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Meryl Streep: “What an ugly girl!”




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Meryl Streep: “What an ugly girl!”

By Björn Strauss

Hollywood / New York – It has shaped the cinema for decades: the mysterious Meryl Streep (71). It wasn’t a straight path to becoming a movie star, but a professional, reflective – admirable one. It casts millions of fans under its enigmatic spell! And she could even set an “Oscar record” …

Meryl Streep (here at 70) holds her Oscar, which she received for best actress for her role in 'The Iron Lady', next to Colin Firth during the presentation of the 84th Academy Awards.

Meryl Streep (here at 70) holds her Oscar, which she received for best actress for her role in ‘The Iron Lady’, next to Colin Firth during the presentation of the 84th Academy Awards. © Paul Buck / EPA / dpa

Even after more than 50 years of career, Meryl Streep is still considered a superstar. Filmmakers and viewers alike are fascinated by their ability and their unobtrusive manner. It’s the enormous range of expressions it has. She is a real Hollywood star.

Streep himself says of herself that she is an “inexplicable miracle”. That is what she says in the speech for the award of her third Academy Award (“Die Eiserne Lady”).

She was never the smooth, pretty Hollywood beauty. “Ce Bruta – what an ugly girl!”is what film producer Dino De Laurentiis even called them. For him, she did not fit into the cliché of the pretty Hollywood squad at the beginning of her career. He should be wrong!

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Because a total of three Oscars, 21 Oscar nominations, nine Golden Globes, two BAFTA awards and many more prizes have distinguished them – until now.

Character actress in the body of a Hollywood star

Meryl Streep as publisher Katharine

Meryl Streep as publisher Katharine “Kay” Graham and Tom Hanks as editor-in-chief Ben Bradlee in a scene from the film “The Publisher”. The film was shown in the ARD summer cinema. © ARD Degeto / NBC Universal / dpa

Streep has a great chance of breaking Katharine Hepburn’s four-time Oscar record. With 21 nominations, Streep has long been at the forefront. This is the absolute record in Hollywood, almost twice as successful as Hepburn and Jack Nicholson with twelve nominations each in second place.




Her incredibly strong performance in the role of Katharine Graham earned Streep her 21st Oscar nomination in 2018. In Spielberg’s political film “Die Verlegerin” she plays the former editor of the Washington Post.

She received Oscars: as a supporting actress for “Kramer gegen Kramer” (1980), as a leading actress in “Sophie’s Decision” (1983) and as Margaret Thatcher in “Die Eiserne Lady” (2012).

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And it is precisely this unique path to success that ARTE shows in the documentary “The Undisguised Goddess”.

Streep learned her trade early on

Scene from the TV series "Holocaust - The History of the Weiss Family".  The series went around the world 40 years ago.  Only in Germany was there bitter resistance to broadcasting.  In the end she ran in the third program.

Scene from the TV series “Holocaust – The History of the Weiss Family”. The series went around the world 40 years ago. Only in Germany was there bitter resistance to broadcasting. In the end she ran in the third program. © WDR / Worldvision Enterprises Inc./dpa

Streep studied drama at Vassar College, one of the elite schools in the USA, and received her Master of Fine Arts from the famous Yale University.

Her first major role in the Vietnam drama “Those Going Through Hell” (1978) alongside Robert De Niro won an Oscar nomination.

“Out of Africa” ​​(1985), one of the greatest successes alongside Robert Redford, won seven Academy Awards. As an older couple in “The Bridges on the River” she broke taboos with Clint Eastwood.

Scandal-free and married to the sculptor Don Gummer for over 40 years, she lives in New York and rural Connecticut. She skillfully keeps her private life under lock and key.

Despite all the success, Streep has kept a down-to-earth attitude and combative openness. In 2014, then-US President Barack Obama awarded her the Medal of Freedom, one of the highest civilian awards in the United States.

Shortly before Trump was sworn in, the feminist was unusually combative on the Golden Globe stage with a passionate plea for tolerance and freedom of the press (TAG24 reported).

This enchantingly open and honest, but also private portrait of the exceptional artist is one of the most viewed articles on ARTE. To see linearly on Monday (August 31, 3:40 p.m.) or in the Media library.

Cover photo: Ettore Ferrari / ANSA / AP / dpa

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