Jul 18, 2021

Astrology of Hollywood Legend Bette Davis: her life and death

Bette Davis 1938; Photoplay; George Hurrell, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

An Astro-Tribute to the Great Bette Davis by Jude Cowell

The Wikipedia page of Bette Davis is quite extensive and includes several photos primarily from her many films. Having just watched Another Man's Poison (1951; Eros Films), a freebie movie on YouTube Premium, I became curious about the Astrology of her roles, her life, and death. And having grown up in the 1950s as a fan of films, it seemed through the years that 'Miss Davis' was always around - often playing extremely unlikeable characters. In fact, in Another Man's Poison, she plays a narcissistic mystery writer who runs roughshod over everyone, quite a meanie. She does love her horse, however.

So if we check online for an accurate horoscope of her birth, we find a natal chart for Ruth Elizabeth Davis (Rated: A), born April 5, 1908 9:00 pm EST in Lowell, Massachusetts with Sun 15Ari54 (in 5th house of Creativity), Moon 16Gem46 straddling the 8th house cusp along with Pluto 22Gem55 (sparkling, witty Gemini!), and her Ascendant @18Sco25, ruled and co-ruled by Mars and powerful Pluto.

As you see in her natal chart, below, her natal Midheaven, the Goal and Career Point @00Vir34, has royal Regulus shining there and providing her with visibility on the world stage and global success. And her magical planet of glamor and film, Neptune @12Can07, not only was linked to her North Node of public contact, but was also conjunct starry Sirius (the mundane becomes sacred)!

Now you may agree that Davis' Mars-ruled Scorpio and Aries placements suggest a lot of intensity and much passion which is well supported by her romance-oriented 7th house Venus-Mars conjunction (29Tau16/00Gem13). Married four times, Miss Davis' final marriage (from 1950 to 1960) was to actor Gary Merrill who starred with her in Another Man's Poison.

Perusing the Harveys's book Sun Sign-Moon Sign for notes on her personality blend of conscious (Sun) and unconsicous (Moon) energies, we find a quote from the lady herself, "When a man gives his opinion he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion she's a bitch." Sounds like some of the characters she played in her films - and in her life, one imagines. And come to think of it, in my life I've run across similar circumstances!

Now the Fire-Air Sun Aries-Moon Gemini blend is a "live wire" combo, a high-velocity mixture with multiple irons in the fire, a creative entrepreneur who can be brash and impatient. Drive and ambition are evident (active 1929--1989, the year of her death) as was her joie de vivre and zest for life. More strong determination is added by her natal Uranus @16Cap48 in the 2nd house of Money, Earning Ability, and Values for the disruptive planet of genius and originality leads a Locomotive pattern and as such, can be on the ruthless side.

This enthusiastic live-wire Aries-Gemini personality blend she shared with actors Doris Day, Omar Sharif, and Spencer Tracy!

And what about her famous "Bette Davis Eyes" those limpid Piscean pools of dreaminess that you see in the photo above? Her natal Mercury (eyes; sight) is just that - in the Water sign of Pisces!

So below is a bi-wheel with the natal horoscope of Bette Davis in center, and her timed Death Horoscope, outer, so that you can see the planetary contacts (circled, but you can find more no doubt especially if you set up the charts for yourself). Not shown are her final Solar Return chart for April 5, 1989 (with Saturn and Neptune square her natal Sun and Uranus square SR Moon--listed at the bottom of the chart), her final Mars Return chart (March 9, 1989), and her Secondary Progressions for October 6, 1989 11:20 pm CET Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, the date, hour, and location of her passing after surgery for breast cancer. Why stop in France?

Sadly, because an ill and weakened Bette Davis was simply too exhausted to travel the rest of the way home:

Now here's a curious LA Times article published January 3, 1989 that may be of interest: Bette Davis Smoking Over 'Stepmother'. The "dental surgery" mentioned may actually have been her cancer surgery. She left the film set and never returned. What do you think?

Apr 13, 2020

The Sparkling Gemini Sun and Wit of Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder 1970: photo from Start The Revolution Without Me

In spite of the fact that actor Gene Wilder never worked much in Hollywood, he's turning up today on Neptune's Silver Screen due to his status as a celluloid legend.

