Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep (born June 22, 1949) is an American actress of stage and screen, and philanthropist. Cited in the media as the "best actress of her generation", - a designation to which she objects - Streep is particularly known for her versatility in her roles, transformation into the characters she plays, and her accent adaptation. She made her professional stage debut in The Playboy of Seville in 1971, and in 1976 received a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play for A Memory of Two Mondays/27 Wagons Full of Cotton. She made her screen debut in the 1977 television film The Deadliest Season, and made her film debut later that same year in Julia. In 1978, she won an Emmy Award for her role in the miniseries Holocaust, and received her first Academy Award nomination for The Deer Hunter. Nominated for 20 Academy Awards in total, Streep has more nominations than any other actor or actress; she won Best Supporting Actress for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), and Best Actress for Sophie's Choice (1982) and The Iron Lady (2011).
Streep is one of the six actors to have won three or more competitive Academy Awards for acting. Her other nominated roles are The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), Silkwood (1983), Out of Africa (1985), Ironweed (1987), Evil Angels (1988), Postcards from the Edge (1990), The Bridges of Madison County (1995), One True Thing (1998), Music of the Heart (1999), Adaptation (2002), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), Doubt (2008), Julie & Julia (2009), August: Osage County (2013), Into the Woods (2014) and Florence Foster Jenkins (2016). She returned to the stage for the first time in over 20 years in The Public Theater's 2001 revival of The Seagull, won a second Emmy Award in 2004 for the HBO miniseries Angels in America (2003), and starred in the Public Theater's 2006 production of Mother Courage and Her Children.
Streep has also received 30 Golden Globe nominations, winning eight—more nominations, and more competitive (non-honorary) wins than any other actor (male or female). Her work has also earned her two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Cannes Film Festival award, five New York Film Critics Circle Awards, two BAFTA awards, two Australian Film Institute awards, five Grammy Award nominations, and five Drama Desk Award nominations, among several others. She was awarded the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2004, the Gala Tribute from the Film Society of Lincoln Center in 2008, and the Kennedy Center Honor in 2011 for her contribution to American culture through performing arts. President Barack Obama awarded her the 2010 National Medal of Arts and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2003, the government of France made her a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters. In 2017, Streep was awarded the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award.