EXPLORE THE ARCHIVES
The Simply Streep Archives has gathered details on all of Meryl Streep's feature films, television, theatre and voice narration, and also features an extensive library of articles, photographs and video clips. You can browse the collection by Ms. Streep's career or through a year-by-year summary.
Nov 29
2020

1993 brought a severe change that played out behind the scenes, but had a lasting impact on the trajectory of Meryl’s career in the mid-90s. While disappointed with the lack of good roles in Hollywood and the slim revenue of her previous films, Streep eyed to leave Los Angeles. When she lobbied for the lead role in Merchant Ivory’s “Remains of the Day”, but was turned down by Mike Nichols of all people, she felt betrayed by her longtime agent, Sam Cohn. She cut ties with her agency, moved her family back to Connecticut and signed with the Creative Artists Agency. According to a 1994 article in The New York Times, Strep was quoted: “Mike knows what he did, but unfortunately Sam wore the scar. My relationship with them is in the ‘life’s too short to be mad category. Mike is someone I share an enormous amount of history with. He has a big part of my heart. I was very upset to be upset. I have too much of a need for forgiveness in my life.”

CAA’s first big deal for Streep was the lead role in a big screen adaptation of Isabel Allende’s novel “The House of the Spirits”, a curious adaptation that was an immense success in Europe and an utter failure in the United States. The reason for this is as simple as it is common in Hollywood – a remarkable piece of Chilean literature was whitewashed by giving all the lead parts to white actors while Chilean actors were reduced to the parts of servants or rape victims. Filmed in Denmark, with additional scenes filmed in Lisbon and Alentejo, Portugal, the film attracted a lot of buzz during its making with numerous press conferences in the countries where it was shot. Its US release, however, was not met with a warm welcome. In its first weekend, the movie drew a poor $1.8 million at the box office. It fared much with a whopping $55 million in European ticket sales and received 4 Robert Awards, Denmark’s equivalent to the Oscar, for Best Film, Screenplay, Editing and Sound.

October 21, 1993 (Germany)
Nov 29
2020

Still eager to score a hit with a comedy, Meryl Streep teamed up with Goldie Hawn (both considered doing “Thelma and Louise” before) when they found their match in Robert Zemeckis, the acclaimed director of the “Back to the Future” series and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”, who took his groundbreaking visual skills to good use in a story of vanity and growing old in Los Angeles – a subject Streep had witnessed all too good during her time in the city. The two actresses played arch rivals who both drink a potion that promises eternal youth, beyond death. The strenous shooting, however, was a challenge for Meryl, as the special effects asked for her character’s head to move a 180 degrees, among other obscure deformations. In the end, the special effects were the film’s biggest achievement and won their creators an Academy Award, while Meryl Streep received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical. But after “Death Becomes her”, she closed the comedic chapter for good.

September 04, 1992
Nov 29
2020

Contrary to better belief, the Hollywood of the early 1990’s didn’t offer much quality work. Some designated projects fell through, such as the starring role in “Thelma and Louise” due to salary disputes, or the leading role in “Man Trouble” opposite Jack Nicholson due to the pregnancy with her fourth child, a girl named Louisa. She chose Albert Brooks’ romantic comedy “Defending Your Life”, which deals with the afterlife – a place called Judgement City between earth and heaven where attorneys and courts judge wheter you can enter heaven or go back to earth. While waiting for his trial, Brooks meets the seemingly perfect woman, the most chilled inhabitant of Judgement City, as played by Streep. The film opened to favorable reviews but dismal box office.

Nov 29
2020

Eager for a change in her career, and to give her children a constant place to live, Meryl Streep moved her family from Connecticut to Los Angeles. She worked with Mike Nichols for a third time on the adaptation of Carrie Fisher’s semi-autobiographical “Postcards from the Edge”, loosely based on Fisher’s own struggle with drugs and the rocky relationship to her mother, who was played in the film by Shirley MacLaine. “Postcards” also gave Streep a chance to sing again on film after “Silkwood” and “Ironweed”. She performed two songs in the film – a solo rendition of “You Don’t Know Me” and a big country number of “I’m Checking Out”, the latter receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Song. While the film was not very successful at the box office, it received favorable reviews, espially for its actors, spawned a lifelong friendship between Streep and Fisher, and won Meryl Streep yet another Academy Award nomination as Best Actress.

Not shy of the spotlight anymore to voice her activist beliefs, Meryl Streep received cheers and more than a few raised eyebrows with her speech at the Screen Actors Guild about the inequality in payment between actresses and their male counterparts.

What is the problem? We all know what the problem is. One, there’s very little work for women. And two, when we do work we get paid much less than our male counterparts – about 40 cents to 60 cents on the male dollar. And what work there is lately is off. Somebody at The New Yorker said recently that if the Martians landed and did nothing but go to the movies this year, they’d come to the fair conclusion that the chief occupation of women on Earth is hooking. And I don’t mean rugs (Meryl Streep, First National Women’s Conference by the Screen Actors Guild, August 01, 1990)

Nov 29
2020

By her own account, Meryl Streep’s career began to crumble once she turned 40 in 1989. After turning down multiple offers to play witches, as she has mentioned in interviews, her only film project this year was the broad comedy “She-Devil”, co-starring Roseanne Barr. While dismissed by critics and moviegoers at the box office, Streep still earned a Golden Globe nomination for her role. But 1989 belonged to another project closer to home. Concerned by reports about the use of dangerous chemicals in the mass production of vegetables – a daminozide, also known as alar – Meryl co-founded the organisation “Mothers & Others For A Liveable Planet” and went out of her comfort zone to promote the organisation’s cause and raise awareness on various daytime talkshows, as well as the television variety special “An Evening with Friends for the Environment”, which aired in 1990.

