Des O’Connor – his amiability hid a dark childhood

Des O’Connor, the singer, comedian and presenter, known as the quintessence of niceness, has died aged 88. No one had a bad word to say about him. Fellow comic Jimmy Tarbuck said: “He was a joy to work with, the most easy-going and charming guy. The laidback smoothie you saw on stage was exactly the same in the dressing room – never flustered, always upbeat. What made him unique was his generosity with the laughs. Whether he delivered a gag or left the punchline to me, it made no difference – he just wanted to see the audience happy.”

  What is astro-extraordinary is he had a hair-raisingly difficult chart. Born 12 January 1932 in London with an Irish dustman father and Jewish cleaner mother, the family were so poor he developed rickets as a toddler and had to walk with calipers. He said he blanked out much of his childhood, which had little warmth. He was knocked down by a drunken driver and badly injured; then evacuated during the war to a callous, profiteering landlady who didn’t feed him, so he was skin and bones by the time his father tracked him down.

  He started performing during his National Service and gradually rose to prominence after a long apprenticeship in the variety theatre.

  He had an ambitious Capricorn Sun conjunct a hard-edged and unfairly-treated Mars Saturn in a scary, frustrating, suppressed opposition to Pluto square Uranus.  All the cruelty of his childhood tied up there.

  What was his saving grace was an inspirational and ever-optimistic Fire Grand Trine of Jupiter in flamboyant Leo trine Uranus in a wide trine to Mercury in Sagittarius; with Jupiter opposition Venus in Aquarius. With Venus as the leading planet, he had charm in abundance, backed up by a great deal of self-belief, despite his self-deprecating manner.

  He was married four times, with three divorces, mainly put down to his workaholic tendencies. Though underneath all that easy-going amiability there would be a good deal of tension and a fair few demons chasing him – as is often the case with comedians.

  Oddly enough – in the syncronicity of similar charts popping up the same week – he was born within a week of Matthew McConaughey’s mother, who had a wild and very sexual relationship with his father. Time of birth and houses will make some of the difference.  But Des O’Connor’s public image wasn’t as close to the private reality as you might imagine.    

10 thoughts on “Des O’Connor – his amiability hid a dark childhood

  1. That generation born with Pluto in Cancer really bore the brunt of the terrible upheaval of WW2. It should come as no surprise that this generation in the U.K. experienced the trauma of evacuation and indeed suffered abuse at the hands is the people who took them in. It seems unthinkable today that we would place vulnerable children with complete strangers. But in true Pluto fashion, other’s lives were transformed by the experience.

  2. John Lennon had a prosperous childhood. His aunt, Mimi. was comfortable and home life was structured and settled. I have seen her home. Set back from the road, a large 3/4 bed property. Very nice. The fact that John did not appreciate all that she tried to do, which was to provide stability. A fact that is easily ignored, in favour of his more dis-functional mother.

  3. Oddly enough I was talking to friends last night about him and they mentioned meeting one of his children some time back who talked about him in hostile terms. Maybe the laid-back smoothie was there for work and home was a different matter. Four wives may tell a tale.

    • He had to be strong to survive such a tough chart…has he got a Leo ascendant? He looks quite Leonine and surely had some pride, as he survived in the tough world of show business……Sun/Saturn/Mars!!! – in the picture here, his eyes are very defensive, but you’re right it was probably his Jup trine Ur tr Mercury which overruled. Merc in Sag gave him humour, without which he could not have survived. Big contradictions with 5 heavily earth planets and the node sextiling them….self preservation was a very strong instinct. Sun Cap, Moon Pisces, is a bit of a split personality – extreme. Well done that man for living a good life.

    • There is often a rift with adult children when a man marries a younger woman (especially if the new wife is younger than the adult children themselves!), isn’t there? I’ve seen it a lot, usually financial arguments and gold digger accusations etc. In my experience sometimes the hostility is very justified and other times the adult children just seem very overly entitled. Who knows, but surely he gave them a better life than he had himself.

      The four wives weren’t in quick succession were they? If not, then four long term relationships isn’t that unusual these days – the difference is people aren’t as quick to get married as since the 1970’s – 80’s there isn’t as much social pressure to do so.

  4. I had no idea he had such a bleak start in life, but unsurprised to see Sun/Mars/Saturn in aspect to Pluto. Capricorn friend, self-reliant to an extreme has Moon, Mars/Saturn in Scorpio and had a father who he describes as a four letter word, and thats simply the only thing he has to say about his Father. Turns out his father was actually a war hero who fought in both World Wars, but also a bully, cheat and domestic abuser. You see this stark childhood sometimes when Capricorn Suns and Mars/Saturn/Puto or Scorpio in the mix.

  5. Undernourishment, weakend bones, a major accident, and a father who was a refuse collector, an accurate illustration of Mars Saturn Sun in Capricorn opposite Pluto as Ive seen.
    Poor man, but well done to him for turning it round.

  6. This is so thought provoking. His childhood sounds horrendous, but doubtless endless children suffered similar grim fates at that time. No NHS or much in the way of social services – not that these are the entire answer of course. What’s interesting is that today we always associate awful childhoods with crime, and yet many creative or otherwise successful people had weird or difficult starts in life. That’s not to say they don’t suffer the consequences of childhood horrors, but somehow find a way to move around the worst of that legacy. John Lennon, for instance, didn’t have an ideal childhood at all – and there are a number of current Hollywood stars who have bizarre or troubled backgrounds. It’s an interesting conundrum.

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