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Oh, 'Mamma Mia!' A Grammy for Meryl Streep?

August 14, 2008 |  6:09 pm

Meryl Streep may have more Academy Award nominations than any other performer — 14 and counting — but it is more than a quarter century since she won the second of her two Oscars for the lead role in 1982's "Sophie's Choice." "Mamma Mia" may earn her a record seventh Golden Globe and her first Grammy Award.

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The soundtrack to the frothy ABBA musical just hit No. 1. And Meryl Streep and company could find themselves competing next February at the Grammys thanks to the continued success of "Mamma Mia!" The category is quite a mouthful: best compilation soundtrack album for motion picture, television or other visual media. Last year The Beatles won the award for the use of their music in the Cirque du Soleil production "Love." Two years ago, best actor nominee Joaquin Phoenix was among the winners for his work on the "Walk the Line" soundtrack, and the previous year saw best picture nominee "Ray" take this prize.

If Streep can win the Grammy for "Mamma Mia!" all she will need is a Tony Award to complete the grand slam of show biz awards. That top theater prize was the first major kudo she competed for in 1976. Nominated for only her second Broadway appearance — in a pair of one-acts by theater veterans Tennessee Williams ("27 Wagons Full of Cotton") and Arthur Miller ("A Memory of Two Mondays") — she lost to Shirley Knight for her work in "Kennedy's Children."

Streep appeared on Broadway five times in less than two years from fall 1975 to summer 1977 but has been absent ever since. Her recent celebrated stage appearances in Chekhov's "The Seagull" and Brecht's "Mother Courage" were at an open-air theater in New York's Central Park, close to Broadway but Tony ineligible nonetheless. Were she to return to the rialto in the right vehicle, she would surely be a strong favorite to win.

By the way, two is a lucky number for Streep. She won her first Emmy Award in 1978 for her second made-for-TV role, in the landmark miniseries "Holocaust." Her second Emmy came in this same category 25 years later for "Angels in America," and she got her first Oscar nod for her second film appearance (after a small role in "Julia") in the 1978 best picture winner "The Deer Hunter." And she won her first Oscar, for supporting actress, on her second try the following year, as half of the embattled couple in best picture winner "Kramer Vs. Kramer."

(Photo: Decca)


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