Meryl Streep Is 70! Which of Her Characters Is Your Top (Sophie's) Choice for Her Best Role Ever?

By Johnni Macke Jun 22, 2019 2:00 PMTags
Meryl Streep, Mamma Mia, The Devil Wears Prada, Kramer vs Kramer, Death Becomes Her, Iron Lady, Sophies ChoiceUniversal Pictures;20th Century Fox; Columbia Pictures; Universal Pictures; The Weinstein Company;Universal Pictures

All hail Meryl Streep, America's national treasure!

We might not have a queen in America, but if we did, it would most likely be Streep, duh. The iconic actress is a legend in Hollywood for her decades upon decades of success and stunning performances on screen.

Now, the New Jersey native has reached another milestone...she's turning 70!

Back in 1976, Streep made her movie debut as a voice in an animated film and by 1978 she had her first big hit film on her hands with The Deer Hunter.

41 years later, the actress is a Hollywood staple, has the career others only dream of and what makes us love her even more is that she has sass and is always up for a laugh...even at her own expense.

The blonde beauty is graceful both on and off screen and she continually makes us feel less than, because let's face it, Meryl is winning at life and we're all just standing here trying to come close to her brilliance.

"Big Little Lies" Cast Describes Working With Meryl Streep

In honor of the Kramer vs. Kramer star's 70th birthday (where did the time go, right?!) we're taking a look back at her amazing and somewhat unbelievable career.

From Sophie's Choice, She-Devil and The Bridges of Madison County to Doubt, Mamma Mia! and The Devil Wears Prada, Streep has mastered the art of becoming another person on both television and in film and we're not worthy of her talent.

She is unlike anyone else in the acting world and that's proven by all of the roles she's been able to make her own over the past four decades. Plus, she's won three Academy Awards and been nominated for 21, so, like it or not, she's a pretty big deal.

Check out the birthday girl's most memorable film and TV roles throughout her career below and make sure to vote for the one you love most. It won't be easy, but it also won't be as hard as making an actual Sophie's get to voting.

PS: Happy birthday, Meryl, you'll forever be our Hollywood queen!

The Deer Hunter, 1978

In her first hit film, Meryl Streep plays the part of Linda, the wife of an introspective deer hunter. She co-stars with the likes of Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken in this nine-time Academy Award-nominated epic war drama.

Kramer vs. Kramer, 1979

This family courtroom drama follows the custody battle of former married couple Ted (Dustin Hoffman) and Joanna Kramer (Streep). This was also the first film in which Streep won an Academy Award and it was for Best Supporting Actress.

Manhattan, 1979

Acting as Jill Davis, a divorced woman writing a confessional book, Streep stars alongside Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in this black-and-white romantic comedy.

The French Lieutenant's Woman, 1981

Receiving nominations for five Academy Awards, the British romantic drama features Streep as "the French lieutenant's woman" as well as the actress Anna.

Sophie's Choice, 1982

Based on the novel by William Styron, the star actress plays a Polish immigrant in this drama. For her acclaimed performance, Streep was awarded Best Actress at the Oscars, marking her second Academy Award.

Silkwood, 1983

The biographical drama features Streep as a worker at a fuel fabrication site who lives with her boyfriend, played by Kurt Russell, and her lesbian friend, played by Cher.

Out of Africa, 1985

In this epic romance drama, the New Jersey native co-stars with Robert Redford as an unmarried wealthy Danish woman who moves to Nairobi for a convenient marriage.

Heartburn, 1986

Streep stars as Rachel Samstat, a Manhattan food writer who falls for a political columnist and womanizer, in this comedy-drama.

She-Devil, 1989

Acting as a narcissistic romance novelist, Streep's character develops an affair with an accountant, leading to a series of unfortunate events schemed by the accountant's vengeful wife.

Postcards From the Edge, 1990

Playing the part of a recovering drug addict and struggling actress in this comedy-drama, Streep won Funniest Lead Actress in a Motion Picture at the American Comedy Awards.

Death Becomes Her, 1992

In 1992, Streep stepped into the role of Madeline Ashton, a narcissistic actress who seeks out a potion for eternal youth.

The River Wild, 1994

The adventure crime-thriller features the actress as a water rafting expert who takes her family on a holiday rafting trip in Idaho.

The Bridges of Madison County, 1995

In this romantic drama, the famed actress co-stars with Clint Eastwood as a recently deceased mother of two adult children. Streep won Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 68th Academy Awards and Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama at the 53rd Golden Globes for her performance.

