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Famous Leo People
Madonna, The Material Girl
Madonna—8/16/58— or Madonna Louise Ciccone, the real name of this controversial artist, is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the top selling female performer of all time. She lost her Mother at the age of 5, and suffers the unresolved emotions of this tragedy. Madonna was a lonely young girl who got good grades in school, but always felt rebellious, like she was searching for something. So she dropped out of college to move to New York and become a dancer. She was raped in Central Park soon after her arrival, but is a survivor. It may be difficult for younger women to understand that until the last thirty years or so, the music industry was dominated by men. So the popular women artists of today owe Madonna their gratitude for breaking the barriers. She had never even been on a plane before she left Michigan, but learned about dancing in New York, and then played in a few rock groups.
Her look was often imitated, as she wore short skirts, fishnet stockings, crucifixes, and bleached her hair very light blond. Her overtly sexual videos on MTV caused many parents to accuse her of promoting premarital sex and they tried to make her a scapegoat for declining family values, a familiar tactic for people who want to blame their teen’s bad behavior on someone else.
Madonna hosted the first MTV Video Award show. She stood atop a huge wedding cake, and while wearing a wedding gown and white gloves, rolled around on the floor! She has said it was “the most blatant sexual thing” she ever did on TV. The film stars her in a hilarious love story and case of mistaken identity, and introduced her song, “Into the Groove.”
Madonna married actor Sean Penn in 1985 on her birthday, while filming the video for Material Girl. She dedicated her album True Blue to him, but they divorced in 1987, because he drank and became abusive, and she admits to being obsessed with her career. Madonna also played the part of Eva Peron very well on the stage, a role she really wanted, which won her both a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award for the title song, “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.” Madonna studied with a vocal coach and has a serious work ethic. She was one of the first artists seen wearing a headset while performing on stage. She often had to lip synch because the dance numbers which accompanied her songs were so intense.
She found out during the filming of Evita that she was pregnant with her daughter Lourdes, with Carlos Leon, her personal trainer. Madonna is not a terrific singer, or the most beautiful woman around, but she knows how to market herself, and how to handle her money. When she wrote her 1998 album Ray of Light, she was interested in Eastern Mysticism and the Kabbalah, and claims that her perception of life changed quite a bit.
When she wrote “Like a Prayer,” she came into a more mature period of her life. Madonna met Guy Ritchie in 1999, and they have a son together, Rocco. They got married in Scotland in 2000, and Madonna and family lived in England part time during the years of her marriage to Ritchie. Her Confessions tour of 2005 was the highest grossing tour to that date for any female artist.
She adopted a child from Malawi in 2006, and wrote a documentary to draw attention to the plight of Malawian people. Her brother, Christopher Ciccone, wrote a book entitled, Life With My Sister Madonna, but this caused a rift between the two of them.
Madonna also filed for divorce from Ritchie in 12/08, although she did adopt another child from Malawi, Mercy James. She also performed in the Hope for Haiti Earthquake Relief Concert in 1/10 to help assist those in need. Madonna performed at the Super Bowl XLVI Halftime show in 2012, and did an excellent version of "Like a Prayer", with backup choirs. Her popularity is attributed to the numerous turning points in her own life and the way she has been so honest about them. Madonna’s upbeat dance music is liked by many audiences.
Her later work is more introspective and she has dedicated herself to the Kabbalah more deeply, and taken on the Persian name Esther, or Star. What better name choice for a Leo woman? Madonna has been a leading figure in encouraging women to celebrate their bodies, to refuse to let themselves be oppressed, and to be in control of their own lives. Madonna is considered one of the most influential women in history.
The Iconic "Campell's Soup" Can
Andy Warhol—8/26/28-2/22/87— was famous for bringing “pop art” into our culture. His family came from what is now known as Slovakia, but he was born in Pittsburgh, PA, the youngest of three brothers. He was a sickly child, who was bedridden with chorea, a nervous system disease, and this caused him to be something of a hypochondriac. He had a terrible fear of doctors and hospitals. But Andy loved to draw, and to read about celebrities. He was able to combine the two hobbies into a very lucrative career as he got older. Pop art is a visual art movement about celebrity culture and advertisement.
