Actress Meryl Streep wins Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts 2023

by Lorraine Williamson
Meryl Streep

American theatre, film and television actress and singer Mary Louise Streep, known as Meryl Streep, has been awarded the Princess of Asturias Prize for the Arts 2023. The jury announced this at noon on Wednesday in Oviedo.  

The Princess of Asturias Prize (Premios Princesa de Asturias) is a prestigious international award presented every year in the Spanish autonomous region of Asturias. Furthermore, the award marks the beginning of the forty-third edition of the Princess of Asturias Awards. This nomination was nominated by Pedro Almodóvar, Prince of Asturias Prize for the Arts 2006. Moreover, a total of 44 nominations from 20 nationalities competed for the prize.  

The Princess of Asturias Prize consists of a sculpture by Joan Miró – a representative symbol of the prize -, an award certificate and a cash prize of €50,000. The prize is awarded for “work in the creation, cultivation and enhancement of film, theatre, dance, music, photography, painting, sculpture, architecture and other artistic expressions”.  

Acting legend 

Meryl Streep is considered a Hollywood acting legend and a moral standard-bearer against the attacks of the far right. And the awards confirm her as one of the greatest actresses of our time. Besides the three Oscars, she has earned numerous other awards. These include three Emmys and two British Academy Film Awards. As a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France, Streep has received numerous honorary awards. For example;

  • César (France, 2003)
  • Donostia at the San Sebastian Film Festival (Spain, 2008)
  • Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival (Germany, 2012)
  • Stanley Kubrick Britannia (UK, 2015)
  • Cecil B DeMille Award (US, 2017)

She also received the 2010 National Medal of Arts and the 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom.  

Best known for her film roles, she stands out for her characteristic versatility, which critics say is based on her extraordinary ability to play a wide variety of characters and portray different accents.  

It started with singing lessons 

Meryl Streep, born in Summit, USA, on 22 June 1949, started singing lessons at the age of 12, and in high school she took acting classes. Graduating from Vassar College (1971) and the Yale School of Drama (1975), Streep then began her career in New York theatres. She starred in several Broadway productions, including the 1977 revival of Anton Chekhov’s drama The Cherry Orchard.  

Record 

She holds the record for the number of Oscar nominations (21) and Golden Globe nominations (32) and is one of only two living actresses to have won the Oscar three times. The first of these was for Best Supporting Actress for ‘Kramer vs Kramer’ (1979), for which she also won the Golden Globe. 

In the early 1980s, she had her first leading roles, for which she received special recognition: ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’ (1981), for which she received a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. She also received that award for ‘Sophie’s Choice’ (1982), which also earned her her second Oscar. 

An overview of her films 

For her roles in films like S. Pollack’s ‘Out of Africa’ (1985), ‘Ironweed’ (1987) and ‘Evil Angels’ (1988), she received an award at Cannes. These were among her best performances of that decade. She also starred in ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ (1995), ‘Marvin’s Room’ (1996), ‘The Hours’ (2002), ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ (2006), ‘The Doubt’ (2008) (a US Screen Actors Guild award-winning performance), the musical ‘Mamma mia! ‘ (2008) and ‘The Iron Lady’ (2011). It was her role of Margaret Thatcher, which earned her her third Oscar, in addition to a Golden Globe and a BAFTA.  

Her most recent films include ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ (2016), ‘The Post’ (The Pentagon Papers, 2017), ‘Little Women’ (2019), ‘Let Them All Talk’ (2020) and ‘Don’t Look Up’ (2021). 

Women’s rights and gender equality 

A philanthropist and dedicated to defending women’s rights and gender equality, she is a member of the advisory board of the organisation Equality Now. Furthermore, in 2018 she collaborated on the documentary ‘This Changes Everything’, about gender discrimination in Hollywood. 

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