Barry Cryer (1935 – 2022)

“I haven’t had a career, just a series of incidents. I’ve been dogged by good luck all my life.”

~ Barry Cryer

Legendary comedian and scriptwriter Barry Cryer died peacefully at home on Tuesday, at the age of 86, surrounded by his family.  We owe many laughs to him over the years, as we watched Morecombe and Wise and other classic comedies.  He wrote for many, many comedians, among them Bob Hope, Dave Allen, Tommy Cooper, and Kenny Everett.

Birth Chart

We are fortunate in having a birth time for Barry, giving him a Capricorn Ascendant.  His Sun was in Aries, largely unaspected, making him very authentic and individualistic.  With Chiron trine his North Node, his karmic mission was in some ways as a healer.  Chiron was in Gemini in his birth chart – healing through words, to laughter.  With the Sun in his 3rd House, words were his stock in trade, and later in life he was a popular after dinner speaker.  His Moon was exactly trine Mercury – imagination and wit perfectly balanced, something that undoubtedly contributed to his outstanding talent.  With the Moon opposite Uranus, he liked to surprise people.  Mercury exactly conjunct Saturn (his Ascendant ruler) in Pisces gave him the ability for precise thinking, but paradoxically in a soft-focussed way (Pisces) – he actually described himself as having “a butterfly brain”.  He didn’t get on well at school:

“In class I would say silly things and do impressions of the masters, but I certainly didn’t think I would end up doing it for a living.” (from The Big Issue)

And he left University after one term (Neptune in 9th House of University).  But he had an acute mind in many ways, so it is possible that he just didn’t like being pinned down to academia.  His Mercury square Chiron was exact, indicating a problem solving mind.  He had Venus closely conjunct Uranus, which gave him a certain personal magnetism: tributes paid by his fellow comedians testify to this.

John Cleese described him thus: “I never met a nicer, kinder, more cheerful man.”

Stephen Fry stated: “A glorious, gorgeous, hilarious and gifted writer”

And Gyles Brandreth: “He was the most generous entertainer you can imagine, he loved just sharing comedy.”

He seems to have been a lovely man, through and through, as befits a good example of Aries authenticity.


The first thing you would look for in the chart of a comedian would be the planet Jupiter.  In his chart you find it conjunct his Midheaven (Careerpoint), the “life dogged by good luck”, marking him out immediately for success in this field – Billy Connolly also has Jupiter conjunct the Midheaven.  Barry’s Jupiter was exactly trine Pluto, so he had great personal power allied with his humour, and could pack a punch with his wit.

There are comedians who are known to be depressives, and operate very much on a Saturnian theme.  This works by bringing out the courage of confronting life’s angst.  Barry Cryer does not strike me as that sort of comedian, but he did have a lot of Saturn/Capricorn in his make up, and that comes out in his propensity for self-deprecation.  Other facets of Capricornian humour can include a dry wit, irony, and a sardonic take on life.

The other strand of a humorous outlook is the Mercury/Gemini wordplay, and Barry Cryer’s Chiron (the wounded healer) was in Gemini, so his words could be an attempt to heal.

With his Sun ruler Mars in Libra, his preferred mode of writing was in collaboration.  According to the Guardian obituary, by Stephen Dixon:

“He left the basic idea, plot and structure to his partner, then funnied everything up, providing punchlines, gags and retorts.”

Life and Health

He may have joked, but his life was not made easy by a chronic health condition of eczema.  Saturn exactly square Chiron indicated the health challenge, and Uranus square Pluto the life changes and adjustments he had to make.  His father died when he was five years old (when his progressed Sun, representing his father, squared his Ascendant from the 4th House cusp, representing family changes).  Cryer travelled to London following his first year at Leeds University, and began working at the Windmill Theatre, filling in comedy routines between other acts.  His eczema was so debilitating that he was hospitalized twelve times in eight years – with Capricorn rising, and its ruler Saturn conjunct his natal Mercury, a skin complaint is very likely.  He realized that he could not sustain a performing career in that way, so took to writing.  His big break came when he was spotted by David Frost, and recruited to write for his shows, such as The Frost Report (1966-7).  Later he extended his popularity on radio as a regular on “I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue”.  A number of his jokes are currently circulating, my favourite being:

“Picasso was burgled and did a drawing of the robbers. Police arrested a horse and two sardines.”


Graham Chapman

Cryer wrote about 50 shows with Graham Chapman, and had good chart links with him.  It was said that he was most comfortable writing with Chapman, who was a Sun Capricornian. Chapman had Mercury (writing) exactly sextile with Cryer’s Midheaven (Careerpoint), Mars exactly trine Cryer’s Sun (strong working energy), Jupiter sextile Cryer’s Mercury (successful humorous writing), Jupiter sextile Cryer’s Ascendant (a happy relationship), Uranus opposite Cryer’s Jupiter (the capacity to surprise him), and Neptune trine his North Node (a spiritual affinity).

