Stephen Boyd and Marisa Mell made a splendidly handsome couple during their brief romantic relationship and marriage in 1971. Since they both were quite convinced about the power of astrology, I think the below summary of their two water signs is pretty apt. Stephen was a Cancer sign, and Marisa was a Scorpio.
“The element of Water is associated with the signs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, and it also rules the Fourth, Eighth and Twelfth Houses. … Water signs are intuitive and sensitive, and they feel more intensely than the rest. They are emotional and nurturing, and like a river, they run deep… When Cancer and Scorpio make a love match, the resulting relationship draws together the energies of two emotionally intense Signs. They both see life as a passionate and deeply emotionally exercise of human connection. The Moon (Emotion) rules Cancer, while Mars (Passion) and Pluto (Power) both rule Scorpio. A relationship between a Cancer and a Scorpio can go from one extreme to another, and although Cancer partner will try hard to stabilize it, it might be too difficult if Scorpio doesn’t have enough respect for their own emotions. When they find an emotional link, they can go very deep in search of true love, and unite on a level that is unreachable for other zodiac signs. This can make them speak without words, understand each other’s thoughts with only one shared glance and be synchronized in their approach to their future together. These Signs feel a strong sexual attraction, and when they are together the temperature in the room tends to rise! (www.astrology.com)
If their emotions aren’t shared on a deepest possible level, or Scorpio partner refuses to deal with them, it could be too hard for Cancer to handle the self-destructive nature of their partner. Their connection needs to be sincere and pure, in order for both of them to be ready to give in to this intense emotional contact. (http://www.astrology-zodiac-signs.com/compatibility/cancer-scorpio/)
Today is the beginning of the rule of the Fourth sign of the zodiac, Cancer. Stephen Boyd dabbled in astrology during the 1960’s, and he was very conscious of his Cancer characteristics. Here is a fun quick summary about the Cancer sign!
Stephen Boyd expounds on marriage
By Roderick Mann
London Express Service
El Paso, Herald Post, Saturday Jan 26 1967
LONDON — I have always felt that Stephen Boyd deserved to do well. For did he not essay his first star part opposite Brigitte Bardot- and if that isn’t learning to swim at the deep end, I don’t know what is.
I saw a lot of him at that time in Southern Spain. He was in despair and Bardot was in what is euphemistically referred to as the altogether. The altogether what? (“She is delighted with CinemaScope,” Boyd said at the time. “It means she can start off fully clothed at one side of the screen and be nude by the time she gets to the other.”)
I told him then that things could only get better. And get better they did. He went on to make the Roman epic ‘Ben Hur’ oh, all of IX years ago now. He filmed with Sophia Loren, with Doris Day, with Gina Lollobrigida. What more could a boy from Ulster ask? He also, it should be noted, set something of a record in the brevity of if marriage stakes. For his wedded sojourn with Miss Mariella de Sarzana lasted exactly 19 days.
And from that time Mr. Boyd has backed to the full that old line about marriage being a wonderful institution, but not everybody wanting to live in an institution. Indeed, when it comes to prolonged contact with the female sex, Mr. Boyd has given an entirely new meaning to the expression Get-away People. As he is in London for a new film to be directed by Val Guest – Department K – I took the opportunity of calling round to wish him well. I also told him that I hoped his next marriage might last a little longer – otherwise with the delays in deliveries it was hardly worth while writing to congratulate him.
“My next marriage!” said Mr. Boyd, looking as if I’d struck him a blow beneath the emotional Plimsoll line. “Are you mad. I wouldn’t consider marriage again for two seconds. The one thing that marriage taught me was that I don’t want to live with another person. Ever. I tried it, and it didn’t work, and all my logic tells me it wouldn’t work a second time either. So I plan my life accordingly.” He rallied bravely. “And I have a great time.”
Perhaps 19 days wasn’t long enough to find out about marriage, I suggested.
“Long enough, “ echoed Mr. Boyd. “Nineteen minutes was long enough. As soon as we were married we loathed each other. It was as simple as that. Marriage is an attitude of mind, and I’ve obviously got the wrong attitude. I’m just not suited to live with other people.”
“My horoscope indicates marriage, but marriage not carried out. Unfortunately, I didn’t check up on my horoscope before I got married. I’ve become interested in astrology only recently, you see. I’m Cancer, with Leo rising, and if you want to get a clue to my character you must read up on Cancer and Leo and combine the two.”
Do you read your fortune each day in the pages? I inquired. Are you THAT interested?
“ I’m that interested I don’t read my fortune each day in the papers,” said Mr. Boyd blithely. “I take it quite seriously. We Cancers tend to attract strong people. We open ours arms to them, and then strangle and crush them. They can’t breathe. Look–”
He slowly lowered his steel hotel key into a tumbler of water, “ The water is Cancer, see. It embraces the key, but the key can’t breathe.” Together we watched the key struggling for life. Mr. Boyd rescued it with a flourish.
Did nobody warn you that you weren’t cut out for marriage at the time?
