Streep went off to shoot The Senator and the sculptor, about to leave the country, offered her the use of his loft when she got back to New York. Rattling around the generous fellow’s apartment, she thought a lot about him and they started writing to each other.
That sculptor was her husband of 45 years, Don Gummer.
Originally from Louisville, Ky., he had been married once before, briefly, to his high school sweetheart. He got his MFA from Yale, at the same time Streep was attending the School of Drama. When their letters took a turn for the serious, a still-grieving Streep wasn’t sure she was ready for a new relationship. But a recently widowed friend encouraged her to simply spend time with Gummer, if she liked him.
She liked him so much she married him on Sept. 30, 1978, in an Episcopal ceremony in the garden of her parents’ home on Mason’s Island, in Connecticut. Even Streep’s mother wondered, “What is she thinking about?” recalled theater director Joe Papp, who had just worked with Streep on Taming of the Shrew, according to Schulman.
Whatever she was thinking, she was right.