer (she showed off her vocal chops in Death Becomes Her, Postcards from the Edge, Mamma Mia).

Streep has earned a record 14 Academy Award acting nods and has won two Oscars, a pair of Emmys, six Golden Globes, not to mention a host of other honors during her lauded career. After earning an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, she made her mark in New York theater, picking up a 1976 Tony nomination for her turn in a revival of two Tennessee Williams one-acts, A Memory of Two Mondays/27 Wagons Full of Cotton. Two years later, she proved she could command both the big and small screens, winning her first Emmy for her riveting turn as a Catholic married to a Jew in Holocaust, and picking up her first Oscar nomination for her devastating work in The Deer Hunter. In 1979, she took home her first Academy Award as a mom trying to find herself in the divorce drama Kramer vs. Kramer and she snagged her second statuette as the tormented title character in 1982's Sophie Choice.

With her porcelain skin, pronounced cheek bones and off-kilter beauty, Streep wasn't a typical Hollywood glamour girl. However, she was a bona fide movie star who commanded respect and awe. Impossible to pigoenhole, Streep spent the next three decades stretching herself and her remarkable talents, portraying characters of all ethnic backgrounds.

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