Warhol began his working life as a commercial illustrator, but it was obvious that he was onto something new. He began by drawing pictures of shoes, and was also commissioned to paint a campaign of cars for BMW. He attended what is now Carnegie-Mellon Institute, and in 1949 began working in New York City, illustrating magazines, and later developing a technique for silk screening. Many people are familiar with his iconic painting of a Campbell’s Soup Can, and he had his first gallery showing in 1962, in the Ferus Gallery of Los Angeles. This was his first solo effort, and soon after he had a gallery showing in New York as well, at Eleanor Ward’s Stable Gallery. As his career picked up, he began painting dollar bills, mushrooms, Coca-Cola bottles and the Campbell’s Soup Cans. There was a symposium of his work at New York’s Metropolitan Art Museum in December of 1962, but he was criticized for giving in to commercialism.
It was Andy Warhol who first coined the phrases, “15 minutes of fame”, and also "90% of life is about showing up", part of American lexicon now. Warhol headed a pivotal exhibit in 1964 called “The American Supermarket.” He painted pictures of regular items people bought on a typical shopping trip, except they sold for $1,500.00 a piece. He made it difficult for critics to define art, and what was not art.
Warhol collaborated with a variety of people in his projects, and liked to surround himself with bohemian eccentrics. Andy Warhol was openly gay at a time when few admitted to being gay. David Bowie admits to being influenced by Warhol, and during the 1970’s, Warhol concentrated on portrait paintings of celebrities. Warhol was the founder of Interview Magazine, and his studio in New York, called The Factory, was a great meeting place for intellectuals, play rights, drag queens, wealthy patrons, and his much loved celebrities. His paintings are now very valuable, his canvas of Eight Elvis Presleys sold for $100 million U.S. dollars in 1963. He loved to party at Studio 54 and other spots where the elite loved to play. A lot of people called him a “business artist,” but Andy Warhol had a deep love affair with glamour, and sometimes even glamorous people use the same products regular people do.
Warhol also was a prolific film maker, but many of his films were too sexual in nature to be released and not many are for sale anywhere, only found if they were gifts or in private galleries. He took a big interest in the group the Velvet Underground, of which Lou Reed was part, and enjoyed painting album covers. Surprisingly, Andy Warhol was a Catholic who was often seen at Mass every day. He was recovering from gall bladder surgery when he suffered a heart arrhythmia and passed away suddenly in 1987 (perhaps the fears of hospitals were a premonition)? He left money and art to his family, but donated the rest of his belongings to the advancement of the visual arts. The Andy Warhol Foundation, opened by his brothers the same year as Warhol’s passing, “is primarily focused on supporting work of a challenging and experimental nature.” This Foundation is one of the largest organizations to give grants to new artists who wish to experiment in new media in the United States.
Carl Jung—7/26/1875—6/6/1961— was the father of some of the best known psychological concepts, such as the archetype, the collective unconscious, complexes, and synchronicity. Jung thought that the human psyche was by nature a religious one, and this was the basis of much of his studies. He was the foremost person to interpret dreams and analyze them for symbols of what was really on a person’s mind. Although he considered himself to be a scientist, much of his study was on Eastern and Western philosophy, Astrology, Sociology, Alchemy, literature and the arts. Since he was so interested in what was then called the Occult (the word now is Metaphysics) many considered him a mystic.
When he was a boy he made a mannequin and kept it inside a special case. Then he found a stone, and painted each half a different color, and added that to his case. He would write messages in his own secret language, and add those as well. He later said this felt like a ceremonial act, but at the time of his boyhood, it gave him a feeling of peace and serenity. When he got older, he realized that people in some civilizations kept totems, or soul stones, and celebrated these unconscious rituals in the same way he did with his items as a boy. His studies on psychological archetypes and the collective unconscious were inspired by these boyhood experiences.
When Jung was about 12, another boy pushed him so hard that he was unconscious for a period. The first thing he recalled was thinking, “I won’t have to go to school anymore.” From that time on, whenever he thought about going to school, or doing homework, he fainted. His parents kept him home for six months, and finally believed he had epilepsy. He heard his father discussing this, and did realize the doctor would be costly, so Carl forced himself to his father’s study, and began to read a Latin book. This caused him to faint three more times (although friends who have taken Latin assure me it has negative effects on them too!), but he fought it, and the fainting stopped. Jung had discovered this was neurosis.
