Celeb Graphology (Persona Edition)
Matinee idol John Barrymore may have been in poor health by the time he signed this, but nevertheless, it shows expressiveness (strong right slant) and dramatic flair (the underlining of “Barrymore”), hence his career as an actor.
It also shows OCD tendencies in connecting the first and last names, as well as overall rigidity, and depressive tendencies in the downward slant. This would indicate probable low serotonin, for which, as he openly admitted, he tried to self-medicate with alcohol.
Babe Ruth is often portrayed as a jolly man-child, but the truth is more complex. The large upper zones indicate someone with a strong superego, as demonstrated by his deep devotion to the Catholic faith (he was raised in a Catholic orphanage/reformatory after being neglected by his father).
The “temper tics” on the “t” and “h” in “Ruth”, as well as the “aggression stroke” (sharp line) in the “e” in “Ruth” indicate a man not to be trifled with, as at least one heckler found out the hard way.
Ruth was overall a far more organized and methodical person (the careful, connected writing) than his historical image.
Rudolph Valentino’s signature reveals overcompensation, most notably in how his actual “t”-bar in “Valentino” is quite low (self-esteem issues), but he tried to cover it with a long, high stroke.
This is likely because his father thought poorly of him as a child. His flair for the dramatic (hence his moody persona) is shown in the extravagant “R” in “Rudolph”.
Sidney Poitier is unusual in that he seems to have found harmony in his family and identity (most people whose writing I’ve examined have not), as shown by the fluid combining of his first and last name, leading into a drawing of an “eye”, a visual punning on “I”... so overall, Poitier is creative, well-adjusted and the most “normal” celebrity whose writing I’ve described on Tumblr.
Barbra Streisand is a busy, somewhat stressed workaholic, with some stubbornness (up and down strokes in “Barbra”), learned from a mother who had to raise Barbra alone after her dad’s death from a seizure when Barbra was just 1.
The round strokes in the “B” show a maternal side, but overall it’s a business-like signature, and if she did not have such focus, she would not have an “EGOT” (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony).
First is how David Bowie typically signed his name for his fans, while second is how he signed it on a 1995 lottery ticket. The vaguely musical “B” links the two, but otherwise, they reflect what Bowie himself said in the 1980′s, which was that his eccentric, psychedelic 70′s persona was, for the most part, an act.
We know this is true because, given the seeming abstraction of the first signature, had Bowie really been thinking that whimsically, his signature would have varied based on feelings (or dimensions, perhaps, if he was “Ziggy Stardust”), but it was remarkably consistent, as a simple web search reveals.
Therefore, the first signature is his 70′s stage persona, which he kept (in part) for older fans, but the second signature, from ‘95, was the real person.
The real David Bowie, therefore, was mostly business- this looks rather like a politician’s signature: Confident and done in haste. Thus, his song “The Man Who Sold the World” summed it up: He was a shrewd businessperson who observed, anticipated and created what was trendy in the 1970′s, using his genius for lyrics to leave an indelible impression on music of several genres.
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Ele-May-ntary - Number 28
Welcome to Ele-May-ntary! All throughout the month of May, I’ll be counting down my Top 31 Favorite Portrayals of Sherlock Holmes, from movies, television, radio, and even video games!
“May the Fourth Be With You!” (pauses) Our contender today has absolutely nothing to do with Star Wars (which is sad, because a later contender WILL have something to do with Star Wars, but I digress), I just felt like saying it.
Number 28 is…John Barrymore.
John Barrymore – The Great Profile – was one of the most famous actors in cinema and theatre history. He ruled Shakespeare onstage for years, was an idol of the silent era of filmmaking, and even managed to hold his own and stay strong when sound came into play – something many other actors of the silent era were unsuccessful at. Barrymore played many, MANY iconic figures of literature in his time, both villainous and heroic: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Captain Ahab, Don Juan…and, of course, Sherlock Holmes.
Barrymore’s turn as Sherlock came in 1922, in a silent film loosely adapted from the William Gillette stage play of the same name. I often feel Barrymore’s Holmes is something of a precursor to several other, more modern takes on the character: the silent picture is much more focused on action-adventure than true mystery-solving, and its plot has some noticeable similarities to later takes on Sherlock we’ll see to come. The story of the movie starts off with Holmes as a young man, not yet established as a private eye: at this time in his life, he’s clever, and a bit arrogant, but not the icy, snide figure we know and love. It’s at this young age he first encounters Professor Moriarty…
…And Moriarty WINS. Yep! In their first encounter, Holmes is soundly defeated. The story then cuts to years later, where Holmes is now a professional consulting detective, but he has never forgotten his being foiled by Moriarty. The man has become obsessed with hunting the Professor down and making him pay for his crimes. When old ghosts return to haunt him, Holmes is able to have a chance to get back at his hated nemesis, and finally prove his superior mental skills.
Oh, and, um…there’s this girl who he falls in love with. Yeah, I forgot to mention that part.
The silent film isn’t bad – it’s one of the strongest silent Holmes pictures out there, in fact, largely due to the strength of its cast: not only does Barrymore give his usual finest effort (one thing you can say about John Barrymore is that he NEVER gave you something that WASN’T entertaining), but the other characters are acted pretty well, for the time. The problem really lies in the script and the way Holmes is depicted. I used to really love Barrymore’s Holmes, but over time, I’ve sort of fallen out of adoration with it: the film plays up Holmes as a romantic cavalier, whose outlook is the result of emotional trauma and tragedy. That’s not really who Holmes is, in my mind; it’s an interesting story arc, it’s just not the character I love so much. It wouldn’t be so bad if the romantic elements I mentioned were handled better, but – even for the 1920s – they feel pretty sappy and underdeveloped. You get the feeling that stuff is in the film only because The Great Profile is playing the character, and I really wish we could have seen Barrymore handle a more accurate depiction. Still, it’s a version that’s close to my heart, at the end of the day.
The countdown continues tomorrow! Who will be next? Check in and find out!
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