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Gage County honors Hollywood special effects legend Beatrice – SOUTH EAST


BEATRICE, NE — A filmmaking pioneer honored this weekend by his southeast Nebraska hometown.

Saturday, April 9, 2022, 3:42 p.m. CDT


BEATRICE, NE — A filmmaking pioneer honored this weekend by his southeast Nebraska hometown.

“That’s what the Gage County Historical Society is supposed to do,” said Cassandra Dean, administrator of the Gage County Museum. “Let people know the history of the county and the families who contributed to Hollywood.”

The Gage County Historical Society hosts events all weekend to remember Beatrice native John Fulton. Fulton was a special effects artist in Hollywood from the 1930s through the 1960s. He worked on over 250 films and won three Academy Awards during his career.

Dean says it’s part of a new effort to explore another side of the area’s history.

“So many times we take for granted the way special effects are done in movies,” she said. “It would be really nice for people to come and learn how special effects were created so many years ago.”

Members of John’s family are in town to mark the occasion. John’s daughter, Joanne Schaefer, recalls being on set with her father while working on one of his Oscar-winning films The bridges of Toko-Ri.

“What I got to see was just mesmerizing to me,” Schaefer said. “I was never really interested in acting, actors or actresses. I was always interested in miniatures and what my dad was doing.”

His father’s career gave him a unique upbringing, including a friendship with Nancy Sinatra. Now she hopes this weekend will show the impact her father left on the industry.

“It’s wonderful,” she said. “I’m so excited that people are so interested in what he did. He really was a genius in his field. It’s so good that he’s being recognized. I really appreciate that.”

Organizers have screenings, tours and exhibits scheduled through Sunday evening.

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