Last year, Meryl Streep received her 20th Academy Award nomination for her performance in Florence Foster Jenkins, making her the most-nominated performer in Oscars history

By Maria Yagoda Diana Pearl
June 22, 2017 09:55 AM


Last year, Meryl Streep received her 20th Academy Award nomination for her performance in Florence Foster Jenkins. Streep’s nod makes her the most nominated performer in Oscars history. 

In honor of Streep’s incredible feat (which she celebrated with an epic gif of her dancing; see below), we’re looking back at the roles that got her the accolades. 


(We’re just as excited as you, Meryl!)

1979: The Deer Hunter

Though she didn’t win for her turn as the girlfriend of a fallen soldier in Vietnam, the role helped establish Streep as one to watch in the awards show game, earning her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. 

1980: Kramer vs. Kramer

One to watch, no more. In Kramer vs. Kramer, Streep plays a woman who left her husband and is in the throes of divorce. The performance won Streep her first Oscar, for Best Supporting Actress.

1982: The French Lieutenant’s Woman

Streep was nominated for Best Actress for The French Lieutenant’s Woman two years later.

1983: Sophie’s Choice

The next year brought Streep her her second Oscar and perhaps still her most iconic role as Sophie, who must choose which of her children will be killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

1984: Silkwood

Streep earned a Best Actress nod for her performance in Silkwood, where she plays real-life whistleblower and activist Karen Silkwood.

1986: Out of Africa

The film adaptation of Baroness Karen von Blixen’s memoir about her life in Kenya was the vehicle for yet another Best Actress nomination.

1988: Ironweed

Playing the lover of Jack Nicholson’s character, a homeless man who abandoned his family, Streep nabbed another Best Actress nomination in 1988.

1991: Postcards from the Edge

Based on a semi-autobiographical novel by fellow Hollywood icon Carrie Fisher, Streep tackled the part of an actress with an even-more-famous mother (inspired by Fisher’s own mother, Debbie Reynolds, played in the film by Shirley MacLaine), who is struggling with addiction, earning her yet another nomination for Best Actress. 

1996: The Bridges of Madison County

Her tenth Oscars nomination came in ’96, with The Bridges of Madison County, in which she plays an Iowa woman who has an affair with a National Geographic photographer.

1999: One True Thing

In this familial drama, Renée Zellweger plays Streep’s daughter as the two work on their relationship as Streep’s character battles with cancer, earning her yet another Best Actress nomination. 

2000: Music of the Heart

Streep doesn’t do anything half-heartedly. So when she played violinist Roberta Guaspari in Music of the Heart, she studied the violin for months, even learning to play one of Bach’s concertos for the role. This performance earned her her 12th Best Actress nomination.

2003: Adaptation

In Adaptation, inspired by New Yorker writer Susan Orlean’s article and book The Orchid Thief, Streep plays Orlean (but the real-life writer would find little in the movie that resembles the events of her own life). The Academy nominated her for Best Supporting Actress.

2007: The Devil Wears Prada

Streep was chilly perfection as the ice-cold fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestly, famously inspired by Vogue‘s editor Anna Wintour, earning her yet another Best Actress nomination.

2009: Doubt

As a super-strict nun in Doubt, Streep is utterly convinced of a priest’s sexual misconduct with a boy in their parish.

2010: Julie & Julia

In Julie & Julia, Streep plays iconic chef Julia Child (and absolutely nails her signature voice).

2012: The Iron Lady

Her third win! Streep’s take on Britain’s first female prime minister was so unforgettable, it won her her first Oscar since 1983.

2014: August: Osage County

When you need an over-the-top matriarch in your movie, you call Streep. She played just that (with a whole lot of dysfunction) in the film adaption of the Broadway play, earning her another Best Actress nomination.

2015: Into the Woods

As the witch in Stephen Sondheim’s fairy tale twist, Streep nabbed a Best Supporting Actress nomination.

2017: Florence Foster Jenkins

Her historic 20th nomination comes for her role as Florence Foster Jenkins, in which she plays a wealthy woman with big dreams of singing, but without the perfect pitch (or any pitch, really) to do so.

But that’s not her only major milestone Streep has received lately: She received the Globes’ version of the lifetime achievement award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, earlier this year.