With 'The Iron Lady' coming, we collect the 16-time Oscar nominee's career highlights
8. "The French Lieutenant's Woman" (1981)
Harold Pinter’s conceptually ambitious reworking of the John Fowles bestseller demanded double duty of Streep: she plays both Sarah, Fowles’s lovelorn Victorian heroine, and Anna, the present-day actress playing Sarah in the film adaptation. Both women are entangled in doomed love affairs, and Streep (along Jeremy Irons, her co-star in both stories) brings both gravity and a vivid sense of sex to what could be a chilly egghead’s project. She earned her first leading Oscar nod for this; amid presumed vote-splitting, she somehow lost to Katharine Hepburn, but she wouldn’t have to wait long for compensation.
Photo Credit: United Artists