While Meryl Streep has been a paid, professional actress since the 1970s and most people have seen many of her films, Streep is a private woman who keeps her business to herself. A serious actress whose work is respected worldwide, Streep is a woman who’s devoted herself to her craft. Several fascinating facts about the woman who easily assumes a variety of roles make her who she is today.
1. Her real name is Mary Louise Streep
Streep was born Mary Louise Streep on June 22, 1949 in Summit, New Jersey. Her birthday falls under the astrological sign of Cancer the Crab, which may account for her love of privacy and devotion to home and family.
2. William Penn was her relative
Streep’s ancestry is German and Swiss on her father’s side of the family and German, English and Irish on her mother’s side. Streep is a distant relative of the Quaker and founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn.
3. She was homecoming queen in high school
Streep attended Bernards High School in Bernardsville, New Jersey. Popular in high school, Streep was a cheerleader and homecoming queen during her time there.
4. She is religious
Although Streep was raised in the Presbyterian faith, she reportedly loved to attend Catholic Mass with her friends due to the rituals that took place during the service.
5. Streep is extremely well educated
Streep is a well-educated woman who received a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from Vassar College and a Master of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama. She also received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Princeton University located in her home state of New Jersey.
6. She has a steady marriage and four children
Streep has a long-lasting marriage in spite of her fame and fortune. She married her husband, sculptor Donald Gummer, in 1978. The two remain together today and have three daughters and one son. In order of their birth, their offspring are Henry, Mamie, Grace and Louisa.
7. She has received numerous prestigious awards
Streep’s body of work has earned her 17 Academy Award nominations and three wins. The wins were for her roles in “Kramer vs. Kramer”, “Sophie’s Choice” and “The Iron Lady.” Some of her nominations were for roles in “Julie & Julia”, “The Bridges of Madison County”, “Out of Africa” and “The French Lieutenant’s Woman.”
8. She can pull off any genre
While Streep is known primarily for her ability to tackle serious roles and transform herself into a variety of characters, she also enjoys playing fun roles as well. Some of those include her part as Mary Fisher in “She-Devil”, Donna in “Mamma Mia!” and Julia Child in “Julie & Julia.”
9. She is one of the most down earth stars
Streep is known as a perfectionist when it comes to acting, prepares extensively for each role and throws herself into them wholeheartedly. In spite of that, Streep is no diva. In fact, she has a reputation as one of the most down to earth stars in Hollywood.
10. Katharine Hepburn hates her
As much as Streep is loved by her many fans and the top dogs in the acting industry, Katharine Hepburn couldn’t stand her. In fact, she went so far as to openly criticize her work and called her Hepburn’s “least favorite actress.” On the other hand, Streep received great praise and a personal letter from film star Bette Davis.