Date of Birth: June 22, 1949
Opera's loss was the cinema's gain when Streep, who began taking voice lessons for opera at 12, developed an interest in acting while in high school. She later majored in drama at Vassar, studied playwrighting and costume design at Dartmouth, and then went on to do graduate work at the Yale School of Drama.
That early voice work has always come in handy as Streep's been able to use her training to dig up any accent you can think of and apply it to the film characters she createsand usually is at least nominated for one award or another for doing so.
One of Hollywood's most esteemed performers, when she first arrived in Los Angeles she remembers: "My first impression of L.A. was that it just smelled so good. You know, you get used to closing off the olfactory nerves in New York. You walk with your head down, not meeting anyone's eye. L.A. was very friendly, and there were flowers everywhere in February, and night-blooming jasmine." But later, the bloom went off the rose and her lasting impression of L.A was that she "hated being there. I really require a great deal of privacy. I don't like to be out and sort of dressed up and seen."
Many remember Streep's Oscar-nominated performance in The Devil Wears Prada where she played the role of the infamous Miranda Priestly, said to be based loosely on Vogue Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour. She also starred in the on-screen rendition of Mamma Mia! in 2008, the Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady and the comedy Hope Springs, both in 2012.
Streep has been nominated an amazing 17 times for an Oscar—her most recent nomination was for The Iron Lady, which she won in the Best Actress category. She has won two other times as well, for Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie's Choice. She has also won eight Golden Globes, seven People's Choice Awards and two Emmys. She has a star on the Hollywood walk of Fame at 7020 Hollywood Blvd.
Married to Don Gummer since September 1978, Streep has four children.