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meryl
streep

"I didn't have any confidence in my beauty when I was young," Meryl Streep once said. "I felt like a character actress, and I still do." While we're inclined to agree with the character bit (those record 15 Academy Award nominations—the latest for her turn as Sister Aloysius in Doubt—didn't come from starring in rom-coms ), we beg to differ with the implication that Streep was ever anything other than a stunner. She got her first Oscar nod as Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken's joint love interest in 1978's The Deer Hunter, and the following year she lightened up as Woody Allen's lesbian ex-wife in Manhattan (while somehow managing to look just as luminous as a teenage Mariel Hemingway).

Today, at 59, her skin is still as dewy as it was then, and no thanks to regular Restylane injections. "You have to embrace getting older," Streep has admonished. Easy for she of the sky-high cheekbones to say. And don't forget that hair. We can't, not after seeing a brawny Robert Redford work it into a luxurious lather in Out of Africa. And lest Streep's recent turn as a nun make you forget the star's inimitable siren factor, recall her proclivity for playing the other woman (opposite Clint Eastwood in The Bridges of Madison County, for example, or Jeremy Irons in The French Lieutenant's Woman). With her protégée Anne Hathaway and front-runner Kate Winslet, among others, for competition come Oscar night, Streep might go home empty-handed, but there's little doubt she'll be back again.

—Alison Baenen

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