Meryl Streep is one of the highly respected actresses in Hollywood. She’s in fact, a living legend in the industry with an acting career spanning over five decades. Streep has continuously surprised everyone with how well she can transform to better portray a character, and has deployed her skills in critically acclaimed movies such as The Deer Hunter, Kramer Vs Kramer, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Sophie’s Choice, and Silk Wood. Meryl Streep is the only actress so far with a record-breaking 18 Oscar Award nominations, winning 3 and 32 Golden Globe Award nominations, winning 8.

Meryl Streep on winning one of her Golden Globe Awards
Meryl Streep on winning one of her Golden Globe Awards

As of 2020, Streep’s approximate net worth is at $100 million. She is known to be one of the highest-paid and accomplished actresses of Hollywood. We highlight every interesting aspect of her life and career below.

Early Life

Meryl Streep was born as Mary Louise Streep on June 22nd, 1949 in Summit, New Jersey to parents Mary Wolf Wilkinson, a commercial artist and editor and Harry William Streep, a pharmaceutical executive. Her father was of Swiss and German ancestry and her mother descended from English, German and Irish ancestry. She has two brothers, Dana Davis Streep and Harry William Streep III who are both actors as well. Meryl’s mother was her early mentor and her initial inspiration for acting. She grew up in New Jersey as Presbyterian. Meryl Streep is the godmother of Billie Lourd, daughter of actress Carrie Fisher who is her close friend.


Streep attended Cedar Hill Elementary School and Bernard’s High School. She enrolled in Vassar College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. Afterward, she received a degree in Applied Master of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama.

During her time at Yale, she was a cheerleader for Bernard’s High School and did several dramas and plays. She got her start on stage performing in school plays in Basking Ridge, New Jersey in the 1950s and 60s, and took dance classes from Choreographer Came de Lavallade. In 1981, she attended Dartmouth College as an exchange student and was awarded with Honorary degree of Doctor of Arts.

Meryl Streep in her younger days
Meryl Streep in her younger days

Career Beginnings

Meryl Streep began her acting career in 1975 through stage by performing in many theatre productions of New York and New Jersey. Her professional stage debut was Trelawny of the Wells. In 1976, she appeared in Memory of Two Mondays and 27 Wagons Full of Cotton for which she received Tony Award nominations.

Meryl made her feature film debut in 1977 in Julia at the age of 26. She featured alongside Jane Fonda. The producers of the movie edited most of the scenes she appeared in and her brief onscreen time left a negative impact on her. She stated later that the filming was a dreadful experience.

Although her experience from her first film work was rather awkward, Streep learnt a great deal from it and by the time she got her next role, she was able to get her acts together. Thus, in 1978, she featured on the movie, The Deer Hunter, from which she earned her first Oscar Award nomination. She also played a leading role in Holocaust the same year and won her first Primetime Emmy Award for it. These were indeed huge breakthroughs for Meryl Streep which paved way to greater accomplishments in her career.

Major Hits Of Meryl Streep’s Career

Meryl Streep has taken a wide range of roles throughout her long career which has helped her mold her persona over the years.She is known for adding unique touches to her characters through different accents to make her acts more convincing.

In 1979, Streep was cast opposite Dustin Hoffman in Kramer Vs Kramer and played an unhappily married woman who abandons her child and husband. She won Academy Award for the best-supporting actress and her first Oscar for the film.

By 1980, Meryl appeared in several movies such as, Plenty, Falling in Love, Out of Africa, Ironweed, and Heartburn. She starred as Sophie Zawistowskia in Sophie’s Choice in1982 where she played a polish immigrant, having mastered the Polish and German accents for the role.

Meryl has featured in highly successful works such as Death Becomes Her (1992) , and the comedy, The Bridges of Madison County (1995) which was the highest earner of its time and fetched her huge commercial success. She also played some unsuccessful roles in different flop movies such as Postcards from the Edge, and Defending your Life. Streep is also known for her TV projects, Holocaust (1978), Angels in America (2003), and Big Little Lies (2019).

Meryl Streep acting
Meryl Streep acting

After experiencing a bumpy time of her career, Streep got a key role in the blockbuster movie AI Artificial Intelligence. She rose to stardom by starring in The Devil Wears Prada (2006), Mama Mia! (2008), It’s Complicated, Julie & Julia (2009), The Iron Lady (2011), and Into the Woods (2014). These latter works helped her rebuild her career and established her as one of the most eminent actresses in Hollywood.