When older, Jung was drafted into the army as a doctor in Switzerland, and always encouraged his patients to read. He later married and had 5 children, but it was an open marriage, at least from his side. Jung met Freud in Vienna in 1906. They had an intense intellectual relationship which lasted for about six years, as Jung was really interested in Freud’s book, The Interpretation of Dreams. Jung was about 30 and Freud about 50 at the time of their meeting, so although Jung was influenced by Freud, he was also open to many other new ideas in the psychoanalytical world. They discussed introverts and extroverts at the last conference they attended together, in 1913.
When Jung was 38, he experienced what he called “a confrontation with the unconscious.” He began hearing voices and seeing visions. He began writing all this down in a little red book, but never left instructions as to what should be done with this book. His family finally put it in a vault, but people begged them to publish it after Jung’s death. Finally, Jung’s Grandson, who handles his affairs, decided to publish it, in October of 2009. A reviewer of the New York Times said it was, “bombastic, baroque, and like so much of Carl Jung, a willful oddity, synched with an antediluvian and mystical reality.”
In his later years Jung lived mostly in isolation, and many feel he missed Freud. He did go to Taos, New Mexico to visit Chief Mountain Lake of the Taos Pueblos. He also visited Eastern Africa in 1925 to try to envision “primitive psychology” in a better way. He learned that what he saw there was much like what he learned from his own life and that of those everywhere. At the end of his life, Jung became interested in UFO’s, and tried to decide if they had archetypal meaning or other psychological significance. All in all he was a very interesting man, who added much knowledge and understanding of our consciousness.
President Bill Clinton
President William “Bill” Jefferson Clinton—8/19/46—was the 42nd President of the United States from 1993-2001. He adores being in the spotlight as much as any Leo. He was 46 on his first Inauguration Day, and many people consider him to be the “Baby Boomer” President, as he was the right age and seemed to share many of the concerns of this particular group.
Clinton was born and raised in Arkansas, and didn’t even know for sure who his father was, bringing home the fact Baby Boomers grew up on—that anyone could grow up to be President. Clinton was always a top student, graduating from Georgetown University and earning a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University. He also attended Yale Law School, and has a law degree, but never practiced law. He did, however, meet Hillary Rodham at Yale, and they married a year later. Many of Hillary’s friends thought she was crazy to move from her Chicago home to live in Arkansas, but she did it anyway.
Bill became the youngest Governor of AK at age 32, and was re-elected, after skipping a term, to keep the title for ten more years. He tried to make education a priority, and with Hillary, a lawyer working on issues concerning women and children’s issues, they became a power couple. When he ran for President with Al Gore, he often said that with he and Hillary, the American people would be “getting two for one”, as she was a partner in the Rose Law Firm and very involved in political issues. Clinton presided over the longest peacetime period of economic expansion in American history. He passed the North American Free Trade Treaty. He made family leave a priority, signing the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, making sure people could leave work for a period to care for any family member who needed their attention, without losing their job.
His charming Leo ways often won him bipartisan support, and he moved to more centrist ways to win a second term. Clinton tried very hard to pass a National Health Care Bill, and Hillary worked tirelessly on it. But there was too much opposition to it, and the U.S. still has a shameful lack of a cohesive system of health care. Clinton signed the Brady Bill, enforcing a five day waiting plan on anyone purchasing handguns. He also devised the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy regarding gays in the military, though now in 2012 that has been suspended, at least he tried to respect gays willing to serve their country. Attitudes about the LGBTQ community have changed much since he was POTUS. He launched the first official White House website, ushering in a new era during his time there. Clinton won a second term in 1996, and with Ted Kennedy, Orrin Hatch and Hillary, passed the State’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, the largest success in health care reform in his presidency. Hillary also helped usher the Adoption and Safe Families Act and Foster Care Independence Act through Congress.
Unfortunately, Clinton’s weakness is women, and although some scandals were wiped away, the one with Monica Lewinsky was his downfall. Congress voted to impeach him over this, a shameful hypocrisy, when later many Republicans who tried to take him down were having affairs themselves. This wasted valuable time when Clinton could have been doing more good for the country. He lied under oath, and this is still the accusation, although it was about his personal life. Many people still don't realize the "lie" had to do with one sexual act, and was nothing that put our nation in danger. Although Republicans like to play the "Christian Card" all the time, they always have the dirtiest minds. They are always talking about bestiality and other sick sex acts, that it makes one wonder how people who have this filthy subject matter on their minds are so religious. This sex scandal had nothing to do with the way Clinton ran the country, and was with a consenting adult, although this author believes all he was guilty of was bad judgement.
