After a remarkable 45 years of marriage, Meryl Streep and Don Gummer have made the decision to divorce. On a Saturday, PEOPLE verified the news of their discreet split from each other that had taken place six years earlier.
A spokesperson for Streep stated, “Don Gummer and Meryl Streep have been living separate lives for over six years, and while they will always hold deep affection for each other, they have opted for separate paths.”
Since the 2018 Oscars, the public has not seen the couple together. However, Meryl Streep was recently seen in Spain at the 2023 Princesa de Asturias Awards with her wedding band. Their 45th wedding anniversary, which was on September 30, was a critical turning point in their romance.
When Gummer, a sculptor from Louisville, Kentucky, met Streep through her brother in 1978, their love affair officially began. She was lamenting the death of her partner, the actor John Cazale, who unfortunately passed away from lung cancer at the time. They clicked right away, and six months later, they were married at her parents’ house.
Throughout the years, Streep and Gummer kept their personal life private, rarely divulging details about their relationship. Nevertheless, they were occasionally photographed together.
While Streep made a name for herself in the world of cinema, Gummer found success in the realm of art. He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and later obtained an MFA from Yale University. His artwork has been featured in exhibitions worldwide since the early 1970s.
In a 2002 Vogue interview, Streep provided a rare insight into their relationship. According to the renowned actress, the key to their enduring love was “goodwill and willingness to compromise — and occasionally, to remain silent.”
She explained, “There’s no set formula for raising a family; it’s always a substantial negotiation. But I have an inherent need to work and to have profound bonds of love in my life. I can’t fathom sacrificing one for the other.”
Meryl Streep and Don Gummer share four children: a son named Henry and daughters named Mamie, Grace, and Louisa. In 1998, Streep confessed to The Washington Post that motherhood was her most challenging role, saying, “Mothering. Absolutely. Acting — that’s praise, money, fulfillment. Mothering — they don’t even say, ‘Thank you.’ They don’t even clear the table unless you say, ‘Excuse me.’ Real life is incomparable to acting, where there’s no uncertainty.”
She further expressed, “Acting isn’t like real life. Life is about not being sure: Is this the right school for this kid? All those uncertainties.”
Despite Streep’s typically private personal life, Gummer held a special place in her heart. In 2012, when she received the Best Actress Oscar for her role in The Iron Lady, she expressed her gratitude, saying, “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.”