This Day In History: December 8

Changing the day will navigate the page to that given day in history. You can navigate days by using left and right arrows

Sophie’s Choice, starring the actress Meryl Streep as a Holocaust survivor, premieres in Los Angeles. The film opened two days later in select theaters across the country.

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 the Auschwitz 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 of many Academy Awards, also in the Best Supporting Actress category, for 1979's Kramer vs Kramer.