Gene Wilder – turning unhappiness into laughs



Comic actor, Gene Wilder, has died – Blazing Saddles, Willy Wonka etc – who ‘specialised in playing eccentrically lovable oddball characters nervously struggling to make sense of the confusion of an uncertain world.’

Born 11 June 1933 5.30am Milwaukee, Wisconsin, into a Russian Jewish immigrant family, he was always interested in performing and after an unhappy detour into a military school where he was assaulted for being Jewish, he settled into a long, distinguished career. Charlie Chaplin inspired him for his ability to be “funny, then sad, then both at the same time.”

His mother was sick during his childhood which left him with heavy guilt. “My mother was suffering every day of her life and what right did I have to be happy?” he said. Only after she died, when he was 24, did he start to kick his self-loathing.

After two decades of making successful comedies in the 1970s and 1980s, he fell out of love with Hollywood. “I like show but not the business,” he said. He moved to Connecticut, and virtually disappeared from the screen, and went on to write three novels, a collection of short stories and a well-received memoir.

He had a first house Gemini Sun trine Saturn in Aquarius on his Midheaven, a testament to his unhappy mother which paradoxically made him well-organised and a hard-worker. His Sun was also square a 4th house Mars Jupiter in Virgo. He had three inconjuncts in his chart – a Yod of Pluto sextile Mars inconjunct Saturn MC which would be tough to cope with; and his Moon was inconjunct Venus Mercury – so he’d never feel he fitted in, which would give him inspiration for his oddball characters.

Interestingly he had a strong 13th Harmonic chart with a Grand Trine/Kite and a Grand Cross. The 13H is associated with genius and breaking with the orthodox.

Both Robin Williams and Peter Sellers, with very different natal charts, also had strong 13th Harmonics, so it must be something to do with tragi-comic mavericks, who were able to use their vulnerabilities and instabilities to make others laugh.

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