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September 26, 2013

Dubus draws Streep to UMass Lowell event

School thrilled to host star, thanks Newbury author for his help


“A few weeks went by, and I sent a reminder (about the letter),’’ Dubus said. An assistant to Streep wrote back, “Miss Streep would love to do this,’’ he said.

UMass officials thanked Streep for agreeing to the event and praised Dubus’ efforts to help the school.

“We are grateful to have someone of Meryl Streep’s stature as the next participant in the UMass Lowell Chancellor’s Speaker Series, which brings people at the top of their fields to the university to speak to students and the community while helping to raise funds for scholarships,” Meehan said.

“We’re very grateful to Andre for all he does for the campus,’’ said Christine Gillette, spokeswoman for UMass Lowell. “This is a chance for people to see someone speak they wouldn’t usually be able to see. It’s a rare opportunity.’’

The money raised will benefit the school’s English department, theater arts and fine arts, and humanities and social sciences.

Since her debut in a 1977 TV movie, Streep — who holds the record for the most Academy Award and Golden Globe Award acting nominations — has established herself as one of the most prolific actresses in history, appearing in more than 50 films, as well as numerous stage productions. One of her trademarks has been portraying real people, from British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “Iron Lady” to French chef Julia Child in “Julie and Julia” to whistle-blower Karen Silkwood in “Silkwood.” She is also known for her perfectionism in preparing for roles, learning to play the violin and mastering countless dialects and accents.

Her many other notable movies include “The Deer Hunter” and “Kramer vs. Kramer” in the 1970s; “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” and “Sophie’s Choice” in the 1980s; “Postcards From the Edge” and “The Bridges of Madison County in the 1990s; and “Adaptation,” “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Mamma Mia!” in the 2000s.

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