Mary Louise “Meryl” Streep is celebrating her 69th birthday today! She does not really need an introduction to the women in our Sixty and Me community since her acting career has spanned our lives.

She has spoken to our hearts and minds and consistently delivered one amazing inspirational performance after another!

Meryl Streep has inspired us, challenged us and given us a context for embracing change and complexity in our lives. She has been an advocate for women all her life. Through her acting roles she has introduced us to tough, resilient and outspoken historical characters.

I just watched her play Katharine Graham in the movie The Post and was amazed at how well she was able to penetrate the essential nature of her character in a meticulous and passionate way.

Her depiction of Margaret Thatcher in the movie The Iron Lady was remarkable. Known for her versatility and brilliant accent adaptations, Meryl Streep holds the remarkable record of 21 Academy Award nominations and 3 wins.

A Versatile and Passionate Actress

Her Academy Award wins for The Iron Lady, Kramer vs Kramer and Sophie’s Choice were well deserved, but it was her role in Out of Africa that captured my heart. Movies like The Devil Wears Prada and Mamma Mia showed her ability to deliver light hearted magic.

Her depiction of the cooking icon Julia Child was so unique and revealing, and who can forget her role as the wild and wonderful Florence in Florence Foster Jenkins. Meryl Streep is truly a remarkable character actress. She also has an amazing voice.

Speaking and Living Her Truth

As a celebrity, Meryl is also an active philanthropist and has used her voice and passion to promote the things that are important to her.

Women’s rights have been a key focus in her life, and the charities she supports include Equality Now, The Rainforest Foundation, and American Foundation for AIDS Research.

She doesn’t just talk about change. In her effort to promote equal rights she sent a package to every member of congress saying, “A whole new generation of women and girls are talking about equality – equal pay, equal protection from sexual assault, equal rights.” She is a fighter!

Meryl Streep seems so grounded, down to earth and realistic. She embraces change and loves a challenge in her acting and in her life. In a commencement speech she gave at Barnard, Meryl said: “This is your time, and it feels normal to you. But, really, there is no ‘normal.’ There’s only change, and resistance to it, and then more change.”

Fighting Sexism in Movies

Streep is now using her own money to combat sexism in Hollywood by funding a screenwriting lab for women. She also chooses roles that support her political beliefs.

She recently co-starred in the British drama Suffragette, in which she plays Emmeline Pankhurst, the militant activist who fought for women’s rights. Streep is a modern-day suffragette!

Facing Fear and Embracing Life with Passion

Meryl Streep encourages us to be strong, to take risks and live life with passion and verve. She once said, “Fear is a good thing. Fear is your friend. Everything that destabilizes you can help you.”

In our 60s we are dealing with complex emotions and face many fears. I’d like to thank Meryl for being a light in our lives and wish her a very Happy Birthday. Let’s encourage her to keep delivering magic on screen and inspiration in our lives.

What is your favorite Meryl Streep movie? Do you think that celebrities like Meryl Streep can help older women to find their character and confidence? Please join the conversation and share your thoughts.

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