With a career that has inspired the best of those around her, two-time Academy AwardŽ-winning actress Meryl Streep (1949-) was born Mary Louise Streep on this day in Summit, New Jersey.
A former cheerleader and homecoming queen, she once explained, "I think of acting as an act of compassionate understanding of other people."
In 1978, the amazing and versatile actress made her film debut with Julia, then astounded critics with her supporting role as the passive wife of an American soldier in The Deer Hunter (w/h Robert De Niro).
"She can actually vanish into another person," praised Sydney Pollack, who directed Streep in Out of Africa (w/Robert Redford, 1985). "In every role, she becomes a totally new human being."
Director Mike Nichols added: "For other actors, Meryl is not only a life giving force for those lucky enough to act with her because it immediately increases one's talent 1,000 per cent simply to look at her in a scene...Meryl creates, has created, and will continue to create a series of unique human beings."
With a master's degree in Fine Arts from Yale's School of Drama, Streep has a reputation for working with painstaking excellence and for having her two feet firmly on the ground:
"Grabbing the cold gold at the Oscars was great, but it didn't come close to being handed my first-born--or my fourth-born for that matter."
The dedicated wife and mother said she chooses her roles with "the responsibility of my own integrity," keeping things in perspective: "You can't get spoiled if you do your own laundry."
Let your heart bring out the best in everyone.