In the land of superstars, Leo is the brightest of them all. Leo is the sign of drama and creativity, so it’s no surprise that some of the most successful actors and filmmakers have their Sun in Leo. Actors Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro are Leos who have (ahem) a Lion’s share of talent.
But what’s most intriguing about their charts is what they have in common aside from their Sun sign. Multiple Virgo placements, in addition to the Leo influence, seem to create a magical mix that makes for extraordinary talent. Let’s take an astrological look at these lions, to see why they’ve achieved such spectacular fame and fortune.
Robert Redford (August 18, 1936)
Whether he’s playing a sexy outlaw or a soulful horse whisperer, Redford is one of the most beloved actors of all time. Not only that, but this talented Leo is an acclaimed director, producer and the founder of the Sundance Film Festival. He’s also a philanthropist and an environmentalist, having served as a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council for three decades.
So what motivates this lion? With Sun and Mars in Leo, Redford has a dynamic male presence – he’s the ultimate leading man. The Mars placement particularly shows up in his charismatic performances in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1967) and The Sting (1973). Not surprisingly, he’s also a romantic leading man. Think The Way We Were (1973) and Out of Africa (1985). After all, Leo and romance are an inseparable pair.
But Redford isn’t all about fame, glory and ego, which motivate many Leos. An array of Virgo placements – Moon, Mercury, Venus and Neptune – provoke him into being of service. With such a powerful Earth emphasis, he’s also more grounded than many lions. His Moon in Virgo suggests that he feels most emotionally fulfilled when he is useful to others, and he’s a perfectionist who attains great satisfaction from his work. Mercury in Virgo heightens his drive for perfection, his analytical side and his attention to detail. Venus in Virgo lends him an earthy sensuality, and he’s quite particular when it comes to love – he was married to his first wife, Lola Van Wagenen, from 1958 to 1985. Then in 2009 he wed his longtime liaison, Sibylle Szaggars.
But the most interesting element in his chart is Neptune, which conjuncts the other Virgo placements, making it a compelling influence in his life. As the planet of fantasy, Neptune rules the film industry. People with a strong Neptune influence are the artists of the world. Some Neptunians devote their lives to helping others because they feel human suffering very deeply. Redford may have reached the stars when it comes to fame, but he’s also leaving his mark on the world – by making it a better place.
Dustin Hoffman (August 8, 1937)
Intriguingly, Hoffman has a Moon-Mercury-Neptune conjunction like Redford’s. Born a year apart, the two men have a similar mix of dramatic talent, imagination and attention to detail. Never was this more apparent than in Hoffman’s riveting portrayal of an autistic savant in Rain Man (1988), for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor. The character has an eidetic memory, and every nuance of the character’s quirky mannerisms, body language and way of speaking was played to, well, perfection by Hoffman. The actor’s Virgo influences assisted his natural Leo artistry, to create an unforgettable performance.
Another similarity between the two actors is Mars in a Fire sign. In Hoffman’s case, it’s Mars in Sagittarius. Although this placement isn’t as romantic as Mars in Leo, it gives him a gift for comedy. He portrayed real-life comedian Lenny Bruce in Lenny (1974) – and who could forget Hoffman’s endearing performance in a skirt for Tootsie (1982)? But it was his dramatic roles that led to two Academy Awards for Best Actor – for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and, of course, Rain Man.
As for love, Hoffman has Venus in home-loving Cancer. He appreciates a feminine woman who has a strong emotional connection with him. This influence was what made his performance in Tootsie so believable. As for real-life relationships, Hoffman has been married twice: to Anne Byrne from 1969 to 1980, and to Lisa Gottsegen from 1980 to present. Not a bad run for Hollywood, where multiple divorces are often a casualty of fame.
Robert De Niro (August 17, 1943)
But wait, there’s more… De Niro is another Leo with strong Virgo influences. He has Sun, Jupiter and Pluto in Leo – giving him plenty of macho magnetism and creativity. Multiple Earth influences – Mercury and Venus in Virgo, and Mars in Taurus – lend him a powerful physical presence on-screen. His portrayal of a fighter in Raging Bull (1980), for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor, is an excellent example of the fiery physicality demonstrated in his chart. This gritty approach to acting can also be seen in De Niro’s performances in Taxi Driver (1976), The Deer Hunter (1978 ) and Goodfellas (1990), among others.
But true to his playful Leo nature, De Niro has a lighter side as well. He has starred in such comedies as Analyze This (1999) and Meet the Parents (2000). Considering how much he has in common with Hoffman, they were a natural pairing for the political drama-comedy Wag the Dog (1997) – Leos apparently stick together!
Like Redford, De Niro has Venus in Virgo. He was married to Diahnne Abbott from 1976 to 1988, and to Grace Hightower from 1997 to present. Although having a Moon in Pisces gives De Niro a fabulous imagination, he can be baffled when it comes to women. A Venus-Virgo conjunction suggests that he appreciates an intelligent woman who knows her own mind – she would need to be a strong woman, too, to keep up with him!
Hollywood may be filled with the rich and famous, but no one outshines a Leo – on or off the screen.
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