“Well, a fortune teller friend sent me a wire to Fulham register office where we were married with one word. ‘No.” That should have given me a clue. And when I thanked my brother for coming along to act as best man and witness he said : ‘Any time.” I might have realized.”
So it was a bachelor life from now on?
“Right you are. Anyway, California is a good place to be a bachelor. You can pick up the telephone for everything you need. And there are plenty of women out there. One doesn’t have to make too much if an effort, either. They always do the talking. You just stare back at them and they take it as a reply.”
In the past Mr. Boyd had been positively glowing in his praise for life in California. He obviously didn’t agree with Fred Allen that to be really happy out there you had to be an orange.
“It was partly a question of self-hypnosis on my part,” said Mr. Boyd. “You see I was under contract out there and I know I was stuck with it so I had to convince myself I liked it. But the truth is I’ve always preferred London. Here there’s so much to stimulate one; out there there’s nothing.”
Now that the contract was finished, would he be here more often?
“I certainly hope so. After nine years of being told what to do by a studio, I’m relishing my freedom. I don’t regret taking the contract. At the time I did sign it everything that was happening in films was happening in Hollywood. Now it’s all changed. This is where things are being done.”
“Another thing. If you’re under contract, you never get the best films your company is making. If they do finally hand it to you, it’s because 10 or more outside stars turned it down. At six-thirty in the morning, which is the time special delivery arrives in Los Angeles, a package would come with a script and a memo from Casting which read: ‘You have been assigned such-and-such a role.’ That would be Saturday sometimes, and you’d have to start Monday. Not very encouraging, would you say?”
But the one film he’d done since coming off contract – ‘The Oscar’- had been ruthlessly panned?
“That was because nobody could believe Hollywood was really like that. And it is. Every major critic said that it was overdone –that scene at the end where, having tried to rig the awards, I stand up when my name is called as a nomination, thinking, I’ve won. But that has happened every year since I’ve been in Hollywood. The producer and director of one film actually began to walk down the aisle when their names were called among the nominations. Actually, they had won, so it was all right. But overdone: not a bit of it.”
Stephen Boyd was an Irish-born actor, best known for his roles in several historical epics, including “The Fall of the Roman Empire,” “The Bible,” and his career peak in “Ben-Hur.” It’s quite common for people who are strongly associated with a particular role or achievement in their life to have charts that describe it. This could be a scientist who makes a specific important discovery or an artist who is known for a work or a style of expression. Its frequently the case for actors, because more than any other group they are performing not as themselves but playing the part someone else. We know much less about their own personalities unless they lead colourful private lives as well. The more the actor is able to put aside their own personality the better they are. So an actor who is frequently cast as a certain type or in a definite genre is likely to have it portrayed in their chart.
In the late 50s and early 60s, the whole of Hollywood was falling over itself to churn out historical epics of biblical proportions. Stephen Boyd was major player in this genre, so much so that he was originally chosen to play Mark Antony opposite Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra but Taylor became ill and the production was delayed so Boyd withdrew when he committed to star in The Fall of the Roman Empire. Its funny how things turn out because had he not withdrawn one of the great love affairs of the 20th century, Burton and Taylor would probably never have happened. Of course that’s not true, the power of the connections between Richard and Elizabeth’s charts meant that they had to be Antony and Cleopatra and it was also important that Taylor was already part of the film when Burton arrived. Astrology would never have had it any other way.
Stephen Boyd had the Sun in Cancer, Moon in Pisces and Scorpio rising. The Sun was opposite Saturn and the Moon opposite Neptune. He was a fluid character who would comfortably take on the shape of the part he was playing but this combination does not easily create the kind of ego that was common amongst the mega stars of the day. He said himself “They tried to make me a star, a leading man. Well, I’m not a star even though they thought I looked like one. I’m a character actor. When I’ve had the choice I’ve always opted for the character role. I’d rather be the pillar that holds up the star than the star himself”.
His chart does say something about the genre that he made his name working in and particularly his role in Ben Hur.
If there’s one sign that is associated with the past and history it is Cancer due to its strong connection with its own roots and family. One planet that has a similar connection with the past is Saturn as it rules tradition and forms that have been in place for many years. Boyd has the Sun opposite Saturn.
As if to confirm this theme, his Moon is in the 4th, the house which rules the past and this is opposite Neptune a planet that has some rulership over film in his 10th house. So his career ( 10th house ) is in film ( Neptune ) and specifically in historical drama ( Moon in the 4th, Sun in Cancer ).
To continue on this theme further, Boyd’s Sun is part of a stellium in Cancer which also includes a Jupiter / Pluto conjunction in the 9th house. Jupiter always expands anything that it touches and Pluto does so in an explosive, dramatic fashion so this conjunction aptly describes the kind of powerful big budget dramas that he worked in. The 9th house is far away lands so helps to create the setting.
