In Hollywood, it’s safe to say that everybody loves Meryl Streep. The lauded actress has inspired movie stars and entertained fans for decades. The 69-year-old star of the stage and big screen has earned a record 30 Golden Globe nominations – and eight wins! – and was recognized by the Hollywood Foreign Press with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in 2017.
In her eloquent acceptance speech, the performer took aim at U.S. president-elect Donald Trump and reminded us that an actor’s “only job is to enter the lives of people who are different than us and let you feel what that feels like.” She also shared the unforgettable advice she got from her late friend, Carrie Fisher: “Take your broken heart, make it into art.”
It’s not hard to see why many of today’s leading ladies cite Meryl as one of their idols. In her emotional tribute to her Doubt co-star at the Globes, Viola Davis said, “Her artistry reminds us of the impact of what it means to be an artist, which is to make us feel less alone…You make me proud to be an artist. You make me feel that what I have in me—my body, my face, my age—is enough.”
Even former U.S. President Obama has admitted to being a huge fan. “I love Meryl Streep,” the political leader was quoted as saying on the evening he presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House. “Her husband knows I love her. Michelle knows I love her. There’s nothing they can do about it.”
Not only is she one of the hardest-working and most respected actresses in Hollywood today, but the Kramer vs. Kramer star is also mom to four children with her husband of 40 years, American sculptor Don Gummer. And it's no surprise that their kids – Henry Wolfe, 38, Mamie, 34, Grace, 32, and Louisa, 27 – have followed in her famous footsteps, striking out in entertainment careers of their own.
To celebrate the greatness of Meryl’s life and career, we round up 10 reasons why the actress stands alone in the hearts of Hollywood and fans alike.