Meryl Streep began her acting career with a level of worship typically reserved for seasoned veterans. From her early work in "The Deer Hunter" (1978) and "Kramer vs. Kramer" (1979), it quickly became apparent to the sharpest of critics - even the most casual of moviegoers - that the chameleon-like Streep was an unparalleled master of character, accents and genres. The benchmark was set for every working actress with Streep's work as a Polish Nazi camp survivor, damaged by the unthinkable decision she was once forced to make in her Oscar-winning performance in "Sophie's Choice" (1982). Through "Silkwood" (1983), "Out of Africa" (1985) and "A Cry in the Dark" (1988) Streep continued to set a standard few could hope to achieve, primarily with her mastery of accents that included Polish, Danish and Australian, among others. After her peak in the early 1980s, the multi-Oscar winner spent the subsequent decades maintaining her brilliance, showcasing yet another of her talents - singing competently - in "Postcards from the Edge" (1990) and "Mamma Mia" (2008), capturing the aching desire of an aging woman in "The Bridges of Madison County" (1995), and proving she could draw laughter as well as tears in "The Devil Wears Prada (2006). Simply put, Streep could do it all, and generations of actresses coming up behind her often cited her work as the reason they pursued the craft in the first place.