PUPPET MASTER: Iowan Created ‘Sound Of Music’ Props

Eighteen-and-a-half million Americans tuned in to see a classic family film translated into a live stage event Thursday night as NBC presented The Sound Of Music, starring former American Idol Carrie Underwood.

Most of us are more familiar with the original 1965 film starring Julie Andrews and an Iowan has a special connection to the production. Mason City native Bill Baird designed the puppets used in the “lonely goat-herd” scene from the film.

When he retired from puppet-making, Baird donated the puppets to the Macnider Art Museum in Mason City.

The museum director says you never know what you’ll find in a local museum, that’s why you should never pass one up.

puppets2“A lot of people talk about the ruby slippers being you know at the Smithsonian and things like that, but as far as movie memorabilia and where it all ends up. I think that sometimes people don’t know that …things are sometimes commissioned by private artists and they take them with them,” says Edith Blanchard, museum director.

Baird donated more than 600 of the puppets he created in his lifetime to the museum.

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