The Iron Lady star Meryl Steep pays tribute to “pioneer” Margaret Thatcher

The actress called Thatcher "groundbreaking and admirable", saying she was "honoured to try to imagine her late life journey after power"

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Meryl Streep has paid tribute to the late Margaret Thatcher, who passed away yesterday after suffering a stroke.

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The 63-year-old actress portrayed Britain’s former Prime Minister in Oscar winning 2011 film The Iron Lady.

While the death of Britain’s first female PM has provoked polarised reactions from the public, Streep has praised Thatcher for her “formidable achievement” and role as a “pioneer… for the role of women in politics.”

In a statement, Streep said: “Margaret Thatcher was a pioneer, willingly or unwillingly, for the role of women in politics.

After referencing the former PM’s “hard-nosed” measures and “steadfast” policies, which decades later still resonate with the British public, the star went on to say: “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.”

“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.

“To have given women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being princesses with a different dream: the real-life option of leading their nation; this was groundbreaking and admirable.

“I was honoured 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.”

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Streep starred as Baroness Thatcher in The Iron Lady alongside Jim Broadbent, Olivia Colman and Richard E Grant. The film, which picked up Oscars for best actress and best makeup, followed Thatcher from childhood through her political career and her life post-power, which was peppered with ill health.