"You can't get spoiled if you do your own ironing." –Meryl Streep

That quote just about sums it up when it comes to glimpsing inside the character and the ego that make up Meryl Streep. The first one, character, she seems to have an overabundance of. As for the second one, ego, well, if a star like her still does her own ironing, I’m guessing it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s not over inflated.

We all know Hollywood is a haven for those prima donna types. The ones whose careers crash and burn in the blink of an eye and who you can see gracing the cover of the National Enquirer and other assorted rags as you stand in line at the check out counter of your local grocery store. They’re the ones screaming for their own private trailers on movie sets and who complain when their pet poodle isn’t being regularly bathed in Evian.

Meryl Streep is not in that league. Somehow, incredibly, she’s managed to avoid the intrusiveness of the paparazzi and the wagging tongues of the gossip mongers all the while setting the record for most Academy Award nominations (14, eleven for Best Actress and three for Best Supporting Actress) by an actress. She’s not what you call a drop dead beauty that has to rely on her tits, a foul mouth, or the wizardry of special effects the way many actresses that are her junior seem call their bread and butter. Instead, she relies on her wits and her ability as an actress to make the most of whatever role she’s been cast in.

If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the titles in the filmography section of this write up. You won’t see too many exploding buildings, car chases, alien spaceships or crazed axe murderers in that line up.

Mary Louise Streep was born in Summit New Jersey on June 22, 1949. Maybe her parents helped foster her love of acting when they enrolled her in school plays and encouraged her to take operatic voice lessons while she was still in grade school. From there it was off to high school where she continued to grace the stage and even found time to be a cheerleader and her school’s homecoming queen. After graduating, she went off to Vassar College to study drama and from there on to Dartmouth University and finally finished her studies at Yale.

With those impressive credentials under her belt, Streep headed for the neon lights of Broadway to start her career as a stage actress. One of her first performances was in an off-Broadway adaptation of a Tennessee William play called 27 Wagons Full of Cotton. Her efforts were rewarded when she received a Tony Award nomination.

Around 1977 the small screen saw Streep take to film for the first time. She appeared in one of those made for TV movies called “The Deadliest Season”. That year she made her big screen debut and held her own in a film called Julia where she played opposite established Hollywood stars the likes of Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave. I won’t go into too much detail from there, you can read the filmography for yourselves but needless to say, her career took off and it looks like it’s in no danger of slowing down.

While filming the The Deer Hunter, Streep met and fell in love with and was engaged to fellow actor John Cazale. You might not know the name but if you’ve seen the movie The Godfather, Cazale was the one who played the ill fated Fredo Corleone. His fate wouldn’t turn out to be much better. Shortly after he and Streep were married, Cazale was diagnosed with bone cancer and died in March of 1978. Shunning the stars chasers and suitors of Hollywood, Streep married a man who had nothing to do with the film making business named Dan Gummer later in the year. As of this writing, they are still together and along the way managed to have four kids.

In my personal opinion, Meryl Streep is one class act. In the world of show-biz, she’s one of the most widely respected talents in the industry. Many of today’s “stars” such as Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie could learn a thing or two by following her example.

Filmography

The Ant Bully (2006)
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
A Prairie Home Companion (2006)
Prime (2005)
Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events (2004)
The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
Flora Plum (2004)
Stuck on You (2003)
The Hours (2003)
Adaptation (2003)
AI: Artificial Intelligence (voice) (2001)
Music Of The Heart (1999)
One True Thing (1998)
Dancing At Lughnasa (1998)
Marvin's Room (1996)
Before And After (1996)
The Bridges Of Madison County (1995)
The River Wild (1994)
The House Of The Spirits (1993)
Death Becomes Her (1992)
Defending Your Life (1991)
Postcards From The Edge (1990)
She-Devil (1989)
A Cry In A Dark (1988)
Ironweed (1987)
Heartburn (1986)
Out Of Africa (1985)
Plenty (1985)
Falling In Love (1984)
Silkwood (1983)
Sophie's Choice (1982)
Still Of The Night (1982)
The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)
Kramer Vs Kramer (1979)
The Seduction Of Joe Tynan (1979)
Manhattan (1979)
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Julia (1977)

Source(s)

http://www.tiscali.co.uk/entertainment/film/biographies/meryl_streep_films.html
http://movies.aol.com/celebrity/meryl-streep/68676/biography