Here's a 44-minute Profile of Gene Wilder, a comedic genius on film who reported that he was not so funny in real life. Now don't quote me but I believe this is called, acting!

Actually, Biography also did a piece on him which was recently updated if you care to watch. Wilder was the son of a Jewish Russian immigrant father who became successful in America as did his son with the large, expressive blue eyes!

And for the astro-minded, here's a look at his natal horoscope (nee Jerome Silberman) with Sun and Ascendant in Mercury-ruled Gemini, Moon in early Aquarius (in wide conjunction with his Saturn Rx: an 11-degree orb suggesting a depressive-oppressive childhood). When he was 8 years old his mother (Moon) had a heart attack and he got his first laughs through trying to make her laugh. And fortunately, his writer's planet Mercury @5Can28 conjoins America's natal Jupiter, the jolly planet of laughter!

Wilder's Mercury-Venus conjunction in Cancer (his Venus conjunct US natal Venus!) is a signature of one whose writing is pleasing and for whom writing is a natural talent. His witty Gemini Sun and Ascendant favor it, too, with lots of inventive ideas! Do you know that one of his most iconic films (and a personal favorite of yours truly) Young Frankenstein, was Gene Wilder's creation? Many people have always assumed that director Mel Brooks wrote the script but not so!

Born June 11, 1933 at 3:50 am CST Milwaukee, Wisconsin (RR: AA for accurate data), Gene Wilder's natal chart shows the turbulent Neptune-Jupiter-Mars line-up, aka, the Marseillaise Trio of violence, which is a planetary signature of the French Revolution along with its Hitlerian implications of World War II.

Speaking of the French Revolution and the Marseillaise Trio, check out the official trailer of Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland in the 1970 spoof Start The Revolution Without Me if you wish! Plus, here is the official trailer for The Producers, originally titled, Spring Time for Hitler which brings to mind Gene Wilder's natal Neptune-Jupiter-Mars trio of 1933 so of course he was cast in a film that ridiculed Adolf Hitler.

Then sadly, Gene Wilder passed away on August 28, 2016 in Stamford, Connecticut, and in its entertainment and arts section, the BBC was among the thousands of publications to announce the death of Gene Wilder, age 83. Naturally astrologers will recognize that his death came just prior to his Uranus Return to natal degree (26Ari20) which occurred three times just beyond his life's reach - twice in 2017, and once on March 10, 2018. As he passed, a cosmic echo formed in memory of his writing talent for on August 28, 2016, in late Virgo (sign of Health), Mercury and Venus again conjoined their energies - but this time attended by 'laughing' Jupiter, and with transit Neptune and the South Node of the Moon (both connected to loss and grief) conjunct his natal Pisces Midheaven.

Gene Wilder 1933--2016. May he R.I.P.


Jan 1, 2020

Now Starring! International Beauty Catherine Deneuve

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Catherine_Deneuve_1969.jpg; Catherine Deneuve in The April Fools (1969)

If you wish, why not nab yourself a view of the natal horoscope of French actress and international beauty Catherine Deneuve whose birth data is rated AA for accuracy. Born in Paris, France on October 22, 1943 at 1:35 pm CET as Catherine Fabienne Doleac, her Sun in late Libra--ruled by lovely Venus--shines upon her beauty, while her natal Moon @13Leo57 reveals a youthful, emotional need to perform on stage and screen for the applause and recognition that Leo craves. Coming from an acting family, Deneuve (her mother's maiden name) came by the dramatic urge naturally, made her first film appearance age 12, and in 1992, Miss Deneuve was nominated for an Academy Award for her dramatic role in the film Indochine (link to a 2-minute trailer).

So upon hearing this evening that Catherine Deneuve had suffered a mild stroke in November 2019--thankfully resulting in no motor function damage--I became curious to check out astrological placements of her feminine goddess asteroids, if any. With such beauty and decades of popularity, surely there must be a few, mais oui? Well, imagine my surprise at first glance of her natal chart to discover that the transiting Sun this evening conjoins her natal Ascendant (11Cap08) as I type and so I'm casting a small spotlight her way, it seems!

