Olivia de Havilland, the last truly great lead actress and star still surviving from Hollywood’s Golden Age of the 1930’s and 1940s, just celebrated her 101st birthday with two landmark events. On June 17th she became the oldest living person to be honored with the title “Dame Commander” by Queen Elizabeth II and on June 30th, one day before her 101st birthday she filed a major lawsuit. One event is a high achievement and recognition for a life well lived and the other is a defense of her reputation and past to insure that her legacy and memory is remembered the way she wants it to be. In a chart of a famous person like this we are apt to see important transits and progressions to the 10th house, planets in the 10th, the ruler of the 10th, as well as influences on the 4th house, planets in the 4th, the ruler of the 4th. Also note what is happening to the planet Saturn, the Moon and any planets that happen to occupy the signs of Capricorn and Cancer.
Here are her birth coordinates: July 1, 1916, 10:30 am, Tokyo, Japan.
The thing that stands out big time in this chart is the 10th house stellium of 5 Cancer planets made up of Pluto, the Sun, Venus, the Moon and Saturn. This is a woman who is VERY concerned with her career, reputation, status and achievements and the legacy and memory she leaves behind. I would say to the point of obsessive control of her public image. The Cancer planets define her as someone with an incredible memory who retains everything and probably never forgets. She holds on and is tenacious to say the least. The ruler of the Virgo Ascendant, Mercury in Gemini, resides in the 9th house of the law and foreign countries. Natal Mercury is in tight square to natal Mars so she is a born fighter when it comes to legal matters and she is also accustomed to, and frustrated by, a lifelong, highly publicized, sibling rivalry with her equally famous younger sister, Joan Fontaine. This is her tightest natal aspect by far with a 0° orb. That’s as tight as you can get, so Olivia de Havilland, who wears the Cancer shell very well in public, underneath is a formidable adversary and a warrior especially when it comes to her ideas, philosophies and principles. The ruler of the chart placed in the 9th house is also someone who finds herself at home in foreign countries. Ms. De Havilland has lived in Paris, France ever since marrying her second husband Pierre Galante, Editor of Paris Match, in 1955. She also has a very strong Yod with Uranus as the focal planet and Mars sextile Saturn. Uranus becomes a fated planet marking freedom, independence and innovation as part of her creative destiny.
By transit, Pluto has already opposed its natal position, the Sun, Venus and the Moon and is currently in strong opposition to Saturn thus manifesting the award of Damehood and solidifying a long, long life well lived. I correlate Pluto to the Judgment card in the sense that the Saturnian part of her life is coming up for review. This is the culmination and recognition for an incredible career and life and what she is leaving behind. Saturn rules her 5th so of course many of the honors received are for her career as an actor and her creative self-expression. With the transiting North Node having currently entered Leo the term “Hollywood Royalty” comes to mind. The Node in conjunction with the eclipses over the next year and a half will most likely see elders of royal lineage either via bloodline or achievement receiving awards as well as exiting earthly existence. The upcoming lunar eclipse is on the world axis which emphasizes fame. Ms. De Havilland fits this bill nicely with her progressed Uranus at 15° Aquarius in the 5th house conjunct the eclipse degree for receiving unexpected honors and doing unexpected things and for living a life true to her own beliefs. She did it her way!
Transiting Saturn has been hovering around the IC since January 2017 and will station there the entire month of August 2017 before moving direct at 21.11 Sagittarius and fully moving forward into the 4th house. I remember a phrase taught to me about the 4th house, particularly the IC, by John Marchesella and many others. I’m sure many of you have heard this phrase applied to this part of the chart: “The Womb to the Tomb.” We are born in the sensitive waters of Cancer and the 4th house. It is where we are nourished and the foundations of life are formed and then when we are old and dying it represents the conditions of the end of our life. It’s easy to say that at 101 Miss de Havilland probably doesn’t have much time left here on Earth and with transiting Saturn at the bottom of the chart entering the 4th while transiting Pluto is getting ready to leave the 4th the timing is all about taking an accounting of her life and preparing for an end of some kind. She wants to make sure with these heavy hitting planets that she is controlling her legacy and is not forgotten. When Uranus enters Taurus in May 2018 it immediately conjuncts that 8th house Jupiter which rules the 4th so that may be a sudden financial settling of a legal matter or perhaps a long 8th house journey home of some kind, i.e. death. It could be both.
