Over the years, we’ve seen her play some of the most iconic people in history on the big screen. From Karen Blixen in the highly-acclaimed ‘Out of Africa’, to the fierce Miranda Priestly (based on Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour) in the comedy-drama ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ to the much revered Margaret Thatcher in ‘The Iron Lady’.

Yes…we’re talking about none other than award-winning talent Meryl Streep. Streep recently received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President and ‘huge fan’ Barack Obama. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest honor given to civilians. Previous actors to have received such accolade include Chita Rivera and Sidney Poitier.

“This is one of my favorite events. Once a year, we set aside this event to celebrate people who have made America stronger and wiser and more humane and more beautiful with our higher civilian honor,” said Obama from the East Room of the White House.

While speaking of his admiration and respect for the three-time Oscar winner, the US President also highlighted Streep’s contributions to elevating the craft of acting. “I love Meryl Streep,” he admitted at the awards ceremony. “Her husband knows I love her. Michelle knows I love her. There’s nothing they can do about it,” he added.

Focusing particularly on raising the bar through each of her performances Obama noted that Streep has ‘done it all’ for the craft and inhabits her characters so fully and compassionately. “She is truly one of America’s leading ladies,” he said.

Other recipients of this prestigious award included renowned musician Stevie Wonder, Robert F. Kennedy’s Widow Ethel Kennedy, and journalist-turned-author Tom Brokaw.