Streep first studied at Vassar, qualifying in the highly-competitive honors exchange program to Dartmouth, where she studied playwrighting, as well as set and costume design. Following her graduation from Vassar, Streep attended the prestigious Yale Drama School, earning a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1975. After a summer with the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, she moved to New York and promptly landed the lead role in Joseph Papp's Lincoln Center production of "Trelawney of the Wells".
Ms. Streep's astonishing versatility surfaced early, as she volleyed same-night performances as a sophisticated secretary in Arthur Miller's "A Memory of Two Mondays" and a slovenly floozy in Tennessee Williams' "27 Wagons Full of Cotton", resulting in the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Theater World Award and a Tony nomination. During her first season in New York, Streep's playbill included Shakespeare Festival productions of "Henry V" and "Measure for Measure", followed by starring roles in the Broadway musical "Happy End" and a Obie-winning performance in "Alice at the Palace". During this period, Streep also won an Emmy for her starring role in the television mini-series "Holocaust", and initiated her feature career in the Academy Award-winning film Julia.
Streep received her first Oscar nomination for her second screen role in The Deer Hunter, followed by Woody Allen's Manhattan and Jerry Schatzberg's The Seduction of Joe Tynan. In the same year, Streep starred in the Joseph Papp's Public Theatre production of "The Taming of the Shrew", and opposite Dustin Hoffman in Kramer vs. Kramer (for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress).
She was the most prolific actress of the 1980's for her starring roles in The French Lieutenant's Woman (third Oscar nomination); Sophie's Choice (Academy Award for Best Actress); Silkwood (fourth Oscar nomination); opposite Robert DeNiro in Falling in Love (winning a David di Donatello Award, the Italian equivalent of the Oscar); the Fred Schepsi adaptation of David Hare's "Plenty"; Sydney Pollack's romantic biopic Out of Africa (fifth Oscar nomination); opposite Jack Nicholson in the screen adaptation of Nora Ephron's autobiographical Heartburn; the film adaptation of William Kennedy's Ironweed (sixth Oscar nomination); A Cry in the Dark (Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival, New York Film Critics Award, and her seventh Oscar nomination); and as the home-wrecker romance novelist in the darkly comedic She-Devil (Golden Globe nomination).
In the 90's, Streep has starred as a vain, treacherous actress in Robert Zemeckis' black comedy Death Becomes Her (Golden Globe nomination); opposite Albert Brooks in Defending Your Life; as Shirley MacLaine's dsyfunctional daughter in Mike Nichols' Postcards From the Edge (eighth Oscar nomination); opposite Liam Neeson in Before and After; The Bridges of Madison County (co-starring with Clint Eastwood, who also directed); The River Wild; the elegaic adaptation of Isabel Allende's acclaimed novel The House of the Spirits; and Marvin's Room (opposite Diane Keaton and Leonardo DiCaprio). In 1997, Streep co-produced and starred in the television drama "First, Do No Harm", earning another Emmy nomination.
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