Franco Zeffirelli, one of the great film and opera directors, has died. He was known for his Taming of the Shrew with Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, Romeo and Juliet and the miniseries Jesus of Nazareth starring Robert Powell as Christ. He worked with Maria Callas and some of his operatic designs and productions have become worldwide classics. He was also latterly a senator for Berlusconi’s Italian centre-right Forza Italia party and a staunch Catholic.
He was born 12 February 1923 12 noon Florence the result of an affair between a fashion designer and a wool dealer and could trace his lineage back to Leonardo da Vinci’s family. His mother died when he was six and he grew up in an English expatriate community. He fought as a partisan and an interpreter for British troops, went back to architectural studies after the war and then switched to theatre, working with Luchino Visconti, Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio De Sica.
He had a 10th house Aquarius Sun opposition a filmic and creative Neptune squaring onto an expansive, confident and lucky Jupiter in Scorpio. He also had a restless, high-initiative Cardinal Grand Square of a Capricorn Moon and Venus opposition Pluto square Mars in Aries opposition Saturn in Libra – so no slouch when it came to hard work and dreaming up new projects. But he had a hard-edged and ruthless streak which would make him tricky to get along with. He also had a creative Water Grand Trine of a maverick Uranus in the 10th trine Pluto trine Jupiter, formed into a Kite by Pluto opposition Moon. Not designed for an ordinary life – the driving planet Moon would propel him towards a public career as would a 10th house Sun.
His creative and musical 7th harmonic was confident and strongly marked; as was his obsessive-dream 11H; his leaving-a-legacy 17H; and his superstar 22H.