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MUSIC OF THE HEART

MERYL STREEP's great empathy for her characters has distinguished her work in film, television and theater for more than two decades. Playing Roberta Guaspari brought her a brand new challenge -- learning the violin. She began intensive training as soon as she accepted the role, more than two months before the start of production, and continued learning through the shoot.

Streep has won the Academy Award twice, as Best Actress for SOPHIE'S CHOICE (1982) and Best Supporting Actress for KRAMER VS. KRAMER (1979). This year, she was nominated by the Academy for the 11th time, as Best Actress for her portrayal of a mother dying of cancer in ONE TRUE THING. She starred most recently as an Irish spinster in the period ensemble drama DANCING AT LUGHNASA.

A graduate of Vassar and Yale Drama School, she began her career on stage and appeared in seven plays during her first season in New York. She won the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Theater World Award, an Obie Award and a Tony nomination.

Streep made her film debut in JULIA, then starred opposite Robert DeNiro in THE DEER HUNTER. After supporting roles in MANHATTAN and THE SEDUCTION OF JOE TYNAN, she won her first Oscar for KRAMER VS. KRAMER. A string of memorable films followed, including THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN, SOPHIE'S CHOICE, SILKWOOD, FALLING IN LOVE, PLENTY, OUT OF AFRICA, HEARTBURN and IRON WEED.

She next starred as the Australian mother accused of murder in A CRY IN THE DARK, and then changed pace with comedies SHE-DEVIL, DEATH BECOMES HER, DEFENDING YOUR LIFE and POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE. More recently, she has starred in such diverse films as BEFORE AND AFTER, THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, THE RIVER WILD, THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS, and MARVIN'S ROOM. For television, Streep received an Emmy Award for her work in the mini-series "Holocaust," and an Emmy nomination for "First, Do No Harm," in which she starred and co produced.

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