Now a brief study of Catherine Deneuve's natal chart reveals an emphasis on planetary placements indicating fame and idol worship (rather than on asteroid placements) although it should be noted that Venus-ruled Libra is appropriately represented in the asteroid category by the pleasant feminine duo of Diana (the huntress suggesting her work with animal rights and her animal print fashions), and sexy, poetic Sappho. Natal Mercury and silver-screen planet Neptune are also in artful, creative Libra.

Lady Venus, goddess of love and beauty, is placed in virginal Virgo (sign of the goddess) near Miss Deneuve's natal Chiron with the pair suggesting early pain in love which results in deep wisdom in later years concerning relationships.

Now the dramatic, romantic sign of Leo takes center stage with her Jupiter, planet of acting, placed there along with Moon (the public) conjunct North Node (public contacts: Moon-NN = popularity and success), plus, powerful, passionate Pluto. Perhaps you'll agree that this is quite a Leonine stage full of glamorous thespians!

And since she's sometimes been called the "Ice Queen" for her cool beauty--in similar fashion to another cool beauty, actress Kim Novak, it's interesting to note that Deneuve's asteroid Isis is in the intense, sexy, passionate sign of Scorpio!

As for the feminine archetype that so often makes a cameo of goddess-like proportions here on Neptune's Silver Screen, her asteroid Lilith, the alluring seductress, is placed in the sparkling sign of Gemini which is a charming and Mercurial note on which to close this astro-tribute to the legendary Catherine Deneuve!


Nov 30, 2019

Nov 30, 2019: The Folies-Bergere Revue Turns 133 Years Old!

A Bar at the Folies-Bergere, Edouard Manet; oil on canvas 1881-1882 {public domain}

In Paris, France 133 Years ago on November 30, 1886 the Folies-Bergere opened its first revue with beautiful dancers in gorgeous costumes! It seems the costumed ladies made the theater's pantomime shows old hat and pretty much every other act they'd previously featured. Stars were born!

Then one fabled night in 1925, a certain lady was lowered from the ceiling and she turned out to be the fabulous Josephine Baker who treated the audience to her famous (or infamous!) banana dance. Follow the link to a previous post concerning Miss Baker's natal planets and view a gif that captures her sparkling Gemini personality, plus, a photo of her sporting her scanty banana get-up!


Nov 8, 2019

Cary Grant in Frank Capra's Arsenic and Old Lace

By now my secret is out: Cary Grant is my favorite classic film star of the male persuasion! One of his best if quirkiest films in my estimation (a sentimental favorite) is director Frank Capra's Arsenic and Old Lace based on a 1939 play that was based on an actual lady murderer who only got away with her crimes for so long until the long arm of the law--well, you know the rest.

Watch the Arsenic and Old Lace's official trailer from 1944 (2:49).

Thing is, having belatedly discovered a YouTube video from 2018 Arsenic and Old Lace: 13 Things You Don't Need to Know I couldn't resist sharing it with you in case Mr. Grant and/or Arsenic and Old Lace are favorites of yours, too! Hope you enjoy the video created by A Million Movies and if you'd care to check out the natal horoscope of Cary Grant, nee Archie Leach, here's my take on his natal planets and complicated psyche.

For when it comes to classic films, just like his oft-used exclamation Cary Grant is good stuff!


Oct 28, 2019

Charlie Chaplin: Venus conjunct Mars in Taurus!

Charlie Chaplin; 1920; Strauss-Peyton Studio [Public domain]

These days, with power-grasping, creepy Pluto plodding through the sign of governmental Capricorn (on one level this placement denotes The Dictator), it seems appropriate to consider the two possible natal horoscopes of the very famous film pioneer and masterful actor, writer, and producer, Charlie Chaplin. Two because Chaplin's birth date is in question (RR: XX) although both natal charts have 8:00 pm GMT as Charlie's birth time. So it's either April 15 or April 16, 1889 in London with Moon in Libra or Moon in Scorpio and since his mother was a defining element in his life, perhaps we're tempted to assume a Scorpio Moon as more problematic than a Venus-ruled Libra Moon. She did perform in vaudeville after all (Venus and Libra = the arts) as did his father but early on, Charlie had to take over the money making duties age 5, due to mother Hannah's illness. And of course, illness can very well point toward brooding Scorpio for a Mum and yet Libra is a mental Air sign that perhaps is not particularly suited to the harsher side of life. Back in Charlie's day, Victorian hard times were really hard times.

