Tom Wilkinson and John Pilger, two much respected figures in their respective arenas have died.
Tom Wilkinson, a stalwart of British theatre and screen who broke into the big time with The Full Monty was remembered with fondness and respect by George Clooney and all who had worked with him in movies such as Michael Clayton, Sense and Sensibility, Shakespeare in Love, The Patriot, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Batman Begins, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Denial.
He was born 5 February 1948 in Leeds he grew up in poverty, partly in Canada, with his overworked father dying at 50 leaving nothing but debts behind him. His early career on the stage and screen provided constant work but only at 49 did he gain prominence outside the UK. What was heart-warming was that he took a percentage of the Full Monty’s profits in lieu of pay which gave him financial security for the rest of his life.
He had an Aquarius Sun opposition Saturn Pluto in Leo describing the life of hardship led by his father and giving him a determined and depressive streak. Luckily he also had an upbeat Jupiter and Moon in Sagittarius in an adventurous opposition to Uranus square a creative and charming Venus in Pisces which would not only help to lift his optimism it would also soften the harder edges of Sun Saturn Pluto. When the Full Monty was released in 1997 tr Jupiter in Aquarius was conjunct his Sun.
The other year end exit was John Pilger, the crusading journalist who drew world attention to human rights abuses in Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, East Timor and Biafra, winning awards and often being the catalyst for action. He was revered by many for his courage and criticised by others for his anti-western leanings. He was sometimes accused of twisting facts to fit his anti-US political prejudices. He also made documentaries on thalidomide and the ill treatment of Australian indigenous people. In recent years he was a vocal supporter of Julian Assange.
He was born October 9 1939 in Sydney, Australia and worked in Sydney newspapers before moving to London. In his 20s, he became the youngest recipient of the Journalist of the Year award (for his reporting on Vietnam.) He marched with civil rights campaigners from Alabama to Washington following the assassination of Martin Luther King and was in the same room when Robert Kennedy was assassinated in June 1968. He was banned from South Africa in the 1970s for his attempt to expose the reality of apartheid and reported on racism in London.
A stalwart fighter for his cause even if at times he pushed too far and did not know where the stop button was.
He was surprisingly a Sun, Venus, Mercury in Libra which should have made him diplomatic. But what drove him on was his Mars in Aquarius opposition Pluto, sextile/trine Jupiter in Aries. Mars Pluto is drawn to crisis-situations, is unafraid of danger and has immense staying power with an underground reservoir of deep, black anger.
His Mercury in Libra was square his Pluto which would redouble the force of his words and arguments, though clearly he went too far on occasion. His Mercury also opposed Saturn square Pluto opposition Mars which is a daunting combination drawing him into situations of great cruelty and darkness. With his fair-minded Libra planets waving the scales of justice and fairness as he emerged from yet another killing field.
He did make a difference.