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Meryl Streep
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Meryl Streep (born Mary Louise Streep on June 22, 1949) is a double Academy Award winning American actress who has performed in movies, television and the theater. She is the most nominated performer in Academy Award history with 13 nominations. She is widely regarded as one of the most respected and talented actresses of her generation. Streep made her professional stage debut in 1971's The Playboy of Seville and her screen debut came in 1977's made-for-television movie The Deadliest Season.

Streep made her movie debut in 1977's Julia. Both critical and commercial success came quickly with roles in The Deer Hunter and Kramer vs. Kramer, the former giving Streep her first Oscar nomination and the latter giving her her first win.

Streep was born Mary Louise Streep in Summit, New Jersey, USA. Her father, Harry Streep, Jr., was a pharmaceutical executive and her mother, Mary, was a commercial artist of Irish, Swiss, and English descent. Streep has said that her father's family is of Dutch descent, and that the family's original surname, Messerschnitz, was changed to Streep in the Netherlands by her Sephardic Jewish ancestors,[1][2] although census records indicate that Streep's ancestry is German and Swiss rather than Dutch.[3]

Streep was raised in Bernardsville, New Jersey. She received her A.B. in Drama at Vassar College and earned a M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama at Yale University.

In her first feature film, Julia (1977), she had a small but pivotal role during a flashback scene. The Deer Hunter (1978) was her second feature film and it earned Streep her first Academy Award nomination, in the category of Best Supporting Actress. The following year, she won an Academy Award for her role opposite Dustin Hoffman in Kramer vs. Kramer (Best Supporting Actress, 1979). In 1982, she would win again, for Sophie's Choice (Best Actress, 1982).

In 1978, she won her first Emmy Award, for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie, for the miniseries Holocaust. A year later she appeared in her only Woody Allen film, Manhattan.

Streep was engaged to The Deer Hunter co-star John Cazale until his death from bone cancer on March 12th, 1978. In September 1978, she married sculptor Don Gummer. They have four children: Henry (born in 1979), Mamie (born in 1983), Grace (born in 1986), and Louisa (born in 1991). Mamie Gummer has chosen acting as a career, and made her off-Broadway debut as Lucy in a 2005 production of Mr. Marmalade at the Laura Pels Theatre.

She currently holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations of any actor, having been nominated for thirteen Academy Awards since her first nomination in 1979 for The Deer Hunter.

Meryl Streep is also currently the second most nominated performer for a Golden Globe Award (she has twenty nominations to Jack Lemmon's twenty-two).

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