Meryl Streep was rejected for being “too ugly” 19

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Meryl Streep has suffered at the classic hands of Hollywood during her career.  But how many of us know just how hard it was to get a start 45 years ago in the movies?   It made us smile knowing her success since.

Rumour has it this is a picture of the young star in her earliest days of rejection.

“This was me on my way home from an audition for King Kong where I was told I was too “ugly” for the part. This was a pivotal moment for me. This one rogue opinion could derail my dreams of becoming an actress or force me to pull myself up by the boot straps and believe in myself. I took a deep breath and said ‘I’m sorry you think I’m too ugly for your film but you’re just one opinion in a sea of thousands and I’m off to find a kinder tide.’

Today I have 18 Academy Awards.”

Meryl Streep has been nominated for 19 Academy Awards and 29 Golden Globes.

She auditioned for King Kong with producer Dino De Laurentiis in 1976. His son had seen a then-unknown Meryl in a play and brought her in. Streep, who understood Italian, heard Dino speaking to his son at the time to ask him, “Why do you bring me this ugly thing?”

“Very sobering” she said.  Then she says she responded with, “I’m sorry I’m not beautiful enough to be in King Kong.”

She laughs about it now, as do we all but she also wants people to remember how tough it was.  “Young actors should take solace” knowing that there was a time where even a legendary actress had a bad audition.

Can you believe this was ever the case?


Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. Hollywood madness, we see all the time, they primp and preen and Botox and have plastic surgery trying to be perfect, they don’t recognize true beauty when they see it and Meryl was a lovely young woman

  2. I can’t believe anyone would find Meryl Streep ugly. I think she was very attractive in that photo and still is, and a great actress.

  3. Well, she’s had the last laugh, so to speak! She’s no bimbo & has always been a great actress who has played such diverse roles! I liken her to the Cate Blanchett of our generation….

  4. I admire this girl very much – she has shown over the years how she still has what it takes to be on the big screen. She is growing older very gracefully.

  5. Ahhh but we are talking Hollywood here, where its fake everything, they are a bit intimidated by strong beautiful women, and its dominated by men.

  6. I think I succeeded in this with my kids to the extreme! They are super confident, never slow to speak their minds, forthright and at times, pains in the bum!! Good on Meryl Streep. She is an attractive, hardworking, fantastic actor and a more than worthy addition to Hollywood. She hasn’t ever made a bad movie.

  7. Meryl Streep is on of the most beautiful women around. It is the Hollywood morons that are blind. Not only that she is also on of the most accomplished actors of our time.

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