'Iron Lady' Star Meryl Streep Celebrated By Past Co-Stars at Kennedy Center Honors

6:52 AM PST 12/05/2011 by Michael O'Connell
JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

Joining President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton at the Sunday fete, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Stanley Tucci and Anne Hathaway were among those on hand to salute the 16-time Oscar nominee.

Of the five names to be recognized at Sunday's 34th Annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., Meryl Streep likely received one of the higher profile salutes.

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Robert De Niro first took the stage to introduce his Falling in Love co-star, taking shot at her great fortune with acting awards.

"One factor keeping Meryl's average is down is that she has to compete with Meryl Streep, including last year when her performance in Julie and Julia beat out her performance in It's Complicated," he said, referring to her two Golden Globe nominations in 2010. "Meryl was so gracious in losing."

De Niro's remarks weren't the only salute she received from past collaborators. Emily Blunt, Anne Hathaway, Kevin Kline and Stanley Tucci all appeared in a musical tribute to Streep.

Ahead of the show, President Obama spoke of Streep at a special White House presentation.

"Meryl Streep was once described as a cross between a den-mother and a class cutup. I don't know who that was," he said before laughter cut him off. "Today, she's the most nominated actress in the history of the Academy Awards. She's tossed aside more than a few stereotypes along the way. Each of her roles is different, and different from what we expect Meryl Streep to be."

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Speaking with the AP at the honors, Streep had some words of her own on the recognition.

"Look where we are, look who's here," she said. "It's overwhelming. I feel very proud."

Watch some highlights of the show below, via the AP:
 

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