style.com: beauty icon, meryl streep

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Photo: Ron Galella / WireImage

meryl streep

“I didn’t have any confidence in my beauty when I was young,” Meryl Streep once said. “I felt like a character actress, and I still do.” While we’re inclined to agree with the character bit (those record 15 Academy Award nominations—the latest for her turn as Sister Aloysius in Doubt—didn’t come from starring in rom-coms ), we beg to differ with the implication that Streep was ever anything other than a stunner. She got her first Oscar nod as Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken’s joint love interest in 1978’s The Deer Hunter, and the following year she lightened up as Woody Allen’s lesbian ex-wife in Manhattan (while somehow managing to look just as luminous as a teenage Mariel Hemingway).

Today, at 59, her skin is still as dewy as it was then, and no thanks to regular Restylane injections. “You have to embrace getting older,” Streep has admonished. Easy for she of the sky-high cheekbones to say. And don’t forget that hair. We can’t, not after seeing a brawny Robert Redford work it into a luxurious lather in Out of Africa. And lest Streep’s recent turn as a nun make you forget the star’s inimitable siren factor, recall her proclivity for playing the other woman (opposite Clint Eastwood in The Bridges of Madison County, for example, or Jeremy Irons in The French Lieutenant’s Woman). With her protégée Anne Hathaway and front-runner Kate Winslet, among others, for competition come Oscar night, Streep might go home empty-handed, but there’s little doubt she’ll be back again.

—Alison Baenen

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Photo: Ron Galella / WireImage


Cute date, Meryl: Streep’s main squeeze at the 51st Academy Awards in 1979, where she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her work in The Deer Hunter, is hubby Don Gummer, but it’s the actress’ cheeks that really light up the room.

Photo: Everett Collection


Listen, Woody…Streep lays down the law in 1979’s Manhattan. Proving her appeal to members of both sexes, Streep’s character shacks up with a woman.

Photo: Tony Korody / Time Life Pictures / Getty Images


Meryl Streep and Kramer vs. Kramer co-star Dustin Hoffman put their differences aside (that custody battle was so worth it) and check their reflections in their new prizes—Best Actress and Best Actor awards, respectively—at the 1980 Academy Awards.

Photo: Everett Collection


Even in the midst of a bitter legal dispute, Streep, in Kramer vs. Kramer, looks luminous.

Photo: Everett Collection


Streep slips into a comprising position in The French Lieutenant’s Woman in 1981. Besides chalking up a third Oscar nomination, Streep’s greatest feat in the movie may have been playing opposite Jeremy Irons’ sideburns.

Photo: Everett Collection


Not one for showing a lot of skin on the red carpet, Streep’s décolletage gives off a golden glow in 1982’s Sophie’s Choice. The other golden glow? The Best Actress Oscar Streep took home for the role.

Photo: Everett Collection


Step aside, Julia Roberts. Streep (pictured here with co-star Kurt Russell) played the Erin Brockovich prototype in 1983’s Silkwood, garnering her a Best Actress nomination and a wig we’re pretty sure she didn’t keep.

Photo: Everett Collection


In what may be the sexiest cinematic non-shower shower scene ever, Robert Redford gets Streep all lathered up in Out of Africa, 1985.

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

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