Melbourne: Meryl Streep, who won an Oscar for playing Margaret Thatcher in the 2011 movie `The Iron Lady `, has hailed the former British premier as a trailblazer for women.
"Margaret Thatcher was a pioneer, willingly or unwillingly, for the role of women in politics. It is hard to imagine a part of our current history that has not been affected by measures she put forward in Britain," the Herald Sun quoted her as saying.
"But to me she was a figure of awe for her personal strength and grit," she added in a statement released after Thatcher`s death from a stroke overnight in London, at the age of 87.
Streep noted that Thatcher won the British premiership "not because she inherited (the) position as the daughter of a great man, or the widow of an important man, but by dint of her own striving."
"To have given women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being princesses with a different dream: the real-life option of leading their nation; this was groundbreaking and admirable," she added.
A statement from Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth II had been "saddened" to hear of Margaret`s death, and the monarch will be sending a private message of sympathy to the family.
Thatcher was the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century.
She will be honoured with a full state funeral at St Paul`s Cathedral.