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A Arnold Gillespie

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Children  Thomas Gillespie
Education  Columbia University
Name  A. Gillespie
Years active  1926–1965

A. Arnold Gillespie The Wizard of MGM The Wizard of MGM by A Arnold Gillespie
Born  October 14, 1899 (1899-10-14) El Paso, Texas
Resting place  Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
Awards  Academy Award for Visual Effects 1944 Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo 1947 Green Dolphin Street 1959 Ben-Hur Academy Award for Technical Achievement 1964
Died  May 3, 1978, Los Angeles, California, United States
Spouse  Nell Hill (m. 1944–2000), Dora Ingram (m. ?–1973)
Books  The Wizard of Mgm: Memoirs of A. Arnold Gillespie
Similar People  Douglas Shearer, Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno, Robert Surtees, Edwin B Willis

Occupation  Special effects artist

Special effects of the wizard of oz with pioneer a arnold gillespie

Albert Arnold "Buddy" Gillespie (October 14, 1899 – May 3, 1978) was an American cinema special effects artist.



He was born on October 14, 1899 in El Paso, Texas. Gillespie joined MGM as a set designer in 1925, a year after it was founded. He was educated at Columbia University and the Arts Students League. His first project was the silent film Ben-Hur, released that same year. He worked at the studio in various capacities until 1962. In 1936, he became the head of MGM's Special Effects Department.

He died on May 3, 1978 in Los Angeles, California.


He wrote a book, The Wizard of MGM: Memoirs of A. Arnold Gillespie. Gillispie's nickname was "Buddy."

Academy Award wins and nominations

Wins shown in bold
  • Special Effects 1939: The Wizard of Oz – Photographic
  • Special Effects 1940: Boom Town – Photographic
  • Special Effects 1941: Flight Command – Photographic
  • Special Effects 1942: Mrs. Miniver – Photographic (with Warren Newcombe)
  • Special Effects 1943: Stand By For Action – Photographic (with Donald Jahraus)
  • Special Effects 1944: Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo – Photographic (with Donald Jahraus and Warren Newcombe)
  • Special Effects 1945: They Were Expendable – Photographic (with Donald Jahraus and R. A. MacDonald)
  • Special Effects 1947: Green Dolphin Street – Visual (with Warren Newcombe)
  • Special Effects 1956: Forbidden Planet
  • Special Effects 1958: Torpedo Run – Special Effects (Visual)
  • Special Effects 1959: Ben-Hur – Special Effects (Visual) (with Robert A. MacDonald)
  • Special Effects 1962: Mutiny On The Bounty – Special Effects (Visual)
  • Scientific or Technical (Class III) 1963: For the engineering of an improved Background Process Projection System (with Douglas Shearer)
  • Personal life

    Gillespie married Nell Hill in 1944. She died in 2000. They had one child, Thomas Scott Gillespie (1944-61). A. Arnold was previously married to aviator Ruth Elder, with whom he had a son, William Trent Gillespie (1940-2008).

    Partial filmography for special effects

    Inasmuch as he worked on numerous films (IMDb credits him with 203), only some of the better known ones and ones involving prominent special effects are listed below.


    A. Arnold Gillespie Wikipedia

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