Meryl Streep has hailed former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a "groundbreaking pioneer" for women in politics following her death on Monday (08Apr13).

Tributes from around the world have poured in for the U.K.'s first female leader and now the star, who won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of the revered politician in The Iron Lady, has offered her condolences.

A statement issued to reads: "Margaret Thatcher was a pioneer, willingly or unwillingly, for the role of women in politics. I was honored to try to imagine her late life journey, after power; but I have only a glancing understanding of what her many struggles were, and how she managed to sail through to the other side. I wish to convey my respectful condolences to her family and many friends.

"To have come up, legitimately, through the ranks of the British political system, class bound and gender phobic as it was, in the time that she did and the way that she did, was a formidable achievement... 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."

Meanwhile, former U.S. President Bill Clinton states, "The United Kingdom has lost its first woman Prime Minister, an iconic stateswoman, and a fearless leader", and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger adds, "Margaret Thatcher was a visionary, a warrior and a once-in-a-lifetime leader who left the world better than she found it. We'll miss her."

Other tributes have also been issued by U.S. President Barack Obama and current British Prime Minister David Cameron, in addition to newsman Piers Morgan, actors Stephen Fry and Bette Midler, and even One Direction's Harry Styles, who was born in 1994, four years after Thatcher stepped down as the nation's leader.

Meanwhile, Nancy Reagan - the wife of late U.S. leader Ronald Reagan, who formed an historic alliance with Thatcher - adds, "The United States knew Margaret as a spirited and courageous ally, and the world owes her a debt of gratitude."