Happy Birthday Meryl Streep: Timeline of the Hollywood Icon’s Legendary Career

by Brandi Stillings

Wishing Oscar-winning star Meryl Streep a big “Happy Birthday!” today! World-renowned actress Meryl Streep celebrates 72 years today. Born in Summit, New Jersey in 1949, she remains a Hollywood icon, with a slew of accolades to prove it.

Starting out on Broadway, Streep performed on stage in New York during the late 1960s. It wasn’t until a decade later that she made the move to films.

Recognized as one of the best actresses today, the New Jersey native graduated from Yale Drama School. She’s known to have appeared in several Broadway productions, such as the 1977 drama “The Cherry Orchard.” Once Streep crossed the line into big-screen movies, her talent grabbed attention quickly.

In the 1970s, she debuted as an actor in “Julia,” a 1977 drama film. The following year, Streep performed opposite actors Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken in “The Deer Hunter.” Per Biography, the role earned her first Academy Award nomination for “Best Supporting Actress.”

Then, in 1978, she continued the award-winning streak by getting a Primetime Emmy for appearing in “Holocaust.” A year later, the rising star received an Academy Award. Her character won “Best Supporting Actress” in “Kramer vs. Kramer,” a film based on a woman fighting for custody of her son.

The A-lister remained divergent in her role choices through the 1980s and ’90s. Portraying a Polish woman, Streep took home another Academy Award for “Best Actress” in the 1982 film “Sophie’s Choice.”

In her 40s, Streep was determined to stay challenged in the parts she played. Earning an Academy Award for each one, she appeared in these critically acclaimed films, “Postcards from the Edge” and “The Bridges of Madison County.”

Award-Winning Actress Meryl Streep’s Diverse Career

She kicked off Y2K with two films in 2002. Streep had roles in both “The Hours” and “Adaptation” within the same year. With no end in sight, the striving actress continued to impress.

In 2004, Streep showed off her humorous side as a villain in “The Manchurian Candidate.”

Then, she portrayed a psychologist in the rom-com “Prime” with actress Uma Thurman. Followed by another slightly villainous role in “The Devil Wears Prada,” earning her nominations for best actress.

Streep demonstrated her vocal skills when she portrayed a country singer in “A Prairie Home Companion” in 2008. Then again, in the film adaptation of “ABBA” musical “Mamma Mia!”

In 2011, she gained worldwide praise for her role in “The Iron Lady.” During the film, Streep starred as a former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Her convincing performance was rewarded with several accolades, which included a Golden Globe, per Biography.

In addition, the legendary performer also received her third Academy Award for the acclaimed film. In her acceptance speech, Steep described her long-running acting career.

“I was a kid when I won this, like, 30 years ago,” she said. “Two of the [current] nominees were not even conceived.”

She continued to tell the audience how much of an honor it is to receive such an esteemed award.

“I thought I was so old and jaded, but they call your name and you just go into a sort of white light,” she said in her speech.