Meryl Streep first met her husband of forty years, Don Gummer, in the early months of 1978. However, the circumstances surrounding their first encounter were less than ideal.
Streep had been at the bedside of her partner of two years, actor John Cazale, who had been ill for some time prior to his passing during this time period.
When Streep was trying out for Shakespeare in the Park, she was introduced to Cazale. In addition, both of them were cast in parts that pitted them against each other in “Measure for Measure.”
Offstage, they began dating almost immediately, and Meryl Streep didn’t take long before she moved into the Tribeca apartment of the guy she was seeing. She explained to Cazale’s biographer Michael Schulman that the actor was unique: “He wasn’t like anyone I’d ever met.”
Things began to go from bad to worse in May of 1977 when the couple learned that Cazale was suffering from lung cancer that had spread throughout his body. Streep made every effort to guarantee that she would be able to provide for the needs of her significant other.
Cazale met an untimely end on March 12, 1978, while he was a patient at the Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital in New York. When he was confined to the institution, Streep was 29 years old and had not moved out of the flat he had been living in since before he was hospitalized.
It was revealed by Schulman that Meryl Streep did not want to accept that the guy she loved most in the world was passing away in the couple’s last minutes together before Cazale breathed his last breath.
According to what Schulman wrote in “Her Again – Becoming Meryl Streep,” she cried while banging on his chest, and for a fleeting second, he “opened his eyes” and assured her that everything was going to be well.
Streep and the star of “The Godfather” had strong connection, according to Joe Papp, the director of Shakespeare in the Park, and Schulman, who shared this information. This chemistry was both visible and tangible on site.
When Cazale’s health began to deteriorate, his girlfriend stayed by his side for the next months and attended all appointments with him.
The actress of “Mamma Mia!” spoke out about Cazale’s demise a year after he had passed away.
She said that the event had stayed with her that the terrifying event shifted her outlook on a few different aspects of life. Streep went to Canada to see a friend shortly after the loss of her partner.
Upon her return to New York, she found out that she was required to vacate the apartment that she and her lover had shared. Her brother helped her pack, and he brought along a friend called Don Gummer, a sculptor who lived nearby Meryl Streep and had sometimes run into her.
Streep was asked by Gummer to stay in his loft in SoHo while he was gone on his travels since Gummer was going to be out from the country. During that time period, the two people spoke with one another by writing, and from that point on, their bond became stronger.
After Gummer got back from his trip, Streep kept living in his old apartment. After waiting another six months, the couple finally tied the knot on September 30, 1978.
The ceremony took place in the backyard of Streep’s childhood home on Mason’s Island, Connecticut, in the United States. On the other hand, her mother’s reaction to how quickly the new connection developed was less than kind.
Despite this, Streep and Gummer stayed married and began a family together, to which they eventually gave birth to four children: three girls and a boy. Henry, the couple’s firstborn and oldest child, was born in November 1979, and he followed in his mother’s footsteps by pursuing a job in the entertainment industry.
When asked about her experiences as a mother, Meryl Streep stated that her career as an actress enabled her to spend more time with her children, which is something she would not have been able to do if she had worked at a desk job.
She noted that the choices she made about her job were never predicated on how much time she would be able to spend with her family, but rather that she found a way to strike a balance between the two.
In spite of the fact that she was a famous person, she was able to lead a normal, private life.
She even went to lunch with other mothers and participated in activities at her children’s school. Streep referred to that moment in her life as “one of the happiest periods” in her whole existence.
Streep said that she was “always delighted to care after the children” because her husband was “always pleased to look after the children,” which allowed her to feel less “guilty” about being absent from her family due to the fact that she was constantly working.
To this day, the recipient of the Golden Globe Award has absolutely no regrets about placing her job on a pedestal, and she is certain that she made well-informed choices with respect to both her work and her family life.
In her acceptance speech after winning an Oscar for Best Leading Actress in a Role for her performance in “The Iron Lady” in 2012, the actress teared up as she thanked her devoted spouse.
“To begin, I’d want to extend my gratitude to Don. During her remarks, Meryl Streep told the audience, “I want him to know that what I cherish most in our life, you’ve given me.”