Meryl Streep Net Worth

Meryl Streep is a rare gem in Hollywood looking at her extensive career. She is one of the highest-paid and accomplished actresses in the industry. Her net worth is approximately $100 million currently which is not surprising when one considers her long spanning career coupled with her great acting skills.

Streep has accumulated her fortune mainly through her acting career. She supposedly charges between $1 million to $5 million for a single movie. Reports have it she made $825,000 per episode of J. J. Abrams show, The Nix, $5 million from Ricki and the Flash, and $1 million for Big Little Lies. She is known to also make money from endorsements, though not all the sources of her income are known to the public.

Meryl Streep’s House

In 2014, she sold her New York City townhouse for $9.1 million and quickly moved to another amazing property, the luxurious $8.95 million penthouses in Tribeca. Her penthouse is located in the newly built river lofts building which offers breathtaking views of the Hudson River. She lives with her husband, Don Gummer in the almost 4,000 square foot residence with 10-foot ceilings and an integrated sound system. Her bedroom features an en-suite dressing room and a limestone spa bathroom. Streep is an active philanthropist and has given millions of dollars in charitable donations. She is still very much active in acting and enthralling the audience with her consistent performances.

Upcoming Projects

In March 2020, Streep confirmed her three upcoming films which will be released by different streaming services. She’ll also appear on Netflix, The Poem by Ryan Murphy, and will star in HBO Max comedy film Let them Talk. Also she will be playing voice character in the animated short film Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Apple TV+.

Interesting Facts About Meryl Streep

  • She is distantly related to the founder of Pennsylvania. Her father Harry was of European ancestry with lineage tracing back to Germany which is where her great-grandfather was living before arriving in the United States; from her maternal side, she is a distant relative of William Wren, who is the known founder of the state of Pennsylvania.
  • Meryl used to work as a hotel waitress at Hotel Somerset in Somerville, New Jersey. This happened in her early days way before any acting roles came her way.
  • She almost went to law school but accidentally overslept on her interview day. This she took as a sign that she was meant to do something else.
  • Meryl Streep asked for double pay for her role in The Devil Wears Prada which is one of the most iconic roles in her entire career.
  • In Kramer Vs Kramer, she wrote her dialogs for two key scenes.
  • She left her Oscar Award in the bathroom on the top of a toilet tank perhaps because of her excitement.
  • When Streep was 12, she took formal lessons and wanted to become an opera singer but quit after four years.
  • She took her inspiration to become an actress from Robert De Niro’s performance in Taxi Driver which had a profound impact on her.
  • At the beginning of her career, Meryl slept in Green Park under a tree when she first travelled to London in her 20s. She used to busk in the streets to afford food and a bed to sleep in.
  • Streep has a photographic memory and known for her ability to imitate a wide range of accents. Throughout her career, she has used Australian, British, Danish, Italian, and Bronx New York accents among many others.
  • Meryl Streep is the most nominated actress in the world.

Meryl Streep Husband, Don Gummer

Prior to meeting her husband, Don Gummer, Meryl Streep had a three-year live-in relationship with her then lover and fellow actor, John Cazale until he died from lung cancer in 1978. She met Don shortly after the death of her boyfriend. Streep was 29 years old at the time and was kicked out of their shared apartment. Her brother, Harry came to meet her with his friend, Don and that’s where their amazing love story began. Six months later, on 30th September 1978, Streep married Don Gummer in the garden of her parents’ home. The couple has been together for more than four decades now.

Meryl Streep with husband, Don Gummer
Meryl Streep with husband, Don Gummer

Don Gummer is an American sculptor born on December 12, 1946. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Arts from the Yale School of Arts. Dozens of his works have been featured at different museums and art galleries in the East Coast and Midwest. Gummer and Streep are active humanitarians and associated with several Arts organizations, and educational institutions such as Vassar College, Silver Mountain Arts Foundation, and Opus School in Harlem.

In 1985, the family moved into a private estate in Connecticut worth $1.8 million. The property has an extensive art studio to facilitate Don’s work. In 1990, the family moved to a $3 million mansion in Brentwood, Los Angeles, but ultimately moved back to Connecticut. Even with her crazy fame which has continued for decades, Streep still manages to have a fairly normal personal life.

