Meryl Streep has built a career in Hollywood that most celebrities can only dream of, and the actress, who has been in the business for more than 40 years, shows no signs of stopping — or even slowing down.
In January 2018, she broke her own Oscars record as the most-nominated actor of all time when she nabbed her 21st Academy Award nod for her role as Katharine Graham in The Post.
“I am honored beyond measure by this nomination for a film I love, a film that stands in defense of press freedom, and inclusion of women’s voices in the movement of history,” she said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times at the time. “Proud of the film, and all her filmmakers. Thank you from a full heart.”
That same year, the film legend also nabbed a part in one of the hottest shows on TV — Big Little Lies — alongside screen sirens Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Zoë Kravitz, Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern.
Streep took the part of Mary Louise Wright, a.k.a. the mother of the late Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgard), without ever having read the script.
“[My agent] said, ‘There’s a part that they wrote with you in mind because they called her Mary Louise. … I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it,’” she explained to Us Weekly in June 2019. “He said, ‘Don’t you want to read it?’ I said, ‘No.’ It was the greatest thing on TV. It really was, that first season.”
Still, she hasn’t let all of her success go to her head. As she once said of the industry, “The more you are in this business, the more humbled by it you become.”
Streep’s impressive career has frequently served as an inspiration for many of her costars.
“[Meryl] is fearless. And yes, that is a body double [in Don’t Look Up]. But you know who had a problem with it? Leo [DiCaprio],” director Adam McKay told The Guardian in December 2021 of the Little Women star’s nude scene in the Netflix film. “Leo just views Meryl as film royalty, although maybe royalty is not a compliment, but as such a special figure in the history of film. He didn’t like seeing her with the lower back tattoo, walking for a second naked. He said something to me, like, ‘Do you really need to show that?’ And I was, like, ‘It’s President Orlean, it’s not Meryl Streep.’ But she didn’t even blink. She didn’t even bring it up.’”
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Scroll through to relive some of her biggest moments throughout the years.