Nobody’s Perfect: the astrology of Curtis and Monroe

Friday October 8th 2010
Two kids from the wrong side of the tracks play pretend.

Norma Jean Mortensen teaching Bernie Schwartz how to kiss – one of the sweetest scenes on celluloid. That great movie Some Like it Hot. still makes me laugh.

Of course, Norma Jean and Bernie had blossomed into Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis some 10 years before the film was made. By 1959, they were the biggest stars in Hollywood.

One of the reasons Some Like it Hot (1959) is a great movie is that you can see Monroe and Curtis are a perfect fit. She is the female version of him and vice versa. The whole audience can see what’s hidden from Monroe; she’s found her male counterpart. When she looks at him she’s looking into a kind of mirror. In the film they are a pair of broke but talented beauties trying to make it in the great big world without getting hurt. You know that there’s not much between them and the soup kitchen. It’s partly this vulnerability and instability that makes them so attractive.

And in real life the two stars shared remarkably similar stories. Both came from terrible broken homes, both had become stars overnight. Both battled with drugs and alcohol. They were almost the same age.

Even in a town of beautiful people Monroe and Curtis were remarkably beautiful. Cancer-rising Curtis was known as “ice-cream face” by the studio photographers because of his super smooth skin, and we all know about Marilyn’s downy glow.
So does their astrology show the mirroring we see in Some Like It Hot?

In fact their charts are remarkably similar. Well, they were born only a year apart so obviously they have some generational planets in common – Pluto in Cancer, Neptune in Leo, Uranus in Pisces.

Tony Curtis (click to enlarge)

Both are Sun Geminis with airy Moons.  His is in diplomatic Libra and hers in people-pleasing Aquarius. Moons in air signs can find it quite difficult to find their emotions. But these are sun/moon combinations that are both full of charm and intelligence.

Intelligent is not the first adjective you hear in connection with either of them. But Curtis was smart enough to get a cut from the profits of his movies early in his career. He was still getting money from Some Like It Hot when he died. And Monroe was, famously, no just a dumb blond. The smarts are part of the attraction.

It’s interesting that his Mercury is in Taurus while Monroe’s is in Gemini. She easily adapted her voice to the requirements of Hollywood. It has that famous, breathy, childish quality but it doesn’t bear a trace of specific accent. Curtis’s voice was nice – deep and brown – but he never got rid of the Bronx accent. He could mimic alright – there’s the mutable Gemini Sun – but he couldn’t act in another accent – there’s the fixed Taurean. When he wants to act like a rich guy in Some Like It Hot, he does a perfect imitation of Cary Grant, but the natural accent he couldn’t shake for previous movies was derided by critics in the 50s. (“Yonda lies the castle of my fadda” – from the Black Shield of Falworth)

Damaged people. Both mothers were grim. Curtis’ was schizophrenic. Monroe’s manic depressive. That’s a really tough start in life. Those air moons again. Curtis’ is applying to Saturn in Scorpio the fourth house of family. Monroe’s in an applying square to Scorpio Saturn in the fourth. Scorpio is the fixed water sign, so difficult aspects there can hurt deeply. See if you can spot anything else…

And to what do they owe their mass appeal? There are a lot of factors in both charts but the one I’d like to point out his Chiron, the place in our chart where we are wounded. Monroe’s is so prominently placed up there conjunct the MC. She was a damaged creature. She revealed her woundedness to the world. And look at his chart. Although Curts’s Chiron is not conjunct the MC, it is still the highest object in his chart and it is exactly opposite the Moon, his chart ruler down there in the fourth.

The composite chart puts their joint Moon in the flirty fifth house of playacting and flings. (They had had a fling many years before the shooting of Some Like It Hot when they were both struggling nobodies – kind of like the characters in the film) Better yet their joint Jupiter is smack on the descendant. Together they made each other better. Aww.

Well, they’re both dead now, bless them. May they rest in peace.

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  1. nice analysis. I like how you bring them to life.

  2. Christina says:

    Thanks. As I was writing it, I suddenly felt very fond of them, which always helps.

  3. Louise says:

    🙂 I adored her when I was a little kid. I remember when she met Edith Sitwell (the poet) – the media waited for a line of dismissal from Edith; but they disappeared together for an hour or two, and when Edith emerged she remarked on Marilyn’s intelligence – I remember little me thinking (I KNOW she is, I KNOW!!!)
    Did you see Tony’s classically Gem remark about himself – I am a painter, I do a bit of acting and a bit of [– something or other] and I’ve just decided I want to be a doctor when I grow up…

  4. Christina says:

    Yes, I did. Peter Pan. But at the same time, what a great attitude to life! He was such a survivor. Makes me sad about Marilyn though…