Sophie’s Choice, starring the actress Meryl Streep as a Holocaust survivor, opens in theaters. Directed by Alan J. Pakula (All The President’s Men, The Pelican Brief) and based on a 1979 novel of the same name by William Styron, Sophie’s Choice co-starred Kevin Kline and Peter MacNicol. The “choice” in the film’s title refers to a terrible decision Streep’s character is forced to make, about which of her two children will live or die while in a concentration camp. Streep went on to win a Best Actress Oscar for Sophie’s Choice, firmly establishing herself as one of the greatest actresses of her generation in Hollywood. To date, she has received more Academy Award nominations than any other actor in history.
Streep, who was born on June 22, 1949, in Summit, New Jersey, studied drama at Vassar College and received a master’s degree in fine arts from the Yale University School of Drama. She made her big-screen debut with a small role in 1977’s Julia, starring Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave. Streep received her first Academy Award nomination, in the Best Supporting Actress category, for 1978’s The Deer Hunter. She won her first Academy Award, also in the Best Supporting Actress category, for 1979's Kramer vs Kramer.