The UK’s longest serving Prime Minister over the last century has died of a stroke at age 87 according to multiple news reports this morning. Meryl Streep won an Oscar for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in 2011’s The Iron Lady. The British leader, who drove efforts to privatize the country’s economy during her tenure from 1979-1990, was also played by Andrea Riseborough in the 2008 TV film The Long Walk To Finchley and by Lindsay Duncan in the 2009 film Margaret. Thatcher was a controversial figure both during and after her years at 10 Downing Street. Supporters say that she helped to end the Cold War, slowed the country’s inflation, and revived the public’s spirit by projecting confidence and optimism. But critics note that Thatcher’s policies did little to combat unemployment, and that she contributed to racial tensions by characterizing immigrants as a threat.
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