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Meryl Streep: Actress, Mother, and Humanatarian

Updated on July 17, 2013
Meryl Streep on the 56th International Film Festival in San Sebastian (Spain).
Meryl Streep on the 56th International Film Festival in San Sebastian (Spain). | Source

An Honor Like No Other

In 2011, Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said, "This year, the Kennedy Center celebrated its 40th anniversary by selecting five extraordinary individuals whose collective artistry has contributed significantly to the cultural life of our nation and the world."

Those who were honored were singer Barbara Cook, singer/songwriter, Neil Diamond, Violinist Yo-Yo Ma, Saxophonist Sonny Rollins, and actress Meryl Streep.

Every year, I make it a point to watch the Kennedy Center Honors, because it is the elite of award recognitions that can be given to anyone in any profession.

It recognizes those who have primarily dedicated their lives, hearts, and souls to their work.

I was thrilled to see who the Honoree’s were that year. All of whom were deserving of this prestigious award. However, I was most thrilled to see my favorite actress of all time sitting in that balcony, Meryl Streep.

Collage created by Rusticliving
Collage created by Rusticliving

Meryl Streep Kennedy Center Honors

The Devil Wears Prada

Nominated for "The Devil Wears Prada"
Nominated for "The Devil Wears Prada" | Source

The Actress

Ms. Streep holds the record of the most acting Academy Award nominations received by any actor with 16; she has won twice (Best Supporting Actress for Kramer vs. Kramer in 1979 and Best Actress for Sophie's Choice in 1982). She also holds the record for the most Golden Globe Award nominations with 26, and the record for the most Golden Globe wins with seven. She is the most critically acclaimed actress of the modern era.

I have loved and adored Streep’s work ever since I saw her in “The Deer Hunter” and Kramer vs. Kramer”. I wanted to be just like her. I have directed community theatre and musical theatre for nearly 30 years and so many times I would use her acting influence while directing my shows. What a difference it would make.

Meryl Streep was born Mary Louise Streep on June 22, 1949, in Summit, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Harry Streep, Jr., a pharmaceutical executive, and Mary Wilkinson, an artist and former art editor.

Meryl is the perfect example of what a true actress would endure, sacrifice and eventually earn with her talent as an actress. Graduating with a B.A. in drama from Vasser College in 1971 and then earning her M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama in 1975, Meryl would play a variety of roles onstage, from Shakespearean heroines to 90-years olds. It was apparent right from the start that this beautiful ambitious actress was destined for greatness.

Streep’s first Academy Award nomination would be in 1978 for “The Deer Hunter” and then one year later, would go on to win her first Academy Award for “Best Supporting Actress” for her role as Joanna Kramer in Kramer vs. Kramer.

Actors and directors are enthralled by her. "Her training and her experience have taken her to a point where she can be effortless with a lot of things other people have to work really hard at," says her Out of Africa co-star Robert Redford. Director Alan J. Pakula said, "If there's a heaven for directors, it would be to direct Meryl Streep your whole life."

Streep’s amazing talent allows her ability to draw herself into every character she so chooses to play. No matter what movies you have seen her in, that natural ability has made you cry, laugh, sing, dance, and feel every emotion of the character she plays.

My favorite movie to this day, is “Bridges of Madison County” with Clint Eastwood. No matter how many times I watch that movie, I feel her characters pain, dilemma, her joy, her commitment to her family and the ultimate sacrifice she made as a woman.

Award winning actress and humanitarian, Meryl Streep
Award winning actress and humanitarian, Meryl Streep

The Humanitarian

A great humanitarian, Meryl has contributed to the Prince’s Trust, which helps disadvantaged young people in the United Kingdom. Streep has also endorsed the cause Stand Up To Cancer, and supports Artists for Peace and Justice which is currently directing 100% of its donated funds to help restore Haiti.

Congratulations Ms. Streep. You are the epitome of what Hollywood is all about. You bring to the table what other actresses only hope to bring in their lifetime of acting.

You are a class act with a brilliance and sheen that no other can match and a beautiful human being who constantly finds a way to help the world be a better place.

Meryl Streep Movies

What is your all-time favorite Meryl Streep Movie?

See results

Honorary Harvard Degree

Meryl Streep receiving honorary degree from Harvard University. Harvard Commencement 2010
Meryl Streep receiving honorary degree from Harvard University. Harvard Commencement 2010 | Source
Elizabeth Rayen
Elizabeth Rayen | Source

About the Author

Lisa has directed and acted in musical theatre for nearly 30 years. Her musical upbringing allowed her to pursue her career in teaching and directing and continues to direct shows today. As the owner of 2 online Home Décor sites, Lisa’s passion for Rustic Living all begins with her love for the home, outdoors, and her many hobbies. Lisa loves to laugh, and she share’s that love through her comedic hubs centered on her MOM. Lisa’s passions include writing, directing, acting, photography, singing, cooking, crafts, gardening, and home improvement, including decorating. Lisa also writes under her penned name, Elizabeth Rayen.

