->''"In the nearly four years of this series, no name has been mentioned more often, or with more respect, than that of tonight's guest.... She is one of those rare actors who defines her generation, her time, and her craft."''
-->-- '''James Lipton''', ''Inside the Actor's Studio'' 1998

Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep (born June 22, 1949), widely acknowledged by critics and fans alike as the best actress working today, broke Oscar nomination records with her nomination for Best Supporting Actress (''Film/{{Adaptation}}''). Now with [[OscarBait twenty Oscar nominations]] and three wins to her credit, she has tackled virtually every genre in Hollywood, including romantic comedies (''Film/DefendingYourLife''), serious dramas (''Film/SophiesChoice'', ''Theater/{{Doubt}}''), action-adventure (''The River Wild''), comedies (''Film/SheDevil'', ''Film/DeathBecomesHer''), classic romances (''Film/OutOfAfrica''), and even two musicals (''Film/MammaMia'' and ''Film/IntoTheWoods''). Easily identified by her trademark nose, she has also appeared in, among others, ''Film/TheDevilWearsPrada'', ''Silkwood'', ''Theatre/AngelsInAmerica'' (as an [[SerialEscalation elderly male rabbi]], among others), and ''Film/JulieAndJulia''. She's probably best known for starring in ''Film/SophiesChoice'', ''Film/TheDevilWearsPrada'' and ''Film/TheDeerHunter''.

She has been described as "the successor to Creator/BetteDavis," and in fact Davis herself endorsed Meryl's early work. Her versatility and ability to act with her eyes and face are now unique in Hollywood, but the talent evident in every film is reminiscent of Davis at her best. Onscreen she plays characters with tremendous depth, but oddly Meryl has no 'trademark' - she transforms herself completely for each role she plays in a way no Hollywood actress has done before or since. (Her facility with accents is one of the most praised weapons in her arsenal.) Although critics have described her as 'robotic' and 'acting from the neck up,' recent movies like ''Film/MammaMia'' provide evidence to the contrary.

She is currently the standard to which all other actresses (and most actors as well) are compared, and the phrase "[[PretenderDiss You're no Meryl Streep]]" has been used on multiple occasions at all levels of the acting industry. In essence, she has defined the standards for not only her generation but every generation to come.

!! Selected Filmography:
* ''Film/{{Julia}}'' -- Anne Marie (film debut)
* ''Film/TheDeerHunter'' -- Linda
* ''Film/KramerVsKramer'' -- Joanna Kramer (Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress)
* ''Film/{{Manhattan}}'' - Jill Davis
* ''The French Lieutenant's Woman'' -- Sarah/Anna[[note]]The one role she says she regrets[[/note]]
* ''Film/SophiesChoice'' -- Sophie Zawistowski (Academy Award for Best Actress)
* ''Film/{{Silkwood}}'' -- Karen Silkwood
* ''Film/OutOfAfrica'' -- Karen Dinesen
* ''Film/ACryInTheDark'' -- Lindy Chamberlain
* ''Film/PostcardsFromTheEdge'' -- Suzanne Vale
* ''Film/DeathBecomesHer'' -- Madeline Ashton
* ''Film/TheBridgesOfMadisonCounty'' -- Francesca Johnson
* ''Film/MusicOfTheHeart'' -- Roberta Guaspari
* ''Film/{{Adaptation}}'' -- Susan Orlean
* ''Film/TheHours'' -- Clarissa Vaughan
* ''Film/TheDevilWearsPrada'' -- Miranda Priestly
* ''Film/MammaMia'' -- Donna Sheridan
* ''Theatre/{{Doubt}}'' -- Sister Aloysius Beauvier
* ''Film/ItsComplicated'' -- Jane Adler
* ''Film/JulieAndJulia'' -- Julia Child
* ''Film/TheIronLady'' -- UsefulNotes/MargaretThatcher (Academy Award for Best Actress)
* ''Theatre/AugustOsageCounty'' -- Violet Weston
* ''Film/IntoTheWoods'' -- The Witch
* ''Film/RickiAndTheFlash'' -- Ricki Rendazzo
* ''Film/FlorenceFosterJenkins'' -- Madam Florence.