He left office with a balanced budget. He was later pardoned. There were military issues in Mogadishu and Somalia during his presidency, and Clinton tried to take out Osama Bin Laden several times, and warned President Bush to keep an eye on him. Clinton sent peace keeping troops to the former Yugoslavia, because of reports of “ethnic cleansing” and the genocide of Albanians. His visit to Vietnam was the first Presidential one since the Vietnam War.
He left office with an approval rating of 65%, the highest of any President. See how it is with Leos? He then moved to New York State with Hillary, and she became a State Senator for New York. She served as the Secretary of State in President Obama’s administration, and ran for President twice, losing both times, once to Barack Obama, the next to Donald Trump. In spite of their issues, Bill and Hillary are still together, interestingly they were able to salvage their marriage. Bill Clinton was deemed by Toni Morrison, “the First Black President,” since he was born poor, in a single parent household, ate junk food, and was from the working class. He remains very active in public life, taking on charitable causes, giving speeches, and surprisingly, he has done much work with President Bush the elder! He has also worked on diplomatic missions on behalf of the Obama administration, and is well liked by the American public.
A series of health issues with his heart has changed his diet habits, and he often looks tired and haggard. Now that daughter Chelsea is married and he has two Grandchildren, he looks much happier!
Sir Mick Jagger
Sir Mick Jagger—7/26/43—You read that right, Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones was Knighted in December of 2003. The Rolling Stones all grew up in middle class homes, but had an image of being “bad boys” though out their careers. Mick’s lined face shows the hard lifestyle on the road and the toll drugs takes on the body as the years go on; although recently it appears he's had some cosmetic surgery on his face. But he makes quite a showman, and at his age can still jump around the stage.
He met Keith Richards in 1951 in primary school, but later they found each other again, as both had an interest in rhythm and blues music. They got a flat together in 1961, and by then had met Brian Jones. They began to play small clubs. The Beatles were the “lovable” group, but the Rolling Stones were the trouble makers. They did have a few drug busts over the years. But Mick says he wasn’t ever trying to behave badly, it was just his real personality. “As Tears Go By” was their first number one hit in Britain, and by the time they sang “The Last Time,” and “Satisfaction,” everyone knew who they were. Ron Wood and Charlie Watts complete the group now. After Jones died, the others moved to France for a while. Brian Jones was a great drummer, but seemed to always live life too much on the edge.
During the 1970’s, Mick wore makeup and more glamorous and exotic clothing. It has been said that he appears androgynous on the stage, but it seems to be on purpose, as he has been involved in many high profile marriages and affairs. Psychologists notice that Jagger’s stage presence has a disturbingly sexual tone, and that although women love him, men feel uncomfortable watching him on stage. Novelist Philip Norman states that, “Jagger moves like a male ballet dancer.”
He has done much to open up masculine roles for future generations. His first marriage was to Bianca Jagger, with whom he has one daughter. He has one son and one other daughter from various liaisons, but was then married to model Jerry Hall in 1990 in a Hindu beach ceremony in Indonesia. Later, when the couple wanted to split up, they found the wedding was not legal anyway, so they just had it annulled. Mick and Jerry have two sons and two daughters from their marriage, and he is the Grandfather of four now.
Sympathy for the Devil
Jagger Wanted to be an Actor
He has tried to break into acting several times, but his movies do not generate that much interest. Jagger participates in charity concerts; in Live Aid in 1985 he did a duet with Tina Turner, and also sang with David Bowie in that show which was simulcast from Wembly Stadium and JFK in New York. They did a great job of “Dancing in the Streets.” Mick Jagger also appeared at the concert for New York after 9/11, singing a heartfelt “Salt of the Earth” and “Miss You” dedicated to the police who ran back into the Twin Towers to try to save others.
Keith Richards released a book last year in which he said his relationship with Jagger was always a love/hate one, but they are a great song writing team, and Richards feels he can talk to Mick when others can’t get through. Many were surprised that Richards could recall so much about the past, considering the drugged states he was in during much of it. Jagger is currently signing at various smaller venues with other groups as he chooses. Johnny Depp tried to get Jagger to act in Pirates of the Caribbean, but he said no to it. Apparently he auditioned for the part of Dr. Frank N Furter in the cult classic, Rocky Horror Picture Show, but the part went to Tim Curry. I can’t tell you how many times I had a blast seeing/acting out this movie at theatres at midnight (many years ago)!
