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John Wayne items highlight museum exhibit of memorabilia from Hollywood stars native to Iowa

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DES MOINES, Iowa - Academy Awards won by actresses Cloris Leachman and Donna Reed as well as items from John Wayne's movie career will go on display at an exhibit of Hollywood memorabilia from Iowa natives opening June 27, Gov. Terry Branstad announced.

"Hollywood In The Heartland" will debut at the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines with actor Tom Arnold, an Ottumwa native, discussing his move-making experiences.

The 6,400-square-foot exhibit of Hollywood memorabilia will include Academy Awards won by Leachman and Reed, both Iowa natives. Items from other Iowa-born actors including John Wayne, Ashton Kutcher, Brandon Routh, and Arnold are on display.

"When it comes to the movies the best ones reflect our common bonds as people. They entertain us, they educate us, and they can even make us laugh and cry," said Mary Cownie, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, which oversees the museum. "That's the magic of movies and we believe this new exhibit captures the contribution Iowans have made in bringing the magic to Hollywood,"

The exhibit focuses on 18 Iowa actors, three of whom won Oscars including Wayne, who was born in Winterset. A shirt, vest, eye patch and hat from his birthplace museum are on display. Several movie scripts including those from "Paint Your Wagon" and "True Lies" are in the exhibit, which also features movies made in Iowa including "Field of Dreams" and "Bridges of Madison County."

"I'm also pleased that this exhibit will showcase Iowa's historic theatres, some of which no longer exist but a number of which have been rehabilitated and restored in different cities across the state. Also there is some focus on drive-in movies," Branstad said.

The June 27 opening of the exhibit in addition to Arnold's discussion at 10 a.m. kicks off a weekend of free activities including exhibit tours and a 1:30 p.m. matinee showing of "The Music Man" on Friday.

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