Henry VIII’s letters to his mistress show his desperate insecurity.
Although many actors, directors, and screenwriters were nominated for Academy Awards throughout the years, sometime fictional people or real people using pseudonyms were nominated from time to time. Here are 7 pseudonyms nominated, or in some cases won, Oscars.
- Robert Rich. Dalton Trumbo used the pseudonym Robert Rich on the screenplay for The Brave One. He won an Academy Award for Best Story in 1956. Trumbo revealed the truth about the pseudonym just before his death in 1976.
- Ian McLellan Hunter. Before he won an Oscar for The Brave One, Dalton Trumbo used the pseudonym Ian McLellan Hunter for his screenplay for Roman Holiday. He won an Academy Award for Best Story in 1953. Trumbo was blacklisted in Hollywood as an alleged Communist, so he was unable to get work as a writer unless he used a pseudonym. It was revealed that Dalton Trumbo was, in fact, Ian McLellan Hunter in 1992.
- Nathan E. Douglas. Screenwriters Nedrick Young and Harold Jacob Smith actually co-wrote the screenplay for The Defiant Ones, but Young was blacklisted as an alleged Communist. He used the pseudonym Nathan E. Douglas. The pair won Oscars for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen in 1958. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences restored Nedrick Young’s name to the award in 1993.
- Pierre Boulle. Although Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson wrote the screenplay for The Bridge on the River Kwai, the author of the source material’s name Pierre Boulle was used for the Academy Award nomination because Foreman and Wilson were blacklisted. Boulle won the Oscar, but the AMPAS awarded Foreman and Wilson years later as the rightful winners in 1984.
- Roderick Jaynes. Joel & Ethan Coen edit most of their movies, but they use the pseudonym Roderick Jaynes as sole credit. Jaynes was nominated for Fargo and No Country For Old Men in 1996 and 2007, respectively.
- Donald Kaufman. Donald Kaufman doesn’t actually exist. Charlie Kaufman made up his “brother” Donald as part of the screenplay for Adaptation in 2002. Charlie and Donald Kaufman were nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, as Donald Kaufman is the first and only fiction person, not a pseudonym, to be nominated for an Oscar.
- P.H. Vazak. Screenwriter Robert Towne used the pseudonym P.H. Vazak as his credit for Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. Towne wasn’t happy with the studio’s decision to kick him off the project as its director and didn’t want anything to do with the movie. Instead, he used his dog’s name for the screenwriting credit.