HomeCelebrityThe Biggest Tragedy Of Meryl Streep’s Life

    The Biggest Tragedy Of Meryl Streep’s Life

    In a world where Hollywood glitz meets raw talent, one name shines brighter than the Hollywood sign itself. You all know which name we’re talking about here— Meryl Streep, folks, the lady who can seamlessly slip into any character like she’s changing her satin gloves. With smooth elegance and pure charm. 

    To know the details of this Devil, let’s rewind to the groovy ’70s when New York City was the place to be for aspiring actors. Think of Broadway lights, offbeat theaters, and a 20-something, Meryl Streep right in the mix. That’s where she crossed paths with one of the greatest tragedies of her life, John Cazale. Cue the romantic subplot here, it’s the kind even Hollywood couldn’t have scripted better.

    Streep’s story may have begun from a tragedy but it sure didn’t end right there. Fast forward through history’s highlight reel, and you’ll find Meryl smashing stereotypes and collecting Oscars like they’re vintage records. In all the glitz and glam of movie screens, she hid the heartbreak of the bittersweet symphony that comes on when you lose someone dear.

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    Streep’s First Love

    John Cazale and Meryl Streep
    John Cazale and Meryl Streep

    So the scene is set in the gritty 70s of New York City. Meryl Streep, fresh out of Yale with a Masters in Fine Arts, strutted onto Broadway like she owned the place. Well, okay, maybe not strutted, but she definitely had that determined twinkle in her eye and that twinkle never lies. Look at the eyes of all the icons, no flashlights can dim those.

    Moving on, the next entry on our stage is John Cazale, widely known for his intense performances in the ‘Godfather’ films. The budding actors followed fate’s laid down path and ended up being cast in the same show.

    ‘Measure for Measure’ at The New York Shakespeare Festival is where the sparks first flew. Meryl as Isabella, determined and fierce, and John as Angelo, oozing with complexity. While their characters weren’t exactly molded to fit each other, they sure were. 

    In the midst of Times Square’s neon chaos and Off-Broadway’s cozy charm, Meryl and John’s unconventional romance blossomed. Yep, there’s an age gap—Meryl’s 26, and John’s a seasoned 40—but it’s Hollywood when has the number ever been a matter of debate? Well, except when it’s in context to pay disparity, yeah count that one out.

    So, love knows no bounds in the city that never sleeps and NYC isn’t exactly known for a good sleeping schedule. The blossomed romance only knew one direction to follow after that, and that was towards a dreamy future. Streep moved in with John’s at his Tribeca Apartment and the quirky couple started to plan out their future. 

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    The Tragedy Of Meryl’s Life

    John Cazale and Meryl Streep
    John Cazale and Meryl Streep

    As Streep’s star was ascending the levels of Madison Square, John Cazale was facing a battle in the shadows—a quiet struggle against lung cancer. Despite the grim prognosis, Streep’s devotion to her lover became the anchor of her life and his.

    The friends of the couple who have witnessed the passion, have said so themselves. Al Pacino, who considered Cazale her older brother said, “I’ve hardly ever seen a person so devoted to someone who is falling away like John was. To see her in that act of love for this man was overwhelming.”

    As Cazale’s health faltered, Streep stood firm by his side. She took on a role in ‘The Deer Hunter,’ not for fame or fortune, but to be close to him. She has publicly voiced her disdain for her character in the movie calling it “essentially a man’s view of a woman.”

    The pair worked alongside Robert De Niro. This project would’ve been what set their love story into a wedding diamond but John didn’t make it long enough to see his last acting project get five academy nominations and Meyrl the fame she was destined for. 

    The Legacy of Meryl Streep

    Meryl Streep and Don Gummer
    Meryl Streep and Don Gummer

    After Cazale’s passing in March 1978, Streep confronted her profound grief but found solace in art and a new love—sculptor Don Gummer. Their love was born from shared pain which turned into a mutual understanding. And what do we all need beyond that understanding?

    Their connection soon blossomed into a lifelong partnership that gave Streep stability and support in the tumultuous world of Hollywood. Don and Meryl have been married for 45 years now and share four children. Although the couple has been separated for six years now, they still have a deep love for one another.

    In the years that followed, Streep’s career soared to unprecedented heights. Her transformative performances in films like ‘Sophie’s Choice,’ ‘Out of Africa,’ ‘The Iron Lady’ and how can we forget ‘Devil Wears Prada’. The iconic actress now has three Academy Awards and countless accolades.

    Throughout her illustrious career, Streep has remained grounded by the memory of John Cazale.  In her own words, “He wasn’t like anybody I’d ever met. It was the specificity of him, and his sort of humanity and his curiosity about people, his compassion.” 

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    Akshita Singh
    Akshita Singh
    Akshita Singh is a Senior Content Writer at First Curiosity. She has been churning out content for 2 years. She's an avid reader and writer, fascinated by the works of Sylvia Plath, Franz Kafka, and Charles Bukowski. Akshita is also a poet herself, having written two poetry books titled ‘Made By Misery’ and ‘Deathbed’. Apart from goth literature, another thing that she enjoys is the real and fictional stories of Hollywood. She loves cinema and admires all works of art, be they delivered by actors or directors. So, keeping up with celebrity life comes as basic nature to her, something she loves knowing and informing others.

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