25 Fascinating Meryl Streep Facts that You Might Know

Little fact-lovers, let me introduce you to Mary Louise Streep or Meryl Streep.

She is an American actress, really famous for her accent-adaptability and versatility.

She has received many accolades throughout her career, including a record of 32 Golden Globe Award nominations, winning eight, and a record of 21 Academy Award nominations, winning three😲!!

So, let us go through some amazing facts about the life and works of this talented actress.

Fantastic Meryl Streep Facts

Maryl Streep was born in Summit, New Jersey

Maryl Streep Was Born In New Jersey

Hey there, little friends, did you know that Meryl Streep was born in Summit, New Jersey?

She was born on June 22, 1949. 

Her parents were pharmaceutical executive Harry William Streep Jr. and commercial artist and art editor Mary Wilkinson Streep. 

She has two younger brothers, Harry William Streep III, and Dana David Streep. Both are actors.

Streep’s father was of Swiss and German descent, and her mother had German, English, and Irish ancestry.

She was not born Meryl Streep

Her actual name is Mary Louise Streep, as she was named after her mother and grandmother, both named Mary and Louise Buckman👩, her mother’s best friend.

However, her father made up the name Meryl. 

So, she was always called Maryl, never Mary Louise. Meryl is the combination of her first and middle name, Meryl!

Meryl, second cousin of Willian Penn

Meryl is the second cousin, seven times removed, of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania!

Also, the records show that Streep’s family was among the first buyers of land in the state!

Another interesting fact is that her maternal ancestor was Lawrence Wilkinson. He was among the first Europeans to settle in Rhode Island. 

In high school, Streep was a cheerleader and the homecoming queen 

Streep Was A Cheerleader In High School

I am really amazed to explore this interesting fact about Meryl Streep! Want to know? Let’s explore.

This amazing actress was a talented cheerleader and also the homecoming queen👑 when she was in high school.

In high school, Meryl was quite active and took part in different activities, like playing in various musicals as the lead, and joining the cheerleading squad. 

She was also part of the student council and the French club.

In addition, in her senior year of high school, Meryl was also elected as homecoming queen!

She took opera lessons

After singing at a school recital when she was just 12, she started taking lessons regarding opera singing🎼 from famous vocal coach Estelle Liebling.

However, she quit after four years. Later, she admitted that “singing was something I didn’t feel and understand. That was an important lesson – not to do that.”

At first, Streep was not so interested in theater

Despite participating in multiple plays while in school, Streep was not quite interested in theater until in the year 1969, she appeared in the play called Miss Julie at Vassar College!

This earned her attention on campus!

Noting her ability to pick up accents quickly and memorize lines, Clinton J. Atkinson, Vassar drama professor, once noted, “I don’t think anyone ever Maryl acting. She really taught herself.”

Later, she pursued an MFA from the Yale School of Drama! There she appeared in many productions a year with her classmate and friend Sigourney Weaver!

Streep, an Ivy League lady

Streep, An Ivy League Lady

Have you heard this commendable fact about Streep? 

In 1971, after graduating from Vassar with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Streep attended the Yale School of Drama.

There she managed to earn an MFA! However, it wasn’t that easy! 

While appearing in around a dozen productions a year in school, she even had to work as a typist and waitress to pay her tuition!

She even developed ulcers from the stress!

She thought about being a lawyer, once

Once, Meryl even thought about being a lawyer!

So, she considered applying to law school! 

However, she slept in on the morning of her interview! So, she took that as a sign that pursuing law wasn’t the right move for her!

So, she thought that she must continue her pursuit of acting!

Streep’s first job after Yale

Little fact explorers, did you know this interesting fact about Streep?

In 1975, her first job after Yale was at the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center!

There she acted in five plays over a time of six weeks!

Later, she quickly moved to New York City 🌆! There she landed six roles in her first year there!

Streep in New York City 

Streep In New York City

In 1975, after moving to New York City, Streep got a role in “Trelawny of the Wells” at the public theater!

While working on the famous comedic play of Arthur Wing Pinero of 1898, Streep acted opposite two other actors. 

Those actors were also looking to break into show business who were Mandy Patinkin and John Lithgow!

Strep also performed alongside Sam Waterson, Raul Julia, and also John Cazale, her future partner, later that year!

She met Cazale while appearing in Measure for Measure and started a relationship!

Streep was inspired by Robert De Niro

Though initially, Streep had never thought of being an actress, she was still inspired by Robert De Niro’s acting!

Watching the amazing performance of De Niro in 1976’s Taxi Driver had quite a profound effect on Streep.

She even was prompted to remark herself, “That’s the kind of actor I want to be when I grow up.”

First Tony nomination

Streep got her first Tony nomination in the year 1976 for her amazing performance in a Broadway double bill of 27 Wagons Full of Cotton by Tennessee Williams and A Memory of Two Mondays by Arthur Miller.

However, Streep lost to Shirley Knight for the award for Best Featured Actress in a Play.

Streep and her answer in Italian

Streep And Her Answer In Italian

I am really surprised to learn this fact about Streep!

In the year 1976, Streep unsuccessfully auditioned for the lead role in a remake of King Kong by director Dino De Laurentiis.

As she stood before the director, Laurentiis, he said to his son in Italian, “This is so ugly. Why did you bring me this?”

Streep understood this and responded to the man saying, “I’m very sorry that I’m not as beautiful as I should be, but you know – this is it. This is what you get.” 😄 

Later, the role of Dwan went to Jessica Lange!

Streep’s first role in Julia

In the year 1977’s movie Julia 🎥, starring Jane Fonda!

However, it was not a big role! Actually, not only did she appear during a flashback scene, but also most part of her lines were cut out!