Meryl Streep Children

Streep and Don have three beautiful daughters: Mamie Willa Gummer, Grace Jane Gummer, and Louisa Jacobson Gummer and one son: Henry Wolfe Gummer. All their children are following the artistic footsteps of their parents. All of the girls are actresses while Louisa also doubles a model. Henry is a musician. They have all been making red carpet appearances along with their mother. Here are some bit more details about them:

Meryl Streep with her husband, Don, and children
Meryl Streep with her husband, Don, and children

Henry Wolfe Gummer

Henry Gummer was born in 1979. He is the oldest of Streep’s children. He followed a slightly different path and became an accomplished musician. He is a co-founder of New York indie-pop band, Bravo Silva. He has released various albums like The Blue House, Wolfe Sings Field, and Linda Vista. He was named ‘Artist to Watch’ by the Los Angeles Times.

Mamie Willa Gummer

Mary (Mamie) Gummer was born in 1983. She is an actress, and made her debut when she was just 20 months old in the movie, Heartburn (1986). Her role was credited as Natalie Stern in the film to avoid nepotism accusations. In 2007, she appeared in a lead role in the Evening with her mother. Over the years, she has starred in many films and in Tv series such as John Adams in which she played the wife of John Adams. She also appeared in Side Effects, and Ricki and the Flash.

Grace Jane Gummer

Grace Jane Gummer was born in 1986. She made her movie debut at the age of eight years by portraying the younger versions of her mother, Meryl Streep in the movie, The House of the Spirits. Grace started her career professionally in 2008 after graduation from college, starring in The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents. She has played recurring roles in The American Horror Story: Freak Show, The Newsroom, and Mr. Robot. In 2011, she received a Theatre World Award for her Broadway debut in the stage rivival of the play, Arcadia. She was briefly married to musician, Tay Strathairn in 2019 but seperated later the same year.

Louisa Jacobson Gummer

Louisa Jacobson Gummer born in 1991, is a model with the acting bug. She is known through her modeling campaign with Christian Dior. Louisa, has so far been an on-stage actress, having had her debut with the stage adaptation of Native Son. She also starred in the stage plays, Member of the Wedding in 2018 and the Old Globe production of Romeo and Juliet in 2019. Louisa has plans to foray into Hollywood proper like the rest of the family and is set to make her TV debut by HBO’s The Gilded Age.

How Much Meryl Streep Makes Per Film?

From popular reports, major Hollywood stars like Streep earn millions of dollars per movie. Aside this, Streep is also makes considerable amount through the small screens. Reportedly she made a staggering $825,000 per episode of J. J. Abram’s The Nix.

Is Meryl Streep The Highest-paid Actress In Hollywood?

Streep is constantly ranked on the list of the world’s highest-paid actresses. Forbes reported that she is being paid $10 million per film.

Political & Religious Orientation

Meryl Streep grew up as Presbyterian. However, she currently follows no religious doctrine and does not believe in the power of prayer.

Politically, Streep calls herself a part of the American Left. In the 2016 Democratic National Election, she gave a speech in support of Hillary Clinton. Streep gave a very political speech in 2017 during her reception of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement at 74th Golden Globe that obliquely criticized Donald Trump for mocking a disabled reporter, saying Trump outranked in privilege, power, and capacity to fight back. She also criticized Trump on his hardline stance on immigration. Trump responded and called her one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood on his twitter account.

Does Meryl Streep Have An EGOT?

There are several prestigious awards in Hollywood, but becoming an EGOT winner is definitely the toughest. Meryl has 21 Oscar Award nominations and grabbed three of the statuettes. She has won eight Golden Globes and three Emmy Awards as well. However, the versatile actress has not won Grammy and Tony Awards as yet. Nonetheless, with her excellent acting skills, we hope she will surely get her hands on the remaining two babies in the near future.

Meryl Streep, multiple award winning actress
Meryl Streep, multiple award winning actress

Honorary Awards

Streep was given AFI Life Achievement Award and Gala Tribute from the Film Society of Lincoln Center in 2004. In 2011, she was awarded the Kennedy Center Honor for her contribution to American Culture, honored with the National Medal of Arts (2011), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2014), as well as the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award (2017).

Despite her huge achievements and contributions in the film industry, Meryl Streep has always been down to earth and modest about her success. She said she has no specific method of acting and she learned it all from her struggles in her early career.

Body Stats

Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Weight58 kg

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