The Berlinale's honorary lifetime achievement award, the Golden Bear, will be given to "The Iron Lady"'s Meryl Streep on February 14. The Berlin fest's Dieter Kosslick calls Streep "a brilliant, versatile performer who moves with ease between dramatic and comedic roles," and says they are "delighted to be able to award the honorary Golden Bear to such a terrific artist and world star." "The Iron Lady" will screen at the festival, as will Streep's "Out of Africa," "The Bridges of Madison County" and "A Prairie Home Companion." Streep has been recognized at the Berlinale before, in 1999 with the Berlinale Camera and in 2003 when she and co-stars Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman accepted the Silver Bear for "The Hours."
With this honor, Streep joins the ranks of past recipients Kirk Douglas, Shirley MacLaine, Sophia Loren, Gregory Peck and Elia Kazan.
Streep is considered one of two front-runners for the Best Actress Oscar. The other is "The Help"'s Viola Davis, who is Santa Barbara's Outstanding Performer of the Year.