That wasn’t even the worst of it; as Streep said, “I had a bad wig and they took the words from the scene I shot with Jane, and put them in my mouth in a different scene.”

She further added, “I thought, I’ve made a terrible mistake, no more movies. I hate this business.”

Fortunately, she continued her acting on the New York stage and got her next role in a film!

First Emmy Award for Streep for her polished Polish

Little fact-enthusiasts, have you heard this surprising fact about Streep?

In what might be her greatest cinematic performance, talented Streep really shined in her role as a Polish holocaust survivor in 1982’s “Sophie’s Choice.” 

Along with her raw emotion, Streep was highly praised for her amazing and authentic-sounding Polish accent!

This happened thanks to her incredible ability to mimic accents! 

However, also the fact that she actually learned how to speak both German and Polish in preparation for the role!

Streep and stage performance in The Cherry Orchard

Meryl Streep's Stage Performance In The Cherry Orchard

Robert De Niro was really impressed with Streep’s acting in the stage production of The Cherry Orchard😲!

So, Niro wanted Streep for his upcoming movie, The Deer Hunter!

Cazale was also in the film’s cast, and as he’d been diagnosed with lung cancer, Streep took the role of the girlfriend!

She did this to remain by Cazale’s side during the filming.

She nursed Cazale until his death

During the filming of the miniseries Holocaust, Streep had to live in Austria and Germany, while Cazale stayed in New York!

When she returned, she learned that Cazale’s illness had progressed severely!!

So, she nursed him until he passed away⚰️ on March 12, 1978.

Streep was even left to settle the medical bills of Cazale, which were very expensive! 

As a result, Streep was evicted from her apartment. Later, her brother and his friend Don Gummer helped her out!

Dingoes and babies

Like me, you may have heard the line, “A dingo ate my baby,” or something like it! Right? However, there is a secret about it!

The source of this famous line is the movie in 1988 named “A Cry in the Dark.” 

The movie tells the real-life story of an Australian lady who was wrongfully convicted of murdering her infant!

Actually, the infant daughter was snatched by a dingo!!

The lines in the film actually were, “The dingo’s got my baby.”

In reality, neither the character nor Streep actually used the wording of the often-misquoted line!

Streep married sculptor Don Gummer

Streep Married Sculptor Don Gummer

Streep married sculptor Don Gummer just six months after Cazale’s demise!

Later, the couple welcomes four kids into the world! 

They are son Henry Wolfe Gummer and daughters Mary Willa “Mamie” Gummer, Grace Jane Gummer, and Louisa Jacobson Gummer.

Mary and Grace are actresses, while Louisa is a model!

Streep has even worked with her daughters! With Mary, she appeared in Heartburn, Evening and Ricki, and the Flash, while with Grace, she appeared in The House of the Spirits!

Streep acted against the type

I am really impressed to explore the amazing talent of Streep! Want to know?

By the year 1990, Streep started to fear that she was getting typecast into roles that were oftentimes depressing and quite dramatic.

Thus, she sought out and accepted some roles over the next five years that displayed her action/adventure chops and also her comedic side!

She appeared in She-Devil (1989), Postcards from the Edge (1990), Defending Your Life (1991), Death Becomes Her (1992) 🎬, The River Wild (1994), and even a part of voice acting in an episode of “The Simpsons” in 1994, as Jessica Lovejoy, Bart’s crush!!

Streep’s experience working with Woody Allen

Meryl has acted only once with director Woody Allen in Manhattan.

About her experience, she stated that the controversial director didn’t give her a complete script and shared with her just the six pages, including her scenes!

In addition, he even refused to let her improvise a single word!!

The most difficult role of Meryl

Most Difficult Role Of Meryl Streep

We sometimes think that emotionally taxing roles are the most difficult ones, right? However, that is not always true! 

Streep’s most difficult roles can be enjoyed in the comedic film, “Death Becomes Her.”

The seventh-month shoot of this film was one of the longest shooting times of Meryl’s career! 

Also, as she was allergic to several cosmetics, special prosthetics had to be made to give her an older look!

However, all those troubles actually paid off, as the movie banked $15.1 million💰 in its first five days!

Streep applied to trademark her name

Meryl Streep has filed an application to trademark her name officially! She filed the application with the United States Trademark Office!

By doing this, she would have exclusive rights to utilize her name in the entertainment industry!

The application referred to televised, live, and even movie appearances, autograph signings, and even speaking arrangements to prevent anyone else from making money off of their brands!

In this way, she protected her name from any unauthorized commercial use.

Streep left her first Oscar in the washroom

Leaving the first Oscar in the washroom!! Can you imagine it??

Yes, it’s true! In 1979, Streep got her first Oscar for her role in Kramer vs. Kramer! However, after reading the acceptance speech, she left it in the washroom

It was a really hilarious encounter! And she remembered about the trophy only after someone shouted that someone had left their Oscar!

Streep donated her Devil Wears Prada wardrobe to charity

Streep Donated Her Prada Wardrobe

Streep’s role as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada was one of those roles which we all loved a lot, right?

As the film’s focus was high-end fashion, it had a huge budget for costumes! 

Thus, many costume designers donated accessories and clothes 👗 to the film!

Despite these loans, over one million dollars was spent on costumes!!

However, instead of keeping those attractive clothes, Streep donated her dresses to a charity auction!

Some of the proceeds went to Dress for Success! 

It was an organization that helped low-income women in their struggle for career development!

Summing up

Meryl Streep…it isn’t just the person, but the facts about her are really wonderful! 😲!!

We have tried to gather as much information about him as possible…so that your treasure of knowledge is enhanced.

Hope you like them!!!

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