Oscars flashback: Meryl Streep admits ‘I’ll never be up here again! after winning 3rd Oscar [WATCH]

After her two early Oscar wins for “Kramer vs Kramer” (1979) and “Sophie’s Choice” (1982), Meryl Streep went through the next three decades earning a record-shattering 17 Academy Awards nominations by 2011. There was never any doubt that Streep would join the elite group of actors who’ve won three or more Academy Awards, but for which performance would it be?

SEE Oscars flashback: Meryl Streep exclaims ‘Holy mackerel’ winning her 1st Oscar for ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ [WATCH]

That answer came with her third Oscar win as it finally arrived 29 years after her second for her transformative performance as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in director Phyllida Lloyd’s “The Iron Lady.” Watch the video above as she receives the award from Colin Firth and admits to the audience, “I’ll never be up here again!”

Though the film itself was not a huge critical or commercial hit, Streep received unanimous praise for her performance. She reportedly spent almost three months doing nothing but watching footage of Thatcher to master her voice and manner.

The film also received an Oscar for Best Makeup, by Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland. Streep made a point of thanking Helland, who has been her hair and makeup man on all of her films since “Sophie’s Choice.”

SEE Oscar Best Actress Gallery: Every Winner in Academy Award History

Throughout that awards season, Streep was in close competition with Viola Davis for her performance as Aibileen in “The Help.” While Streep won the Golden Globe and BAFTA awards, Davis triumphed at the Critics Choice’ and SAG Award. It was a true mystery going into the 2012 ceremony as to which of the two ladies would prevail against the following three nominees:

Glenn Close (“Albert Nobbs”) — Close received her sixth Oscar nomination for her gender bending performance as a woman who lives as a male butler in 19th Century Ireland. She has still yet to win so far.

Rooney Mara (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) — Mara earned her first nomination for her portrayal of a troubled, but brilliant young computer hacker in this adaptation of the hit novel by Swedish author Stieg Larsson.

Michelle Williams (“My Week with Marilyn”) — Williams took on the daunting task of playing Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe in this biopic about the making of the classic “The Prince and the Showgirl.”

Since that third win alone, Streep has added on four more Oscar nominations, bringing her career total to 21. That most recent bid is for “The Post” at the upcoming Oscars next week.

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