The Oscar-winning actress and the sculptor first met in 1978. See some of their relationship highlights before their split
While the Mamma Mia! star largely kept her relationship out of the spotlight, she and the artist met 1978 and spent nearly 40 years together, welcoming four kids over the course of their marriage.
In October 2023, PEOPLE confirmed reports that the longtime pair ended the romantic nature of their relationship six years earlier. “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,” a representative for Streep said in a statement to PEOPLE.
Look back on photos from Streep and Gummer's time together, from their earliest appearances to more recent red carpet outings.
The Early Years
Streep and Gummer's relationship blossomed into a source of light during one of the darkest times of her early life. The duo met through Streep's brother in 1978, when the actress was mourning the death of her boyfriend of two years, fellow actor John Cazale.
While Gummer was traveling abroad, Streep sublet his apartment while she filmed Kramer vs. Kramer. But when an accident cut Gummer's trip short, the two connected and ended up falling in love. Six months later, in September 1978, they were married in the garden of her parents' home.
The Oscar winner doesn't often speak about her personal life, but Gummer has been by her side on several outings and red carpets over the years.
On Their Own Paths
Gummer had already established himself as an artist by the time he and Streep got together. He graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and later earned an MFA from Yale University. His large-scale abstract contemporary sculptures have been displayed in gallery exhibitions around the world since 1973.
Making It Work
In 2002, Streep opened up to Vogue about how she and Gummer sustained a healthy relationship over the decades. Their secret was "goodwill and willingness to bend — and to shut up every once in a while," the actress said at the time.
"There's no road map on how to raise a family: It's always an enormous negotiation," Streep continued. "But I have a holistic need to work and to have huge ties of love in my life. I can't imagine eschewing one for the other."
Gummer celebrated as his wife won three Oscars, the first of which was for Kramer vs. Kramer in 1980.
Expanding Their Family
Streep and Gummer are mom and dad to four kids: son Henry and daughters Mamie, Gracie and Louisa. (Mamie and Gracie are pictured with their parents in 1994.)
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald in 2019, Streep explained that she and her artist husband complement each other as parents, calling him the "good cop" to her "bad cop."
"Teamwork is everything. My husband Don was … very involved," she said. "He was a little more relaxed when it comes to raising kids. I was more of a tiger mom."
The Gang's All Here
Their eldest, Henry, was born in 1979 and has grown up to become a musician. Mamie, born in 1983, starting following in her mother's Hollywood footsteps at just 20 months old, when she appeared alongside Streep in the 1986 film Heartburn, and she continues to act.
Streep and Gummer welcomed their daughter Grace in 1986. She's also become an actress and is married to songwriter and music producer Mark Ronson. The youngest Gummer sibling, Louisa Jacobson, was born in 1991 and, like her mother and sister Grace, graduated from Vassar College. She uses her middle name as a surname because there was already a Louisa Gummer in the Screen Actors Guild.
All Dressed Up
Gummer honored his wife along with several other guests at a celebratory gala during the 2009 International Rome Film Festival.
Red Carpet Sweethearts
Gummer's been Streep's date to some of glitziest and most glamorous affairs in Tinseltown, and the actress has paid it forward.
While she once forgot to thank her husband during an Oscars acceptance speech, Streep made up for it with kind words in 2012. As she received the Best Actress award for her role in The Iron Lady, she immediately nodded to Gummer.
"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," she said.
A Special Moment
A photographer captured an adorable moment between the longtime couple at the 2017 Academy Awards. The evening marked a milestone for the Sophie's Choice star, who was up for her 20th Oscar. (She now boasts a total of 21 nominations, as of 2018.)
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