List of Academy Award nominees presented under false names

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There have been several fictional people or people using false names nominated for actual Academy Awards, in several cases because the actual winners were blacklisted at the time. This list is current as of the 89th Academy Awards ceremony held on February 26, 2017.


Pierre Boulle

Despite not having written the screenplay and not even speaking English, Boulle was credited because the film's actual writers, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, had been blacklisted as communist sympathizers. On December 11, 1984, the Board of Governors voted posthumous Oscars to the duo.[1]

Nathan E. Douglas

  • 1958 Best Writing, Story and Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen for The Defiant Ones
Nedrick Young and Harold Jacob Smith co-wrote the screenplay, but Young was blacklisted and used a pseudonym for his screen credit.[2] As an inside joke, director Stanley Kramer cast Young and Smith in bit parts as truck drivers and had their screen credit appear while they were on screen together. In 1993, AMPAS restored Young's credit for this work.

Ian McLellan Hunter

The name was used as a cover for blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo.[3] On December 15, 1992, the Board of Governors voted to change the records and recognize Trumbo. Hunter's name was removed. However, Hunter's son, director Tim Hunter, refused to cede the award to Trumbo,[citation needed] so the Academy presented a second Academy Award.

Robert Rich

This was another cover for Trumbo.[3] Shortly before his death, Trumbo revealed the much-suspected truth.[citation needed]


Roderick Jaynes

Writer-director brothers Joel and Ethan Coen have edited several of their films under this name.[4]

Donald Kaufman

Donald Kaufman was nominated along with his "brother" Charlie. In fact, Donald does not exist; the screenplay was written by Charlie alone, but credited to both. Donald was the first fictitious nominee not to be a cover for a real person. (Both appear as characters in the film.)[5]

P.H. Vazak

Due to his disapproval of the final filmed script, Robert Towne used his dog's name as a pseudonym instead.[5]

John Mac McMurphy

Director Jean-Marc Vallée edited his film using this pseudonym, inspired by the name of the character played by Jack Nicholson in the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.[6]


  1. ^ "OSCARS GO TO WRITERS FOR 'KWAI'", New York Times, March 16, 1985,
  2. ^ "6 Nonexistent People Who Were Nominated for Oscars". 24 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Acad honors Trumbo for 'Roman Holiday'" Variety, May 12, 1993,
  4. ^ Jada Yuan (January 22, 2008). "Roderick Jaynes, Imaginary Oscar Nominee for 'No Country'". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
  5. ^ a b Associated Press via the Augusta Chronicle:
  6. ^ "Oscar nom for Montreal 'Dallas Buyers Club' editor", Canadian Press in The Record, January 16, 2014.