Best Actress Nominees

Part 4: Meryl Streep grew up as a cheerleader in New Jersey.
7:41 | 02/22/12

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Transcript for Best Actress Nominees
I have to unpack so every single day in my life. Playing the prime minister of England could be seen as a demotion -- widely regarded as Hollywood's -- And we'll do most of time before she was famous -- us through this -- -- In these rare home movies collected by the American Film Institute. Mary Louise street from -- to build New Jersey is -- for the first time lighting up the screen. The oldest of three Merrill listen debutante a cheerleader and homecoming week. After graduating from Yale drama school in 1975. She admitted first park on television production of the play Secret Service. Oh. Along the way they've been a record six teen Academy Award nominations. Two statues. Catered thickness general. Analysts here it is home. -- your name on the best actress -- Merrill Streep it's certainly intimidate anyone. Especially new -- like when he -- Growing -- Patricia -- Rooney Mara in Bedford New York sister and two Brothers continued year old movie describes herself in high school as -- Quiet and still she auditioned for the high school play and landed the role -- -- and Romeo and Juliette. Prompting a classmate to remarked I didn't even know you could talk. My mom says that -- stuck. Agents themselves she worked -- girl number one in urban legends bloody Mary straight to video filmed the start her Sister Kate. Sorry -- didn't finally earned a paycheck and an episode of law and order special victims unit. Many sisters starring role in nightmare on elm street left turn discouraged and disheartened and made her want to quit acting. That feeling passed and she got the script for the social network and heard about -- -- -- I watched. It's called me -- -- on Internet. The movie's director David Fincher you liked what he saw casting her as the girl with the dragon tattoo. We need to -- -- Do you -- daughter forever branding -- -- an Oscar nominee. If the TV show Baywatch doesn't have you thinking Oscar nominees. You -- paying close enough attention to that thirteen year old girl running on the beach. Yeah bring sandwiches. They didn't expect. Yep that's Michelle Williams. Oscar nominated her salty portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in my week with Maryland's. In this -- Nice -- okay. Now 31 years old the -- not an overnight star. -- lots of small television appearances like her one scene in an episode of home improvement act that. I huge -- that it -- action. She broke into the movies in 1994 -- But only after the role of Jen Lindley and the coming of age TV series Dawson's Creek did Hollywood take notice Dawson I'm. Initially. We -- about it and OK. We'll have a certain jail. Little certainly have and one of us with three Oscar nominations. Form. It's important -- more and that's. And let me. I used to joke around them when and if we don't you think you are for -- she's not afraid to push yourself and she keeps coming through. Every time it's really inspiring to watch. -- and can can. -- close first step before a large audiences playing herself an earnest fresh faced teenager and the youth grew up with people. Born in Greenwich Connecticut her fiery passion for the stage -- sparked in high school -- like Rooney Mara Glenn got the lead in Romeo and Juliette. Unlike Rooney she played Romeo and didn't foreshadowing to her cross dressing role in -- -- Her first movie role was nominated for an Oscar for each time she has -- time. In Robin Williams is out with so they've all remain my friends and it was an amazing way to start getting. This just almost thirty year old footage of the -- with her costar Michael Douglas she's rehearsing for a role that would give them nightmares -- married men everywhere. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Fatal attraction a psychological thriller explores the dark side of infidelity and -- -- a fourth nomination. This year she's hoping this six time is the charm that she'll finally go home with an Oscar. My mom always amazed when grandma was a house -- Here are going to be tough enough. Davis -- sentimental favorite to win for her heartfelt -- of -- -- film found her inspiration for success close to home. My sister Diana. Said. In order didn't you know get out of poverty you have to have a dream I tunnels can be a writer -- there and then settled on acting. Lofty dreams for girls running up the youngest of six. -- and central falls Rhode Island. -- acting career began at eight she and four sisters put on a -- in a local talent show. I was the actor writer my sister Delores as a director producer -- Words we who are saying this is going over the script. Freely did -- condemned apartment building with these tiny closets. And I would go in the closet full tonight at how the team just -- -- -- skipped. Top bidders favorite group not to meet -- he can. -- -- -- -- -- She performed in high school and college. Before getting accepted into the prestigious -- -- A trip to the Oscars has made lots of local stops -- her first role on TV. -- it's got nothing to do with me on NYPD blue she was cast simply as woman. And there were also lots of small part opposite bigger names like Jennifer Lopez. Was -- Putting them cash and larger parts in films like Antoine Fisher 51. It's. But I know is still struggling to find that breakout -- That's -- thing acting each job you think this is it this is could be my big break and it's not. You know it's not to her family -- help was not just another acting job would be to. Think about her taking on that problem thankfully my mother was at home my grandmother was the help. Every smile every -- -- my system. Understood that rule.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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