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Meryl Streep has been nominated for 19 Academy Awards, more than any other actor or actress in history. She has won three times – best supporting actress for Kramer vs Kramer (1979) and best actress for Sophie’s Choice (1982) and again for The Iron Lady (2011). Born in New Jersey and educated at Vassar College, Dartmouth College and Yale, Meryl Streep is widely regarded as the leading actress of her generation, not least for her ability to transform herself into a wide range of diverse characters. She has received 29 Golden Globe nominations, more competitive (non-honorary) nominations than any other actor or actress in the history of the award, and won eight times.

In 2010, President Barack Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts and, in 2014, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was a founding member of Mothers and Others, an environmental advocacy group which successfully lobbied Congress for new regulations protecting children from the hazards of pesticide exposure. She has underwritten scholarships at colleges and universities, and funds a screenwriting programme for women over the age of 40 through New York Women in Film. In 2015, she sent every member of Congress a letter and a book, Equal Means Equal, supporting the Equal Rights Amendment, a proposed amendment to the US Constitution designed to mandate equal right for women under the law.


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