James Woods Brought Meryl Streep To Tears With A Heartfelt Speech About The Love She Lost And The Love She Found Right After
May 24, 2019 09:55 By Fabiosa
Meryl Streep has been happily married to sculptor Don Gummer for three decades. The couple have four children together and are still very much in love, but do you know how their love story started? Don was Meryl’s ray of hope amid unbearable pain of loss.
Before Meryl met Don, she dated fellow actor John Cazale. They were together for three years, but their romance was cut short by John’s passing in 1978. He died from lung cancer, and Meryl was by his side until his last breath.
Friend and fellow actor James Woods knew what Meryl was going through. In a moving tribute speech to the actress, James recalled how she went from the depths of grief to the highs of hope and happiness within months.
James Woods’ heart-exploding speech
In his speech at the 32nd AFI Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony in 2004, James spoke very fondly about his friend and former co-star.
He recalled what it was like, working with her on the 1978 miniseries Holocaust. James’ heart broke for Meryl when the man she loved was dying. The actor recalled:
At the time, there was a tragedy happening in her life – a loved one close to her was terminally ill. Sadly, right after the production of ‘Holocaust’ he passed away.
He was lucky enough to have as the last vision of his life Meryl’s lovely face.
Meryl choked up as she listened. James went on:
I came back to New York for the network screening. I will never forget: in this little screening room I said to Meryl, ‘How do you feel? Do you feel like dating or opening up your heart yet?’ She said, ‘No, I just really feel like it’s not time yet. I haven’t seen anybody. I’ve just been, you know, trying to get through the days.’
Meryl looked puzzled at this point, now knowing where this was going, but James continued:
Her brother, Harry Streep the Third , walked up to us and said, ‘Jimmy, Meryl, I’d like you to meet a friend of mine – Don Gummer.’ I kind of look over and see Meryl look up at him and look back at me, and [James looks directly at Meryl] you were blushiiiing!
Meryl’s face lit up in an instant! Her dear friend continued with the story:
She held up her hand to shake hands with him, and he leant down and kissed her hand.
And there was a little tiny spark that became, I believe, the great love affair of the 20th century.
What a rollercoaster of emotions Meryl must have felt in just minutes as she listened! James knows how to make a speech to remember.