Born on June 22, 1949 in Summit, New Jersey Meryl Streep is said to be the greatest living actress in Hollywood today by the film fraternity and the viewers. Her birth name was Mary Louise Streep. Her father Harry Streep was an executive at a pharmaceutical company and mother Mary was a commercial artist. Her parents were unique while his father loved playing piano her mother was good at singing and she loved singing. Thus Meryl and her two younger siblings grew up listening to music. As obvious Meryl also dreamt of becoming an opera singer one day and she started taking singing lessons at the age of twelve to fulfill her dream. Meryl was raised in suburban Bernardsville where she attended Bernardsville High School. She was a cheerleader, homecoming queen and also acted in many school productions in her school where she graduated in 1967. She majored in Drama and English at Vassar College. After she graduated from Vassar College in 1971 she took admission in Yale University School of Drama in New Haven, Connecticut where she also appeared in about thirty theater productions and graduated in 1975. She studied costume design and playwriting at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Streep's professional stage debut was in the play "The Playboy of Seville" in 1971. Streep went to New York to launch her Broadway career. Her Broadway career took off with "Trelawney of the Wells" in 1975. Her critically acclaimed performance in Tennessee Williams' "+27 Wagons Full of Cotton" was also nominated for Tony Award. Streep forayed into television and made her debut with Robert Markowitz's "The Deadliest Season" in 1977. The same year she also made her silver screen debut in "Julia". The next year proved to be even better for Streep as she won an Emmy award for her role in "Holocaust" in 1978 and also got married to sculptor Don Gummer on September 15, 1978. She also starred with Robert De Niro in Michael Cimino's "The Deer Hunter" in 1978. Although she played a miniscule role in the movie, her energy and acting prowess fetched her first of many Oscar nominations she got.
Streep's next movie was "Manhattan" in 1979 in which she portrayed the role of a ruthless lesbian and ex-wife of Woody Allen. She also starred in "Southern Mistress" the same year. But one of the best breaks in her life came with the movie "Kramer vs. Kramer" in 1979 where her blistering interpretation of the scarred and torn Joanne Kramer won her the Best Supporting Actress Award in 1980. She won many other awards for portraying the same role. Streep continued rising to the top with variety of roles specially her double role in the movie "The French Lieutenant' Woman" in 1981and her stellar performance in the holocaust movie "Sophie's Choice" in 1982 for which she won an Oscar for Best Actress. Many of her notable movies also include "Silkwood" and "Out of Africa" in 1985 winning her Oscar nomination again for best actress. With her powerful roles in the movies she did, she raised the quality of work so much so that expectations also became tremendously high. One of the reasons why the actress was not able to sustain well in the 1990's, the other reason being the genre of the movies didn't suit her style any more.
Of recently Streep starred in "Adaptation" and "The Hours" in 2002, the former also earned her an Oscar nomination again. Streep also won an Emmy in 2004 for a mini-series "Angels in America". The actress continues to do quality work in movies and television programs even to this day and gives viewers opportunity to witness a true talent and perfection which is very rare these days.