Music of the Heart, 1999

Streep acts as Roberta Guaspari, a violinist who becomes a substitute teacher in East Harlem in attempt to rebuild her life in this 1999 drama.

Adaptation, 2002

As a famed author, Streep's character must hide secrets from a screenwriter played by Nicolas Cage in this film.

The Hours, 2002

Starring as Clarissa Vaughan, a New York woman prepping an award party for her poet friend with AIDS, Streep acts alongside Julianne MooreNicole Kidman and Ed Harris in this British-American drama.

Angels in America, 2003

Based on the Pulitzer-prize winning play, Streep plays multiple roles, including Hannah Pitt, Ethel Rosenberg, the Rabbi and the Angel Australia, in this HBO miniseries about playwright Tony Kushner's political epic focused on the AIDS crisis in the mid-1980s.

The Manchurian Candidate, 2004

Co-starring with Denzel Washington in this political thriller, the actress plays the role of Virginia U.S. Senator Eleanor Prentiss, who is nominated as the Vice-Presidential candidate.

A Prairie Home Companion, 2006

A Prairie Home Companion takes a look backstage during the final broadcast of America's most celebrated radio show where performers like country singer Yolanda Johnson (Streep) and singing cowboys Dusty (Woody Harrelson) and Lefty (John C. Reilly) rule the airwaves.

The Devil Wears Prada, 2006

As Miranda Priestly, a revered fashion magazine editor, Streep's character ceaselessly demands her co-assistant, played by Anne Hathaway, to wait on her hand and foot. She is harsh, intense, a badass at her job and despite the fact that her workers fear her, there is something human and relatable to the character.

Lions for Lambs, 2007

In this drama war film, Streep co-stars as a liberal TV journalist with Robert RedfordTom CruiseMichael Pena and Andrew Garfield, whose characters depict U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.

Mamma Mia!, 2008

Mamma Mia, Streep can sing! In the musical film, Streep's character Donna struggles financially as a villa owner on a small Greek island as she plans her daughter's Sophie's (Amanda Seyfried) wedding, while also unexpectedly reconnecting with past love interests. In 2018, the film got a sequel and Streep resprised her role.

Doubt, 2008

Streep's performance as Sister Aloysius Beauvier in this drama is scary good. In the film, Sister Aloysius goes on a crusade to unearth the truth when rumors spread that the new charismatic priest, Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman), could be paying too much attention to a young student. 

Julie & Julia, 2009

Contrasting the life of renowned chef Julia Child (played by Streep) with that of one of her culinary followers, Julia (Amy Adams) this comedy-drama takes viewers on a foodie adventure that's not to be missed.

It's Complicated, 2009

Ten years after divorcing her husband, a successful bakery owner named Jane (Streep), begins having an affair with her ex, despite the fact that he is re-married and she is falling for a new man.

Fantastic Mr. Fox, 2009

Streep voiced Mr. Fox's wife Felicity in this stop-motion animated comedy adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's novel.

The Iron Lady, 2011

In the British-French biographical drama, Streep plays Margaret Thatcher as she comes to terms with her husband's death while looking back at her road to success. Streep won Best Actress at the 84th Academy Awards, Best Actress of a Motion Picture Drama at the Golden Globes and Best Actress of a Motion Picture at the Satellite Awards, among several other accolades for this role.

Hope Springs, 2012

Starring alongside Tommy Lee Jones, Streep's character seeks out intense marriage counseling from Dr. Bernie Feld (Steve Carell) in this comedy.

August: Osage County, 2013

Playing the part of an oral cancer patient and narcotics addict, Streep was nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards for her role in this comedy-drama. The film also stars Julia RobertsEwan McGregor and Benedict Cumberbatch.

The Giver, 2014

Based on the Newbery Medal award-winning novel, this social science fiction film features the actress as the Chief Elder. The movie shows what happens when a young boy from a seemingly perfect community without war, pain and suffering is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the "real" world.

View More Photos From Meryl Streep's Best Roles

Meryl Streep's Best Roles

Which Meryl Streep role is her absolute best?
The Deer Hunter
Kramer vs. Kramer
The French Lieutenant's Woman
Sophie's Choice
Out of Africa
Postcards From the Edge
Death Becomes Her
The River Wild
The Bridges of Madison County
Music of the Heart
The Hours
Angels in America
The Manchurian Candidate
A Prairie Home Companion
The Devil Wears Prada
Lions for Lambs
Mamma Mia!
Julie & Julia
It's Complicated
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Iron Lady
Hope Springs
August: Osage County
The Giver
Into the Woods
Ricki and the Flash
Florence Foster Jenkins
The Post
Big Little Lies