No matter what the Stones do, they remain to be symbols of counterculture. Jagger’s stage appearances are always sexually charged, and why should someone stop doing what they love no matter what their age, as long as their health allows it? Mick Jagger is considered a great cultural icon of our time. Andy Warhol painted a series of silk screens of Mick and oddly, one belongs to the Wife of the Shah of Iran. Warhol, also a Leo, gave away his work only to those he really liked and didn’t sell much of it, most is held in private galleries or museums. Mick has often been considered the man Carly Simon sings about in her song, “You’re So Vain.” But lately she has revealed the subject of that song was really Warren Beatty. Mick Jagger has been dubbed as “one of the most popular and influential front men in Rock and Roll.” I’m sure he loves that description. The Rolling Stones, despite their disagreements over time, have remained together for 50 years now.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis
Jackie Kennedy Onassis
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis—7/28/29-5/19/94—is most famous for being the First Lady of the 35th President of the U.S., John F. Kennedy. Her face is etched in America’s collective memory as she stood in her pink suit and pillbox hat, splattered with her husband’s blood, when the President was assassinated in Dallas, TX in November 1963. She stood in the plane during Lyndon B. Johnson’s rushed Presidential swearing in ceremony, refusing to change her clothes, because she wanted people to see what was done to her husband. She and JFK were the first Catholics to live in the White House, and because they were a handsome couple with a young daughter and son, were simply adored by the country.
There was always an air of “what could have been” had JFK lived, as his father, Joseph, groomed him to be a President since he was young. At first the father wanted his older son Joe to fulfill his political aspirations, but he was killed in war, so the dreams for JFK's father had to be achieved by Jack. His father even picked Jackie to be his wife, as she came from a cultured family, and he knew she would make an excellent First Lady.
She was educated at Vassar, and the Sorbonne in Paris. Jackie’s Father was a stockbroker, and she grew up with a life of privilege, though her Father always cheated on her Mother, and apparently her marriage to JFK was the same. She spoke fluent French and was an accomplished horsewoman, who kept a horse farm in New Jersey. When she and the President visited France, he joked, “I am the lucky gentlemen who escorted Jackie Kennedy to France!” She was known for her fashion flair, and began the tradition of the White House Rose Garden. She was a gracious hostess, and women all over the country copied her designer clothes, she particularly liked Oleg Cassini as a designer. She did a lot of restoring in the White House, because many of the gifts given to other Presidents were not well kept and she wanted the House to reflect all the cultural visits its inhabitants experienced. She worked hard to acquire funding for these restorations, and is well loved for doing so. She also had the family quarters redone so future Presidential families could have a more informal and “homey” feel when at home in their own area of the White House.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis
After her years in the White House, her fashion sense changed to a more casual, but still much imitated look. Most of the Kennedy clan had large families, but Jackie suffered several miscarriages and one stillbirth, before having a daughter Caroline and son John. After JFK’s death, she compared the brief time of his Presidency and their seeming idyllic life in the White House as a family as “Camelot.”
But afterwards, she had trouble keeping her life private, and for the sake of that and her children, married shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, who had to wealth to whisk them away to Greece, and to his private island if necessary. It was important to Jackie that her children grow up as “normal” as possible, but angered many Americans at the time. After Onassis died, she decided to move to New York City, as she was a great patron of the arts, and took a job as a book editor at Doubleday. Jackie was particularly helpful in getting attention for talented black writers. She also worked hard to protect American cultural heritage, and had work done on Lafayette Square in Washington, DC, and Grand Central Terminal in NYC.
In the years that followed, her companion was Maurice Tempelsman, a Belgian industrialist and diamond merchant. Her daughter Caroline became a lawyer who specializes today in privacy law. John died in a terrible accident where he crashed his own plane, with his wife and sister in law in it, en route to a family wedding in Hyannisport, MA. The Kennedy family had its share of tragedy over the years, and Jackie handled it all with her usual grace.
She really just wanted to live her life in privacy, and was constantly stalked by photographers, even as she tried to walk the streets of New York near her home. She will always be remembered for her sense of style, her love for her family, and her appreciation and support for the arts. She passed on in 1994, and is buried with her husband, son Patrick, and stillborn daughter Arabella, in Arlington National Cemetary in VA. The remains of JFK Jr. were cremated and he was buried at sea after he and his wife and sister in law were found. Jackie always begged John not to take flying lessons, and the Kennedy's had suffered much from plane crashes. At least they are reunited now.
© 2012 Jean Bakula