The opposition between this Cancer group and Saturn projects strongly by T Square onto an apex Uranus in the 5th house. The 5th house is strongly linked to acting itself so its appropriate that this house is emphasised. Uranus is in Aries showing a military role of someone with an erratic temper. In fact the whole T Square very neatly describes his role of Messala in Ben Hur and in an extraordinary twist his Moon / Neptune opposition reflects the role of Charlton Heston as Ben Hur.
Judah Ben-Hur is a wealthy prince ( Moon in the 4th ) and merchant in Jerusalem. The Roman citizen Messala who was Ben Hur’s childhood friend ( Sun in Cancer ) is now a tribune ( opposite Saturn ). After several years away from Jerusalem, Messala returns as the new commander of the Roman garrison ( Uranus in Aries ). Messala believes in the glory of Rome and its imperial power, ( Jupiter in Cancer ) while Ben-Hur is devoted to his faith ( Moon in Pisces ) and the freedom of the Jewish people ( opposite Neptune in the 10th ). Messala asks Ben-Hur for the names of Jews who criticize the Romans. Ben-Hur refuses, angering Messala ( apex Uranus in Aries ).
During the parade for the new governor of Judea, Valerius Gratus, a tile falls from the roof ( Neptune in the 10th ) of Ben-Hur’s house ( opposite Moon in the 4th ). Gratus is thrown from his horse and nearly killed. Although Messala knows this was an accident ( apex Uranus ), he condemns Ben-Hur to the slave galleys and imprisons his mother and sister, Miriam and Tirzah ( Moon in Pisces opposite Neptune ). By punishing a known friend and prominent citizen, he hopes to intimidate the Jewish populace ( Sun in Cancer opposite Saturn ). Overcome by thirst when his slave gang arrives at Nazareth, Ben-Hur collapses. A local carpenter (who the audience realises is Jesus) gives him water ( Moon in Pisces in aspect to Neptune ).
After 3 years Ben-Hur returns to his home in Jerusalem. He visits Messala and demands his mother and sister’s freedom. The Romans discovered that Miriam and Tirzah contracted leprosy in prison, and expelled them from the city ( more Moon opposite Neptune ). The women concealed their condition ( even more Moon opposite Neptune ) from Ben-Hur who believed that his mother and sister had died. Ben Hur decides to seek vengeance on Messala by competing against him in a chariot race.
Its important to note that the film Ben-Hur had the largest budget and the largest sets built for any film produced. The nine-minute chariot race has become one of cinema’s most famous sequences. This race is the culmination of the film and a suitable visual interpretation of the vicious and gladiatorial apex Uranus in Aries. The fact that this placing is in the 5th house shows that chariot races are essentially leisure pursuits but this one turned extremely nasty.
During the chariot race, Messala drives a chariot with blades on the hubs to tear apart competing vehicles. In the violent and grueling race, Messala attempts to destroy Ben-Hur’s chariot but destroys his own instead. Messala is mortally injured, while Ben-Hur wins the race.
Stephen Boyd was honored for his work by receiving a Golden Globe for Ben Hur but was surprisingly by-passed on Oscar night. Pluto was opposite Boyd’s Moon and conjunct his Neptune in the 10th house of career in 1959 when Ben Hur was released and this seemed very appropriate as it was obviously the turning point in his life, but it also described the film very powerfully.
Pluto is about total and complete transformation, it is the phoenix rising from the flames and its role with the Pisces Moon / Neptune opposition shows the return from slavery via the gift of water from Jesus to the ultimate victory.
In a peculiar personal theme Stephen Boyd married Italian-born Mariella di Sarzana which only lasted officially two weeks during the filming of Ben Hur. This also reflects Pluto’s transit as a Moon / Neptune opposition is bound to create confusion around one’s personal life.
In 1964, Stephen Boyd escaped the charms of Elizabeth Taylor to play the part of general Livius in the Fall of the Roman Empire. Pluto was conjunct his Mars at the time, a suitable transit for a military role.
Boyd married for a second time to Elizabeth Mills, who had been his personal assistant and secretary for years. This one only lasted about ten months before his untimely and tragic death. Boyd died of a massive heart attack whilst driving a golf cart in June 1977 at the age of 45.In 1977, Pluto made a Grand Cross, that most difficult of all astrological patterns in square to his Sun and Saturn but also opposite Uranus. This was the only time Pluto transited any of these points in his life and it triggered another major theme from his T Square.
Stephen Boyd’s Sun is in the 8th house of death and it’s opposite Saturn, so any readers of other articles on this site would be seriously worried about a Pluto transit to this combination. Of course Uranus is the apex planet that receives all the tension from the Sun / Saturn opposition so Boyd died ( Sun in the 8th opposite Saturn ) suddenly ( apex Uranus ) whilst driving ( in Aries ) during a leisure pursuit ( in the 5th house ).
Stephen Boyd’s chart would have had much to say about his character and his life but it particularly described both his greatest triumph and his ultimate fall in incredible detail and there is a symbolic similarity between the two events. Granted a golf buggy is not quite the same as a chariot with protruding knives, but both events were supposed to be leisure pursuits and both ended with Boyd’s death.