Peter Bogdanovich, described as ‘the blazing night-sky comet of the New Hollywood generation,’ has died. He had a life of calamitous lows as well as spectacular highs, was twice bankrupt, a drug addict accused of seducing the 13-year-old half-sister of his murdered girlfriend and was also a revered director, a respected actor and an accomplished screenwriter.
He was born 30 July 1939 9.50pm New York into a family tinged with sadness because of the accidental kitchen death of a brother before his birth. His passion for films started early and he came to success young with The Last Picture Show (1971), What’s Up Doc? (1972) and Paper Moon (1973) but followed those with flops. Then his life was knocked off course after he split from a long liaison with Cybill Shepherd to date nude model/actress Dorothy Stratten, a Hugh Hefner Playmate of the Year. She was murdered by her jealous estranged husband, a nightclub promoter and pimp, who then shot himself.
Bogdanovitch, who never recovered from his obsession with Dorothy, denied seducing her younger sister Louise, though he married her eight years after Dorothy’s death when he was 49 and Louise was 20. In later years he made acclaimed documentaries about other great Hollywood figures, wrote several books and appeared in The Sopranos as psychiatrist Dr Elliot Kupferberg.
Despite the ill luck or bad decisions which dogged his life he had a Midas for others with his Paper Moon, winning ten-year-old Tatum O’Neal the youngest ever Oscar; and his The Last Picture Show – only his second film won Oscars for Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman and made stars of a young Jeff Bridges and Cybill Shepherd.
He had, not surprisingly, an extraordinarily difficult, stressed and fated chart. His controlling Sun Pluto in Leo fell in his entertaining 5th house along with charming Venus in late Cancer and all opposed Mars in Capricorn conjunct an Aquarius Moon which in turn squared onto Saturn in Taurus opposition an 8th house Scorpio North Node. His Sun Pluto did trine Jupiter in Aries in his 1st which would bring him confidence and luck. But the rest was a different matter. He was destined to attract a life that was tough, hard, bleak, frustrating, cruel, brutal and pulled him over to the dark side.
His Uranus was in an innovative, creative trine to Neptune, sextiling onto Venus. His artistic talents would and Jupiterian optimism would lift him out of the pit of despair that a Grand Square linking his Sun and Moon to Mars Pluto and Saturn would drop him into constantly.
What intrigues me is his Scorpio North Node in the 8th which is a double triple whammy of karmic penalties in his financial and emotional life. A Scorpio Node tends to do things the hard way and cling onto old patterns. The life lesson is about learning to let go no matter how painful. Being stripped of possessions or what he held dear was his path to development. He didn’t so much opt to burn bridges behind him, fate did it for him.
When Dorothy was killed in 1980 his Solar Arc Neptune was opposition his Saturn with his Solar Arc Midheaven square his Saturn – as his life and career went into a downward slide thereafter.
Dorothy, 28 February 1960 10.58 pm Vancouver, Canada, had affectionate and upbeat crossovers with Bogdanovitch with her Venus Mars in Aquarius opposition his Sun Pluto. The relationship chart was possessive and passionate with a power-couple vibe with a composite Jupiter opposition Pluto square Sun. Though in the way of all things Hollywood and with his chart it probably would not have lasted.
Louise, 8 May 1968, has less in common with him and a weird relationship chart, so the myth of him marrying Dorothy’s ghost may not be far off the mark.
His Harmonics throw up a creative 5H and leaving-a-legacy 17H – as well as a self-defeating 10H and 16H and victim 12H.
A tortured talent.