Meryl Streep, a two-time Academy Award winner, has been chosen to receive the 32nd American Film Institute (AFI) Lifetime Achievement Award. Throughout her career, Streep has selected strong women’s roles, from a Polish Holocaust survivor in “Sophie’s Choice” to writer Susan Orlean in “Adaptation.” In “Silkwood,” she portrays Karen Silkwood, a nuclear plant worker and union activist who died in a suspicious car crash while trying to expose the plant’s negligence in safety. Streep has been active in social causes, including the Feminist Majority’s Campaign to End Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan. Streep is also an advocate for better roles and better compensation for women in the film industry.
Streep has won Academy Awards for her roles in “Kramer vs. Kramer” and “Sophie’s Choice,” and just this year passed Katherine Hepburn as the actress with the most Academy Award nominations. “Meryl Streep is one of the great artists in the history of American film. Her talent, range, and determination to master her craft bring out performances that sometimes border on the ethereal,” said Sir Howard Stringerm chair of the AFI Board of Trustees.
Streep will be only the sixth woman to receive AFI’s top award since its inception in 1973. The other women who have received the award are Bette Davis, Lillian Gish, Barbara Stanwyck, Elizabeth Taylor, and Barbra Streisand.