Saturn in Sagittarius, conjunct the IC and therefore opposing the MC, is all part of the lawsuit that she has filed against the cable channel FX, and Ryan Murphy’s production company for unauthorized use of her name and identity in FEUD: Bette and Joan. According to the New York Times article by Peter Libbey dated July 2, 2017: “FX defendants misappropriated Olivia de Havilland’s name, likeness and identity without her permission and used them falsely in order to exploit their own commercial interests. Ms. De Havilland, 101, is seeking damages for “emotional harm” and “harm to her reputation,” and is also pushing for an injunction against the use of her name and likeness. The lawsuit rejects both the quotes attributed to Ms. De Havilland and overall tone of the portrayal as acted by Catherine Zeta-Jones. Olivia de Havilland has made efforts, spent time and money, protecting her well-defined public image as one who does not engage in gossip and other unkind, ill-mannered behavior,” the lawsuit reads.
It is worth noting that Olivia de Havilland won a major lawsuit victory dating back to November 1943 when the California Superior Court found in her favor. Her studio, Warner Bros., immediately appealed and on December 8, 1944 the California Court of Appeal ruled in her favor. Known as “the De Havilland Law”, the decision was one of the most significant and far-reaching legal rulings in Hollywood, reducing the power of the studios to treat actors as indentured servants and extending greater creative control to performers. The previous studio practice of lengthening an actor’s 7 year contract by tagging on suspension time incurred during the 7 year contract period was no longer legal. She is responsible for actors having more freedom, independence and autonomy. We can see her fated role as Uranus in the 5th house being the focal planet of a Yod with Mars, Saturn and the Moon. Of special note, at the time of the first court case, Saturn was transiting Cancer the entire time (her Saturn return) and the transiting north node was in Cancer helping to make things turn in her favor. Transiting Pluto currently in Capricorn opposing the Cancer planets, along with transiting Saturn on the IC and soon to enter Capricorn, are regurgitating and reanimating the past in another legal situation where her reputation is on the line.
As of her birthday this year her progressed MC is at 29.21 Virgo and about to change signs indicating a major shift to her status and reputation. Her progressed Moon has just entered Aries indicating she is in the mood for a fight and new beginning. Progressed Sun is applying by trine to natal Mercury by 47’ and will perfect by April 2018 (at which time transiting Uranus enters Taurus). As previously mentioned, the upcoming lunar eclipse of August 7 at 15° Aquarius is conjunct progressed Uranus in the 5th and will trigger that natal Yod and the solar eclipse of August 21 at 29° Leo is in her 12th house trining her natal Jupiter at 0° Taurus in the 8th. I won’t make a guess as to the outcome but I think the 12th house eclipse is in a blind spot, yet the trine to Jupiter is giving her confidence to attempt a lawsuit.
She may also be lucky with the progressed MC conjunct the natal Part of Fortune while progressed Mercury (her chart ruler) trines natal Pallas in Gemini up in the 9th house of legal matters and transiting Jupiter in Libra currently trines natal Mercury.
Last, but not least, she is currently in the midst of her second Chiron return so that maverick energy is alive and well and perhaps she’s revisiting the wounds in her life in order to heal them.
Whatever one thinks of this lawsuit and its merits, it’s clear how current transits and progressions animate the natal chart indicating the timing for such major events in her life and one has to admire her guts and determination to get back into the limelight at 101! On a personal note, I think she should sue the pants off of Catherine Zeta-Jones for a truly amateurish performance that in no way, shape or form captured the essence, dignity and talent of Olivia de Havilland. Brava, Olivia!!!
Joseph Addeo is a Level IV NCGR-PAA Certified Astrologer and serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Chapter. He can be reached via his website at www.josephaddeo.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/josephaddeoastrologer