On Saturday, news emerged that three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep, 74, and her husband, sculptor Don Gummer, 76, had chosen separate paths in their romantic relationship six years ago, while still remaining legally married. The couple, married for a commendable 45 years, always showcased a close bond, but their last public appearance together was at the 2018 Academy Awards.
The story was first broken by Page Six and later confirmed by PEOPLE. As per the statement given to PEOPLE by Streep’s representative: > “Don Gummer and Meryl Streep have been separated for more than 6 years, and while they will always care for each other, they have chosen lives apart.”
Despite their separation:
- Streep was seen wearing her wedding band at the 2023 Princesa de Asturias Awards in Spain.
- The couple celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary on September 30th.
The Beginning of Their Journey
Don Gummer, a talented sculptor from Louisville, Kentucky, was introduced to Streep through her brother in 1978. Streep, at that time, was in mourning due to the unfortunate passing of her boyfriend, actor John Cazale, to lung cancer. Their chemistry was undeniable from the start, resulting in a wedding just six months after their first meeting. The ceremony was held intimately at her parents’ home.
While Streep’s cinematic journey kept soaring to great heights, Gummer found success in the realm of art. He started as a student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and later achieved an MFA from the renowned Yale University. Since the early 1970s, his artistic creations have graced exhibitions across the globe.
The Couple’s Private Life
Throughout their years together, both Streep and Gummer remained relatively quiet about their personal lives, although they were occasionally photographed together. A glimpse into their bond was shared by Streep during a 2002 Vogue interview. She spoke about the challenges and negotiations inherent in raising a family. She also highlighted a mantra that could arguably be the bedrock of many lasting relationships, emphasizing: > “Goodwill and willingness to bend — and to shut up every once in a while.”
Their family consists of four children: Henry, Mamie, Grace, and Louisa. Streep, in an interview with The Washington Post in 1998, mentioned that while acting brings her praise, money, and fulfillment, motherhood was incomparably challenging yet rewarding.
Acknowledgment of Their Bond
Streep’s appreciation for Gummer was evident when she won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal in “The Iron Lady” in 2012. In her acceptance speech, she acknowledged him first, expressing her gratitude:
“First, I’m going to thank Don because when you thank your husband at the end of the speech they play him out with the music, and I want him to know that everything I value most in our lives, you’ve given me.”
A Legacy Beyond Headlines
Streep and Gummer’s story transcends the typical narrative of Hollywood relationships. Their union, marked by decades of shared memories and milestones, has always stood out for its resilience and grace. Their dedication to their respective professions, as well as to their family, has set a precedent for many.
The Importance of Privacy
The couple’s decision to keep their separation private for six years underscores the premium they place on privacy. In an age where the majority of celebrity relationships play out in real-time on social media, Streep and Gummer’s discretion is a breath of fresh air. Their choice serves as a reminder that even in the spotlight, individuals can and should be allowed to handle personal matters privately, away from public scrutiny.
The couple’s decision to lead separate lives reminds us of the complexities and private negotiations inherent in long-term relationships. The mutual respect and admiration between Streep and Gummer have always been evident, and their shared history showcases a union filled with love, understanding, and compromise. Even as news of their separation came to light, many fans and admirers expressed their support and well wishes for the couple. It’s a testament to the deep respect that the public has for both of them, recognizing that while love stories may evolve, the foundation built on mutual trust, respect, and shared experiences remains unshaken.