What can be said of Meryl Streep? One of the most talented and versatile actresses of our day, Streep leads the pack in the race for the little gold statuette, with twenty-one Academy Award nominations and three wins. Only Kate Hepburn has more Oscars, with four victories, but considerably less nominations (just twelve). Streep is a skilled character actress, able to don a new guise in every film; a gifted mimic, assuming accents and dialects with ease; noted for dramatic work but able to turn out a good comedic performance when called for. Streep’s honors peak with her Oscar wins, but don’t stop there. Nominated collectively for more than 400 awards, when Emmys, Golden Globes, Grammys, Tonys and SAG awards are factored in, she has won over 200, about as good a batting average as anyone in the business.
I’m not sure why anyone pays attention to the Iowa caucuses anymore, considering its Republican voters have only picked their Party’s eventual presidential nominee twice since the 1960s, and only one of those went on to win the general election. But Iowa is the time-honored kickoff to the quadrennial American presidential passion play regardless, and one must observe the conventions and traditions that make the country what it is.
Not hardly, right? By no stretch of the imagination is the disgraced, twice impeached, four times criminally indicted ex-President an appealing figure, at least not to most folks. No, the title here applies to Trump’s latest legal gambit, appealing a lower court’s ruling that denied his claims of immunity for his 2020 election interference shenanigans, in the case brought against him by the Justice Department. The trial date is set for March 4, but will likely be postponed due to delaying tactics such as these.
Grace Kelly has always been one of my favorite actresses, despite a thin body of work, with just ten films to her credit over her truncated, five-year career. But what credits! “High Noon” with Gary Cooper; “Mogambo” with Clark Gable; “The Country Girl” with Bing Crosby and William Holden (which garnered her an Oscar); and three Hitchcock classics: “Dial M for Murder” with Ray Milland; “To Catch a Thief” with Cary Grant; and “Rear Window” with Jimmy Stewart. Kelly abruptly left show business at the peak of her career for a higher calling: to become a princess as the wife of Prince Rainier III of Monaco. The connection to royalty didn’t hurt one bit in my admiration of her.
In casting about for a bit of good news to start AAA’s 2024 articles, I must admit, the pickin’s were slim. In the end, I opted for a post on Philadelphia’s new mayor, Cherelle Parker, the city’s 100th chief executive and the first female to hold the office, milestones on both counts. Having spent more than thirty years in the City of Brotherly Love, I tend to think of Philly as my home town, and I like to keep tabs on the old gang. And any woman rising to a position of prominence is always good news, even when I might strongly disagree with her political philosophy.
What with one thing and another, quite a few celebrity deaths in 2023 slipped through AAA’s bony fingers, unremarked and unmourned. As the last dregs of the old year are drained from the cup, let’s pause to remember those we’ve lost. The list below is of necessity incomplete, and for the sake of brevity, we’ll not be doing any full-on Aster-Obits or birth charts, just taking a look at how asteroids representing the dear departed interacted with celestial death indicators on the dates of their passing.