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Meryl Streep: Actress, Mother, Humanatarian

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    • Rusticliving profile image

      Elizabeth Rayen 6 years ago from California

      LOL geegee! I get that same reaction! :0 I'm so happy you enjoyed the hub. SHe is an amzing woman and actress. Thank you so much for your comment!

    • geegee77 profile image

      geegee77 6 years ago from The Lone Star State!!

      What an awesome tribute to my favorite actress of all time too!! I love her movies, and I have to say "Bridges of Madison County" is my favorite one of her movies too, I can watch it a million times and not get tired of it, in fact I was watching it the other night and my son walked in and said "are you serious mom, again??" lol great hub I enjoyed it very much :) ge

    • Rusticliving profile image

      Elizabeth Rayen 6 years ago from California

      Oh I agree about Neil Diamond Sunshine. His tribute was amazing as well. I love different points of view. It never ceases to amaze me how one can feel about a movie or food or music, etc. compared to another. My favorite movie of Streep's WAS Bridges of Madison County, however, I never read the book either. I'm wondering if I would have felt differently if I had.

      Thanks for your comment and your point of view my dear!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I watched this program and enjoyed it! Neil Diamond's tribute was my favorite!! I know which movie is my least favorite of Meryl's ... Bridges Over Madison County BUT it wasn'ther fault it's just that the book was so much better! Meryl is superb in every film she's in! Rock star status!:)

    • Rusticliving profile image

      Elizabeth Rayen 6 years ago from California

      Happy New Year to you as well my dear Epi. You are correct, The River Wild was the movie. Again, how do you choose a favorite? So many wonderful films. Well...let me tell you how the chili came out. I actually made it for New Year's Day. The garlic and honey brought the flavor out like I've never tasted before. I also made it a little more spicey than I usually do so the honey would have a chance to compliment it. It was amazing and I served it with warm rolls. Thank you so much for sharing it with me.



    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago the Kennedy Center Honors gala show on TV - I try to watch it every year .....and this is a fitting tribute by you as well .... there are so many favorite films by Ms. Streep - I loved her in Prairie Home Companion by the late Robert Altman and the film where she and her family are kidnapped by Kevin Bacon in a white water raft - I forget the title - River Wild or something like that - by the way how did your chili turn out ????? And a sincere happy new year to you and your lovely mum with warm wishes for your continued health and happiness and prosperity too in 2012

      lake erie time 12:49pm

    • Rusticliving profile image

      Elizabeth Rayen 6 years ago from California

      Thank you missolive. I totally forgot about the video capsule. Much better, don't you agree?

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 6 years ago from Texas

      oh - I see the link now - thank you.

      I think it would be a great idea if you would embed the YouTube video

    • Rusticliving profile image

      Elizabeth Rayen 6 years ago from California

      Thank you missolive, I think I have every movie but one of Streeps. I agree on Diamond as well. I used his music a lot while I was DJing back in the 80's.

      Yo-Yo Ma is just an incredible musician. It was a wonderful program. I've added the a link in my hub to Youtube with her tribute.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 6 years ago from Texas

      Meryl Streep is a fantastic actress. I have always enjoyed watching her. She is very diverse too! I agree with vocalcoach it would be very difficult to choose just one of her movies. I'm glad to hear she was chosen as an honoree - well deserved. I'm a big Yo Yo Ma and Neil Diamond fan too! I'll have to see if I can locate a recording of this online - I missed it this year!

      Great hub on a great actress.

      Voted up!

    • Rusticliving profile image

      Elizabeth Rayen 6 years ago from California

      I agree VC. How do you choose? "Sophies Choice" was amazing. "So was Julie and Julia." The ability she has to engulf herself into a character is what makes her so acclaimed in her work.

      I also love her laughter. So genuine and she LOVES to laugh, outloud! Thanks for the vote up!



    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Well I had to vote up on this wonderful tribute to Meryl Streep. My favorite movie is Sophies Choice, though its hard to pick just one favorite.


    • Rusticliving profile image

      Elizabeth Rayen 6 years ago from California

      Thank you LORD. I agree. The Devil Wears Prada was amazing. I'm looking forward to seeing her new film, "The Iron Lady" where she portrays Margaret Thatcher.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 6 years ago from New York

      KRAMER VS. KRAMER 1980?

      I saw the movie and I loved it. The devil wears Prad was awesome and like you said, her Characters have won her a full recognition as an actress. Voted up!



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