Joyce Jillson, author of a nationally syndicated astrology column who divined the stars on behalf of a Hollywood movie studio, died of kidney failure Oct. 1 in Los Angeles. She was 58.
Her daily astrology column appeared in nearly 200 newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News.
As the official astrologer for 20th Century Fox Studios, Ms. Jillson was consulted on the best opening days for Fox movies. She picked the opening date for 1977's "Star Wars," which is the second-highest grossing movie ever.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Ms. Jillson made numerous appearances on television and radio shows. Besides Hollywood clients, Ms. Jillson made astrological forecasts for Ford Motor Co. and the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of her duties at KABC Radio.
In 1988, Ms. Jillson was linked to the Reagan White House after former chief of staff Donald T. Regan wrote in a book that first lady Nancy Reagan consulted astrologers.
Ms. Jillson contended that she advised Reagan campaign aides to select George H.W. Bush as Ronald Reagan's running mate in 1980. Ms. Jillson said she "spent a lot of time" at the White House after the March 1981 assassination attempt on the president. (White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said at the time that the Reagans did not know her.)
Ms. Jillson, who was born and raised in Cranston, R.I., attended Boston University on an opera scholarship and later moved to New York to begin a stage career.
She won an award as outstanding Broadway newcomer and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue a TV career.
She married Joseph Gallagher in 1969; they divorced in 1981.
Ms. Jillson was a Capricorn, but she regarded herself as a Libra because most of her astrological planets were aligned with that sign, her former husband said.
"She had a complex and very intellectual approach to astrology," he said.
Holiday Mathis, who had been Ms. Jillson's apprentice and editor since 1991, had been co-writing the astrology column for the past few months, Creators Syndicate said in a statement.
Ms. Jillson and Mathis wrote in advance, and the columns they prepared will run through Nov. 6. Starting Nov. 7, the horoscopes will be renamed "Horoscopes by Holiday," but their format will remain the same.
"She took something that was somewhat stodgy and made it full of life -- just as she was," said Richard S. Newcombe, president of Creators Syndicate.
Survivors include her mother.