Of course a person's Moon sign is only one factor when attempting to judge a natal horoscope that's unreliable because of inaccurate birth data. But in a sense, Charlie's Moon sign is a primary clue that distinguishes between the two charts and dates especially if we want this to remain a mere post and not a book!

Besides, other features of both horoscopes are pretty much the same except for the Moon sign since both charts are set for the same hour and location and are dated only 24 hours apart. So let's consider a few astro-notes on the two potential personality blends a la Charles and Suzi Harvey's book Sun Sign-Moon Sign while keeping in mind Chaplin's lusty, passionate Venus-Mars conjunction in the comfort-loving, possessive, often materialistic sign of Taurus (the Bull):

Right away the 'live-wire' Fire-Air Sun Aries-Moon Libra blend of April 15, 1889 puts an emphasis on relationships. This combo of energies tends to 'wear its heart on its sleeve' (like a certain silent film star we both know!) and often displays a 'hoping for the best' vibe (yep!). As a Full Moon blend, head and heart can work against each other and may indicate one who tends to be overly accommodating in relationships due to a deep desire for harmony. Flirtatious, romantic, and devoted, we see such traits within the love-struck characters Chaplin played so well in his films while expressing grand heroic gestures toward his lady loves, and yet there's an awkwardness, too.

This is a charming and sociable blend that invests much in gaining the approval and adoration of others and success is made possible by a great amount of artistic imagination and creative talent. Idealism is present yet there may be a tendency to allow the need for appreciation to feed vanity rather than creativity, plus, vacillation or indecision can be an issue within creative projects.

Now here's a quote from someone born under the Sun Aries-Moon Libra blend: "The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves." - William Hazlitt. Reminds me of Charlie's stirring speech of selflessness in The Great Dictator (below)!

Meanwhile...

If born on April 16, 1889 (the birth date most folks use for Charlie), a steamy Fire-Water Sun Aries-Moon Scorpio blend held sway. This personality blend denotes an intense, witty, passionate and highly motivated fellow with charisma and an inherent love of self-dramatization. To this mixture of bright laughter and cynicism is added driving ambition and great energy. Committed to a chosen path, some consider those born under this blend as pushy and brash while others see a private and quietly purposeful individual whose emotions can turn brooding and bitter if his plans are blocked or if accolades are not forthcoming.

For Sun Aries-Moon Scorpio, life is a drama and a theater the perfect place to shine. A natural leader (with partners, Chaplin founded United Artists Studio), a sharp and penetrating approach to life is notable and a single-mindedness helped garner the success he craved. This blend needs physical exercise and the acrobatic stunts and dancing onscreen show an amazing amount of agility and dedication as his film character The Little Tramp saved 'maidens in distress' and easily avoided punches from opponents and jealous boyfriends!

For a quote from one born under Sun Aries-Moon Scorpio, let's hear from Henry James: "Live all you can...it doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that what have you had?

I can imagine the great Charlie Chaplin saying and asking much the same thing, can't you? As for which Moon sign and birth date are accurate for Charles Spenser Chaplin, is it possible that he played a love-struck Libra Moon in his films while actually hiding a brooding Scorpio Moon underneath? It might be possible - especially if he studied the Astrology of it!

Now, born only four days apart from Herr Hitler, here is the famous scene from Chaplin's film The Great Dictator: his uplifting and inspiring 'Message for Humanity' - what many folks have called The Best Speech Ever:

And below you see Charlie Chaplin at the 1972 Academy Awards accepting a well-deserved, long-time-coming Honorary Oscar--the only time he returned to America; I remember watching this award show back in the day and how it felt that one of my all-time favorites was finally being recognized by his peers after all that the "Red Scare" fiasco had put him through and how America had cruelly exiled him from the country-- at least in part for his preference for 16-year-olds. Apparently, America's Puritan streak just can't stop judging other people and you know how that sets us up for hypocrisy:

And if you check out 15 Things You Don't Know About Charlie Chaplin you'll discover among other things that his eyes were not brown but a lovely piercing blue!