December 08, 1989
Nov 29
2020

In another off-beat choice for a role, Meryl Streep reunited with director Fred Schepisi for the real-life story of Lindy Chamberlain, an Australian woman accused and convicted of murdering her baby daughter and the infant went missing during a camping trip. Ms. Chamberlains claim that a dingo, an Australian wild dog, fetched the baby from their tent, was met with disbelief and led to her lifelong imprisonment in 1982. The filming attracted quite a media attention in Australia, especially because new evidence was found in 1987 which led to Ms. Chamberlain’s exoneration. It gave Schepisi’s film an even more current feel with additional scenes being added. Meryl Streep received rave reviews for her performance. She won Australia’s equivalent of the Academy Award, the AFI Award and was awarded the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival. In the United States, she received another Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination for her performance.

November 11, 1988
Nov 29
2020

Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep continued their on-screen relationship with the oddest possible choice – they joined director Hector Babenco in his hopelessly sad drama “Ironweed”, based on the novel by William Kennedy. Nicholson plays a schizophrenic drifter in 1938’s Albany, New York, who spends Halloween in his home town after returning there for the first time in decades. If moviegoers ever had problems recognizing Streep, it was in “Ironweed”. Hidden under a felt hat and dressed in dirty rags, she plays Nicholson’s companion Helen Archer, who was a successful singer in the past, before she lost her home – and her mind. While “Ironweed” was hard to watch, it grossed 7 million dollars in the USA and recognized its stars, Nicholson and Streep, with nominations for both the Golden Globe and the Academy Award.

A big project that never came to fruition was Oliver Stone’s big screen adaptation of “Evita”, for which Meryl Streep was cast in the lead and went as far as recording songs in New. But the project was delayed twice and stopped before production started in 1989, after which Streep left the project. The failure of the project was highly publicised back in the day. It took eight more years, as well as Alan Parker and Madonna, to bring Evita to the screen. Ironically, Oliver Stone also prepared a biopic on Margaret Thatcher with Streep in the lead in the mid-2000s, which fell through as well.

December 18, 1987
Nov 29
2020

While Meryl Streep has been admired for her dramatic skills early on, she has received a fair amount of criticism by journalists throughout the years for being too serious in her roles, too tight-lipped, and no fun at all on screen. In 1986, she reteamed with Mike Nichols for what would be the first comedy of her film career. In the big screen adaptation of Nora Ephron’s “Heartburn”, Streep plays a woman, who falls in love with a man, played by Jack Nicholson, builds a house and a family, only to see her world fall apart when her husband is having an affair. She leaves him, only to return for the sake of their children, but finds no more fulfillment in her marriage. “Heartburn” transports Ephron’s dry wit and humour, but critics dismissed the film for being too talky and not a fitting vehicle for the star power of its two main attractions. Also in 1986, Meryl gave birth to her third child, a daughter named Grace.

July 25, 1986
Nov 29
2020

Two very different films were released in 1985. First, Meryl returned to the United Kingdom for the lead role in Fred Schepisi’s adaptation of David Hare’s play “Plenty”. Meryl played Susan Traherne, a resistance fighter whose motives in lives are irreparably changed by her wartime experiences. Surrounded by a stellar cast, including Charles Dance, Tracey Ullman, Sir John Guilgud, Ian McKellen and Sting, the film – although receiving glowing reviews – failed to find an audience upon its theatrical release in September of 1985.

The second film of 1985 reassured Streep’s star status with her performance as Karen Blixen in Sydney Pollack’s “Out of Africa”. Blixen’s life is complicated by a philandering husband, a romance with an adventurer, troubles on the plantation she has bought with her husband, schooling of the natives and the war. Meryl Streep developed her accent by listening to actual recordings of Isak Dinesen reading her works. The three hour-long epic lovestory and love confession to the continent was hailed by critics and audiences as one of the finest romances of the decade – and was awarded with seven Academy Awards, including Best Film and Best Director. Meryl Streep received another nomination for Best Actress, but lost to Geraldine Page. She also received nominations for the Golden Globe and the BAFTA Film Award, winning honors from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and another David Di Donatello Award.

December 18, 1985
September 20, 1985
Nov 29
2020

In 1984, Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro teamed up for a second film collaboration titled “Falling in Love”. After co-starring in 1978’s “The Deer Hunter”, both actors went on to win second Academy Awards and were considered to be the greatest talents of their generations, so critics expected acting fireworks. Instead, De Niro and Streep chose to tell a rather simple story of a man and a woman, who meet in a crowded department store before Christmas, meet again on the train on their way to work and then fall in love, despite both being married. Critics were rather disappointed by the lack of big scenes in favor of everyday people with everyday problems. The films remains a small gem, but an often forgotten one.

Meryl Streep received the Italian David Di Donatello Award as Best Foreign Actress for “Falling in Love” and won her first People’s Choice Award as Favorite Motion Picture Actress – an award she would win throughout the 1980s. She also narrated the audio book and television programme “The Velveteen Rabbit”, for which she received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Album for Children.

November 21, 1984
June 20, 1984 - September 01, 1985