Meryl Streep accepts the Best Actress Award for ‘The Iron Lady.’ (Kevin Winter/GETTY IMAGES)

“When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, ‘Oh no. Come on,’ ” Streep joked of her third Oscar win. “But whatever.”

It was the actress’s 17th nomination. She is now one of only four actors to have three acting Oscars. (Katharine Hepburn won four.)

Streep thanked her husband — “Everything I value most in our lives you’ve given to me” — and her longtime makeup artist J. Roy Helland, who won an Oscar earlier in the night.

While Streep’s win wasn’t especially surprising, many expected Viola Davis to win the award for her role in “The Help.”

The actress took special care to thank her fellow actors, since, she said, “I’ll never be up here again.”

“I really want to thank all my colleagues, all my friends. I look out here and I see my life before my eyes,” she said. “Really, this is such a great honor. But the thing that counts the most with me is the friendships.

“Thank you, my friends, ... for this inexplicably wonderful career.”

View Photo Gallery: Highlights from the 84th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California.

Photos: Red carpet fashion

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