Oh, Streep! So quick question; what do you get for being the actress who has gotten the most award nominations of anyone in her industry, living or dead? Not so simple right? Well, that’s the question we all must think about after we celebrated Meryl Streep’s big 7-0 on Sunday, June 22.
Yes, you read that right. The actress who is currently rocking our world with the second season of HBO’s Big Little Lies is celebrating seven decades, and we’re all left with the opportunity to contemplate how best to fete a woman who has been entertaining us for almost all of those years.
So, rather than trying to express ourselves in trinkets and treasures, I thought we’d pay tribute to one of the finest actors on this earth by looking back at her life and career, one surprising fact at a time.
- For starters, did you know that Meryl isn’t even her real name? You’ll have to read on to find out what it actually is, but let’s just say it’s the only thing we hope she has in common with her Big Little Lies character and leave it at that.
- She was born Mary Louise Streep on June 22, 1949, in Summit, New Jersey. She was named after her mother and grandmother, who were both named Mary, and her mother’s best friend, Louise Buckman.
- The name Meryl came from her father, who made it up. She was always called Meryl, never Mary Louise.
- Her mother, Mary Wilkinson Streep, was a commercial artist and art editor.
- Her father, Harry William Streep Jr., was a pharmaceutical executive.
- Meryl once considered applying to law school, but slept in on the morning of her interview and took that as a sign it wasn’t the right move for her.
- After Yale in 1975, her first job was at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, where she acted in five plays over six weeks.
- She then quickly moved to New York City, where she landed six roles during her first year there.
- While appearing in Measure for Measure opposite future Law & Order star Sam Waterston that year, she met actor John Cazale and began a relationship.
- Despite in the beginning she never considering film work, but seeing Robert De Niro‘s performance in Taxi Driver in 1976 had a profound effect on her, prompting her to remark to herself,
“That’s the kind of actor I want to be when I grow up.”