It was a close race, but legendary actress Meryl Streep finally earned her long-awaited third Oscar Sunday night at the 84th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles.
Streep, 62, won for Best Actress for her portrayal of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.” The role earned Streep her record 17th acting Oscar nomination overall.
“When they called my name I’d had this feeling I could hear half of America going, ‘Oh no … oh c’mon … why … her … again?’ But whatever,” a giddy Streep said at the beginning of her acceptance speech Sunday night.
Slideshow: Meryl Streep’s Oscar roles
Slideshow: 2012 Oscars red carpet
Streep was first nominated for an Oscar in 1979, for Best Supporting Actress in the Vietnam War drama “The Deer Hunter” (1978) — a film that went on to earn five Oscars, including Best Picture.
The actress didn’t have to wait long to experience her own Oscar glory, however. She won for Best Supporting Actress for “Kramer vs. Kramer” in 1979, a film that also nabbed five Oscars, including Best Picture. Following a Best Actress nomination for the 1981 drama, “The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” Streep won her first Best Actress Oscar for the 1982 drama, “Sophie’s Choice.”
Slideshow: Every Best Picture winner’s poster, 1927-1977
Slideshow: Every Best Picture winner’s poster, 1978-2011
Since then, Streep has been denied the Best Supporting Actress statuette one more time, for 2002’s “Adaptation.” She’s also come up short on bids for the Best Actress Oscar for “Silkwood” (1983); “Out of Africa” (2005); “Ironweed” (2007); “A Cry in the Dark” (1988); “Postcards from the Edge” (1990); “The Bridges of Madison County” (1995); “One True Thing” (1998); “Music of the Heart” (1999); “The Devil Wears Prada” (2006); “Doubt” (2008) and “Julie & Julia” (2009).
By some indications, Streep’s 29-year losing streak was going to come to an end Sunday night with “The Iron Lady.”
Slideshow: 2012 Spirit Awards purple carpet
While she lost out the coveted Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actress to Viola Davis for “The Help,” a win at the British Academy of Television Arts awards for Best Actress set up a friendly showdown between Streep and her acting pal. The two previously worked together on “Doubt,” which earned Davis a Best Supporting Actress nomination.
Beginning with her role in “The Deer Hunter,” take a look at Streep’s Oscar roles in this slideshow, through “The Iron Lady.”
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