The Story of Meryl Streep Who Knew She “Had to Go On Living” After a Loss and Her Future Husband Taught Her How
Losing the love of your life when you are just starting to be happy is something that marks you forever. It is often very difficult to recover from such a great loss, but Meryl Streep’s story gives us hope and proves that we have the strength to overcome any obstacle life throws at us, no matter how hard it may be.
At Bright Side, we want to share the love story of Meryl Streep with our readers. After losing the love of her life at the age of 30, Streep fell in love again and has been with her current husband for more than 40 years.
Meryl Streep met John Cazale in 1976, at the age of 27, while acting in an adaptation of a Shakespeare play. He was 14 years older than her and was an actor who was recognized and respected by his peers — most famous for his role in The Godfather. They became a couple soon afterward.
When they began filming Deer Hunter in 1977, Cazale noticed something was wrong. After a consultation and many tests, the diagnosis was devastating: John only had a few months to live.
Meryl accepted a role in the series Holocaust in order to pay for treatment and help her boyfriend, and received help from 2 of his great friends: Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Al Pacino took care of him while Meryl was filming in Europe. He said of his friend: “I learned about acting from him more than from anyone else. All I wanted was to work with John for the rest of my life.”
Meryl accompanied him in the hospital until, in March 1978, the doctor told Meryl that John had passed away. She, in shock, collapsed on his chest, begging him to wake up. For a second, Cazale opened his eyes and assured Meryl that she was going to be fine, and then finally closed his eyes.
In the midst of her grief, Meryl was evicted from her apartment. Her brother, who was concerned that Meryl couldn’t handle the pain while making the move, offered to help. That’s when everything changed for the actress because her brother arrived accompanied by his friend Don.
Don Gummer was born in 1946. Both he and Meryl attended Yale, and Gummer also graduated from the School of Fine Arts. By the mid-1980s, Don was already a prestigious sculptor whose work was exhibited around the world with many, many awards and accolades.
When Don found out that Meryl was being evicted, he offered her to move into his loft, since he would be going on a trip and the place would be empty. They kept in touch through letters, but then she began to suspect that he wanted more than to just be friends.
6 months later, Meryl and Don were married in a small ceremony in the garden of her parents’ home in late 1978. To her mother’s criticism, concerned about the haste of the marriage, Meryl replied, “I haven’t gotten over John’s death, but I have to go on living and Don taught me how to do that.”
At the end of the following year, their first son, Henry, was born. Then came 2 daughters, Mamie and Grace, and in 1991 they had their fourth and last child, Louise. Beyond that, Meryl never wanted to expose her children to the press, even though most have chosen artistic careers: 2 of her daughters are actresses and her son is a musician.
“They were my oasis. I took great pleasure in watching my children grow up, being their confidant, and enjoying everything that went along with helping them become independent young people,” Meryl said. The actress always spoke well of her husband, how he took care of her children when she was away filming, but never made her feel guilty of her absence.
Once their children left home, Meryl and Don moved to New York. Neither Don nor Meryl are usually in the news, but he always accompanies her to every award show, and we see him at practically every awards ceremony.
In 2012, when Meryl won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Julie & Julia, the actress began her acceptance speech by naming her husband.
“First, I want to thank Don because, when you thank your husband at the end of the speech, they always play music for you to finish. And I want you to know that everything most precious in our lives has been given to me by you,” Meryl said in her speech, her voice breaking.
The couple has been married for more than 40 years. Meryl has never explicitly talked about having problems in their marriage, but she has implied that they overcame them. She has confessed that she believes that, to keep the marriage strong, the secret is to talk about any problems that may arise, even if it’s something small. “You have to listen to your partner’s problems, suggestions, and advice and accept that you are not always right. Conversation is the key to a successful marriage.”
Don has been asked if he realizes he is married to the most acclaimed actress of his generation, but he has said he never thinks about it. At home, the Hollywood glamour disappears, and they simply argue about whether to wash the dishes by hand or put them in the dishwasher.
How do you think it is possible to overcome the death of a loved one? Which of Meryl Streep’s films do you think shows all her sensitivity and talent most?