John Junkin

Cryer also wrote extensively with John Junkin. Junkin was an Aquarian, with a rapier like wit indicated by Mercury exactly conjunct Mars.  Their synastry highlights Cryer’s Pluto opposite Junkin’s Mercury/Mars, which may have been challenging for Junkin.  And Junkin had Saturn on Cryer’s Ascendant, which is quite a committed combination, but as Cryer had a pronounced Saturnian chart, he would have been comfortable with that. Barry Cryer’s Jupiter was sextile Junkin’s Mercury (similar to, but the opposite way round, to the sextile with Chapman).  As a partnership generally though, there was a very different dynamic to that with Graham Chapman.


Cryer told The Big Issue, that as a youth he would strike a smouldering pose in the corner, until he realized he was better just being himself:

“He told us that he wished he could go back and tell his younger self to quit pretending to be James Dean.”

He went on to have a happy, long-lasting marriage with his wife Theresa.  Together they had three sons, and a daughter, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild

He commented about his marriage:

“The key is we’ve never understood each other.  We don’t row, but we argue all the time.”

He died peacefully, with Jupiter sextile his Ascendant, apparently telling the nurse a joke on his deathbed.  He had lived his life with a glass half full, and I would imagine, no regrets.

“Dad always thought the term ‘national treasure’ meant he’d just been dug up. He was, in his words, arrogant in his humility.”

~ his family statement

“He leaves behind him a life of fun, joy, love and silliness and we’ll all be doing our best to maintain that legacy.”

~ Bob Cryer, his son


This evening Uranus squares the Sun, so be prepared for the element of the unexpected, or the Trickster Archetype.  For some, it may be exciting.  Don’t rest on your laurels, provide for loopholes, and don’t take unnecessary risks.  Storm Corrie is on its way in the U.K. – yesterday, I nearly got blown into the road as I took my run during Storm Malik!  We’ve just witnessed an unusual (Uranus) drama in our garden, of a large fox chasing a large pheasant, animals we don’t usually see here.  I have had to take a break in writing, as I wanted to see the pheasant evade a sticky end.  At first, the pheasant was seeming wandering aimlessly in the garden, and I was wondering if it was even aware of the fox lurking in the bushes.  Then at the crucial moment, with the pheasant’s back turned, the fox went to leap at it, and the pheasant flew on to a fence.  Hubby then remarked that the pheasant seemed to taunt the fox, scratching at the fence.  I said it looked like a scene from one of Aesop’s fables. Then the pheasant flew onto the ground in the next garden.  The wily fox somehow found a way through the fence in hot pursuit.  Oh no! I thought.  But the fox was no match for the pheasant, who then flew away, high above the drama.

Tuesday (1st February) brings us a New Moon at 12 degrees Aquarius, the newest of the new.   Any forward looking projects you are engaged with receive the blessing of the Universe.  Science, technology, invention and future vision may also be a significant part of the way forward.  Set your intentions with confidence and hope, focussing on the area of your life it falls in, if you know your Houses.  If the Uranian spanner in the works is still operating from the day before, be confident that you can invent new strategies to deal with loopholes.

Right now, as Friday (4th) is the busiest day of the week, you’ll need a timetable!

(U.K. times)

4.14 a.m.: Mercury is Stationary, prior to turning Direct.  Here’s a long-awaited (well, three weeks) boost, especially if you have been struggling with computers, I.T. and broadband connections, or delays in communications.  There may be some accompanying sense of relief.  You can certainly pick up momentum on some projects which involve paperwork and documentation, and make some more essential journeys.

13.38 Hrs: Mars sextiles Jupiter, a straightforward combination  of energy and enthusiasm, so a good way to employ excess feeling in an absorbing leisure activity of your choice.  You’ll be able to find that extra drive, for what you are wanting to achieve, or go that extra mile even after a demanding week at work.

19.05 Hrs: Sun conjunct Saturn at 15 degrees Aquarius – a very different kettle of fish, so be aware of the shift in energy.  You will need to go from gung ho mode to a cautionary tone.  Take note of the area/House it falls in, if you know it, as that will help you to ascertain the purpose of this event.  There is a great sense of concentration about this conjunction, focussed on practicalities  such as “what can we do about the situation?”  The Saturn part of the equation demands responsibility, commitment, and common sense.

So, to summarize, we start the week with the unknown, and we end with the known,  utilizing what we have learned in between.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – surprise, surprise, the unexpected hits you between the eyes
  • Tuesday – the newest of the new
  • Friday – communications eased; all systems go; limitations and boundaries