Meryl Streep joins exclusive club with third Oscar win

Actress Meryl Streep accepts the Best Actress Award for "The Iron Lady" onstage during the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood & Highland Center on Feb. 26, 2012, in Hollywood, Calif. Pictures: 2012 Oscar red carpet Complete Coverage: Oscars 2012
Kevin Winter
Meryl Streep accepts the best actress Award for "The Iron Lady" at the 84th Academy Awards on Feb. 26, 2012, in Hollywood.

(CBS/AP) The Oscars may be old hat to veteran actress Meryl Streep, but on Sunday night it seemed as if  she was a kid all over again.

Streep joined a very exclusive club, winning her third acting Oscar for her role as a Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady."

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Streep, 62, took home the best actress award for her 17th Oscar nomination, the most times any performer has been nominated by the Academy.

Her third win put her in a category with other three-time Oscar winners Jack Nicholson, Walter Brennan and Ingrid Bergman. Only Katharine Hepburn with four wins had more.

She joked about how many times she's been up for acting's highest honors.

"When they called my name, I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, 'Oh no ... her again,"' Streep said.

She thanked her fans "for this inexplicable wonderful career" and paid special tribute to her husband, sculptor Don Gummer.

Streep also called out for special mention her "other partner," J. Roy Helland, who has done her makeup since 1982 in "Sophie's Choice," the movie that won Streep her first best actress award. Streep also won for best supporting actress for the 1979 movie, "Kramer vs. Kramer."

The joking continued backstage when Streep said she was surprised that Academy voters looked past "Streep-fatigue" to vote for her again.

"I thought I was so old and jaded, but they call your name, and you just go into sort of a, I don't know, a white light," she said backstage. "And it was just thrilling. It was like I was a kid again. I mean, it was I was a kid when I won this, like, 30 years ago. Two of the nominees were not even conceived."

Streep beat out fellow best actress nominees Glenn Close, Viola Davis, Michelle Williams and Rooney Mara. Many movie insiders had predicted that Davis would win the award for her role in "The Help."

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