Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep paid tribute to Baroness Margaret Thatcher following the news of the death of the former Prime Minister, aged 87.
Streep told the Daily Mail: ‘Margaret Thatcher was a pioneer, willingly or unwillingly, for the role of women in politics.
‘To me she was a figure of awe for her personal strength and grit. To have come up, legitimately, through the ranks of the British political system, class bound and gender phobic as it was, in the time that she did and the way that she did, was a formidable achievement.’
Streep paid tribute to Lady Thatcher’s achievement in ascending to the lofty position of Prime Minister from her humble roots as a grocer’s daughter.
She noted: ‘To have won it, not because she inherited position as the daughter of a great man, or the widow of an important man, but by dint of her own striving.
‘It is hard to imagine a part of our current history that has not been affected by measures she put forward in the UK at the end of the 20th century.’
And while Lady Thatcher’s tenure as Prime Minister certainly divided opinion, Streep acknowledged that her very presence as a female politician tasked with leading the nation gave ‘women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being princesses with a different dream.’
She continued: ‘To have withstood the special hatred and ridicule, unprecedented in my opinion, levelled in our time at a public figure who was not a mass murderer; and to have managed to keep her convictions attached to fervent ideals and ideas – wrong-headed or misguided as we might see them now – without corruption – I see that as evidence of some kind of greatness, worthy for the argument of history to settle.’Formidable: Meryl Streep portrayed Lady Thatcher in The Iron Lady – winning her third Oscar
Streep’s portrayal of the Prime Minister was critically acclaimed, and swept the board at the major awards shows – adding a third Best Actress Oscar to her record haul thirteen months ago.Meryl Streep presents the Best Actor award onstage during the Oscars held in February
Although the 63 year old actress’s personal politics were to the left of the Baroness’s she said: ‘I was honored to try to imagine her late life journey, after power; but I have only a glancing understanding of what her many struggles were, and how she managed to sail through to the other side.
‘I wish to convey my respectful condolences to her family and many friends.’