Saturday, January 02, 2010

Dame Judi Dench

We watched the first two episodes of "Cranford" on PBS TV this week, third episode is due tomorrow evening. I don't always enjoy this type of period drama, but this one is done very well - by the BBC who excel in the genre. The fact that Judi Dench plays one of the leading parts helped us to decide to watch "Cranford". She never disappoints, never over-acts, but always gets the characterization just exactly right. A rare and delicate skill.

Dame Judi was born in York on 9th December 1934. No time of birth is known, so I'll show a 12 noon chart. The ascendant sign will not be accurate. Moon would have been in Capricorn unless she was born at 10pm or later, when it moved into Aquarius. I'd guess that her natal Moon was in Capricorn.

Natal Sun, Mercury and Venus are all in Sagittarius - she'll be an optimist by nature, fun-loving and fairly outgoing, with Capricorn Moon (more than likely) giving her a practical, business-like common-sense side. Her happy-go-lucky Sagittarius placements are flanked by some very different "flavours" though - Jupiter in passionate Scorpio, Mars and Neptune in meticulous Virgo, and what's more they form a chain. Sun, Jupiter and Neptune link in a semi-sextile chain - it's possible that Moon in Capricorn could link in to this too. Semi-sextile (approx 30*) is a mildly helpful link which connects two or more planets in very differently favoured neighbouring signs. This chain configuration provides Dame Judi with an ability to relate to a variety of different traits in the characters she portrays, especially if Moon is involved in the chain. Conservative, common sense input from Capricorn, ebullient, happy-go-lucky, risk-taking from Sagittarius, the passion of Scorpio and the attention to detail of Virgo - very valuable to her.

Additionally, Saturn, planet of business and hard work, sitting in Aquarius forms a helpful sextile to Venus, planet of the arts, in Sagittarius, on one side - and another sextile to Uranus in Aries on the other side. so here's another harmonious chain linking her art to hard work and business, and to the inventive driving force of Uranus in go-getting Aries.

In spite of her life in show business, there are no Leo planets in her chart. She's not the glitzy show-bizzy type though, is she? Leo could be rising, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Dame Judi's beloved husband, Michael Williams (an excellent actor himself and one of my old favourites) died in 2001. He was born on 9 July 1935, Sun in Cancer - doesn't immediately seem like a good match, yet their marriage was very happy - it's said that Michael sent Judi a bouquet of red roses every week since they wed. They were born around 7 months apart, so the outer planets are in similar positions for both, and Jupiter in Scorpio is at 12* in Judi's chart and 13* Scorpio in Michael's (due to Jupiter's period of retrograde motion from March 1935). Michael had Venus in Virgo as well as Neptune, so Judi and Michael both had two planets in that sign of meticulous attention to detail.
They made a lovely TV series together in the 1980s, "A Fine Romance". There are several clips from it at YouTube, here's one of the shorter ones. To set the scene: they are house-sitting for her sister.


Rossa said...

Hi Twilight. Glad you liked Cranford. BBC showed a new 2 parter over Xmas which was excellent and there looks like a new series later this year sometime.

It has proven to be very popular and Judy Dench leads the cast very well. Her characterisation is spot on. Look out for the other episodes when you can and enjoy.

Still very cold here and looking like going on to the end of this month. Lots of discussion about things like gritter lorries and winter tyres. We're just never geared up for these things. But then it is over 15 years since we had so much snow! So we do get a bit complacent in the intervening years.

Twilight said...

Rossa ~ Hi~ I think there's a "Cranford" sequel coming up over the two following weeks here, we'll be sure to catch it.

Very unusual wintry weather for Oklahoma here. Lot of snow which is sticking for a long time because temps don't rise high enough for long enough to get rid of it all. Main roads are fine, and even our driveway is fairly clear at last. Maybe that old English saying that "it'll take some more to carry it all away" will prove true. :-)

anyjazz said...

She's fast becoming my favorite actress. She has a flair for comedic roles. I learned a lot of new things from your post.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~ Yes, she has that comedic spark, for sure. But unlike some other actors who play comedy well, she can do historical, high drama, or fantasy parts with equal ease.