Thursday, January 28, 2010


Alan Alda was born this day in 1936. I've just finished reading Alan's autobiography, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed. His second book, Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself awaits on the shelf. He comes over as a thoroughly nice guy, and an engaging writer. His role as Hawkeye Pierce in the long-running TV series M*A*S*H thrust him to international fame, but he has also presented TV science programmes, written screenplays and acted & directed in stage and movie productions. He writes that before he began his stint in M*A*S*H he was excited but very nervous to begin portraying Hawkeye, a character so very different from himself: "He drinks, he chases women, he's a smart alek."In spite of his misgivings though, he managed to create something of a legend. He tells that on his very first entrance in the show he had to cross the compound, with several nurses around. He feared that if he hadn't "transformed" by the time he arrived at the other side he'd fail. He grabbed one nurse by the waist as he passed her, et voila! He was Hawkeye!

Born 28 January 1936 in New York at 5.07 AM (Astrodatabank).

In the chapter of Never Have Your Dog Stuffed headed "Conversations With the Dead", Alan tells of a passing interest in spiritualism and ESP, and writes:
At one point I could cast a horoscope using a sidereal ephemeris which is a kind of bus schedule of the planets. I was studiously exploring what I later came to think of as highly improbably stuff, but it headed me unexpectedly toward an interest in science.
Dang! You know, had he been born sometime earlier or later in the day, we might have had a brilliant astrologer here, instead of a brilliant actor. Capricorn rising, and Saturn semi-sextile Sun probably propelled him science-ward.

Some of his own words are woven into the following to help interpret his natal chart.

I'm most at home on the stage. I was carried onstage for the first time when I was six months old.
I'd have expected some Leo emphasis in Alan's chart, but there is none. His father was an actor, so being born into that kind of environment was enough to propel him towards a career in the spotlight, without any of Leo's show-bizzy assistance. Astrology is only part of all our life stories, and weaves into them, entwined with several other influences.

I'm an angry person, angrier than most people would imagine, I get flashes of anger. What works for me is working out when it's useful to use that anger.
Saturn conjunct Mars, semi-sextile Aquarius Sun on one side and Aries Moon on the other more or less translates that that quote into astrologese, I reckon.

You can't get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you're doing. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover will be yourself.
That's Aries Moon flanked by semi-sextiles from Saturn/Mars and from Uranus, planet of the unexpected.

When people are laughing, they're generally not killing one another.
Laughter is key to Alan Alda's philosophy and personal success. Aquarius Sun/Mercury sextile Jupiter in it's own sign Sagittarius. Also Venus trine Uranus.

It's too bad I'm not as wonderful a person as people say I am, because the world could use a few people like that.
Jupiter (publication) squaring Neptune, planet of illusion. Or perhaps Mercury (communication) quincunx Neptune. Or is it Alan being self-deprecating - Saturn semi-sextile Sun? I think so!


Wisewebwoman said...

Oh bullseye T!
He's on my list of the 10 people (living or dead) I'd love to have a long dinner with.
He is so multi-talented, a long time feminist, and has managed to live a life free of Hollywoodism...
And how was your birthday?

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Yes, agreed! One of the good 'uns!

Birthday wasn't one of my better 'uns. Under the weather with sinus problems....again! Didn't do anything but mooch around. Will make up for it later on.

We now have a nasty ice storm raging - wouldn't be surprised if power goes soon. :-(

anthonynorth said...

I like him. Whatever he does he does well. And he's well grounded, too.

DTStacey said...

Because I have such a long commute, I listen to a lot of books. I listened to this one, that he read himself, and LOVED it! I couldn't help but have a great repect for him as a person once I was finished.

Wisewebwoman said...

You're one of the ones I miss when you don't post.
Either the flu or a power outage gotcha but I'm hoping you're safe and warm, maybe in front of a good fire with a glass of wine and a book by candlelight, or maybe, better yet, Himself reading to you.

Twilight said...

anthonynorth ~~~ Agreed!

Twilight said...

DTStacey ~~~ Hi! Oh me too!

I've just finished his second book which is equally enjoyable. I hope he doesn't stop at two. :-)

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Yes, thanks - I've just posted about our "ice event".
We were without power for 5 days.
I did have an attack of hayfever - which seems so damned stupid given the conditions outside, that I didn't mention it! Much improved now though. :-)