Then for those who prefer more depth to their bio of this complex creative genius don't miss Charlie Chaplin: The Tragic Life of the Little Tramp.

Blog Note: if either video is deleted from this post, both are worth a search on YouTube!


Oct 26, 2019

Hollywood Horrorscope: Bela Lugosi Prince of Darkness

Screenshot from the Internet Archive of the trailer for Dracula (1931) [Public domain]

On the 'Horrorscope' of Screen Legend Bela Lugosi: Sun Libra-Moon Aquarius

by Jude Cowell

Boo! Yes, that's Bela Lugosi as Dracula staring menacingly at you! And with the spooky season soon upon us, I've decided to post the natal horrorscope and add a few astro-notes concerning the pioneering celluloid Prince of Darkness of the 1930s and 1940s, film legend Bela Lugosi. His life story makes for an eery and tragic tale in spite of major Hollywood success for in 1935 Lugosi succumbed to some bad habits and became ensnared in heavy drug use which went on to control much of his life and damage his health. Yet he married five wives, and to me it seems rather a marvel that he could manage to walk down the aisle as many as five times!

Born on October 20, 1882 at 3:30 pm LMT in Lugos, Romania (RR: A), Lugosi's birth name is quite impressive: Bela Ferenc Dezsco Blasko. He was a Lugosi from Lugos! On that day, hour, and at that particular location, the Sun clocked in @27Lib06, the Moon @4AQ37, and Mercury @2Sco49 Rx--and recently on October 4, 2019 (although he's unaware of it) Bela Lugosi had a Mercury Return! And of course, Scorpio is the most appropriate sign for the spooky season of the year and is ruled by Mars (planet of needles), co-ruled by intense Pluto, a pair of planetary energies often associated with drugs and drug use as is urge-to-merge Neptune, Venus (planet of veins and pleasure), and overindulgent Jupiter who, when acting negatively, only makes things worse.

Therefore, his natal Ascendant (Self; Physical Body) in early Pisces, ruled by Jupiter, co-ruled by Neptune, makes sense for besides drugs, toxins, liquids, and secrets. Pisces is associated with inspired creativity and The Arts. Yet as you know, the sign's traditional symbol is the Two Fishes, one swimming up toward the heights, the other swimming down to the depths. Innovative film making and success: the heights, drugs and their soul-destroying use: the depths, and Lugosi's life encompassed them both.

As for his double Air Sun Libra-Moon Aquarius personality blend, Bela was a 'detached humanitarian' who was reasonable, idealistic, and well-meaning but maddeningly elusive when it came to being pinned down (pardon, but one can't help but think of a silver stake for this!) - no pigeonholes for Mr. Lugosi! A visionary, he tended to set himself up for disappointment as most visionaries tend to do, and his attraction to emotional intrigue spurred his sense of self-dramatization (on stage and off, one imagines). Able to be flirtatious and sincere at the same time, this blend highly values relationships and 'comes alive' (!) in social settings yet Lugosi may have been blind to his own need to depend upon others. And perhaps it was his personality blend's tendency to 'dream life away' and to 'build castles in the air' that worsened his drug dependency for a certain laziness was a potential if not an actuality, plus, such Utopian dreams usually possess a siren song quality about them, so difficult to resist.

Then with his Midheaven ('MC', the Aspiration, Goal, and Career Point) in Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius, rewards in his career came yet Lugosi is reported to have spent all his money on drugs, and died penniless on August 16, 1956 in Los Angeles, California after entering a drug rehab facility on April 21, 1955--but sadly he had not stuck with the program.

And so, as another Halloween draws near, I wish all ghouls and readers a safe and joyful evening full of sweets but no tricks at all. And with this astro-tribute I wish for Bela Lugosi another night to R.I.P.

Note: more personality blend details may be found in Sun Sign-Moon Sign by Charles and Suzi Harvey.