Hundreds of Hollywood producers, actors, directors, singers, dancers, voice-actors, choreographers, and screenwriters were blacklisted because of the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings in the 1950's. They were accused of being members of the Communist Party or being sympathetic to communism. Many accusations were unfounded or completely false.

Sometimes mere opposition to nuclear testing or support for the Civil Rights Movement was enough to warrant suspicion.

Many of the accused left show business completely or went abroad to make films in other countries. Others were hired by sympathetic Hollywood producers and directors who opposed the hearings.

When sympathetic Hollywood producers and directors hired blacklisted screenwriters, they sometimes put a fictitious name or the name of somebody else on the credits so the film could still be shown in the US. They also hired producers and directors as co-producers or co-directors and released the film with a different name on the credits.

One example would be Hugo Butler who was blacklisted along with his wife, Jean Rouverol. He and his wife left the US for Mexico where they wrote several screenplays under various pseudonyms, and then sold the screenplays to Hollywood studios.

Was any blacklisted person ever denied an Oscar or other award because their name was not on the film credits? (i.e. - If a non-blacklisted friend's name was on the screenplay, and that friend won an Oscar, then the true author of the screenplay did not receive the recognition he or she deserved.)

I am asking not just about Oscars, but any award for movies or TV.

Although my question uses two screenwriters as examples, I also want to know about singers, producers, directors, or any other role in movie or TV making.

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    Pretty sure that this is unknowable and too broad.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Sep 3, 2017 at 8:03
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    @Paulie_D It would be unknowable if no screenwriter came forth and said they wrote the winning screenplay, but there are efforts today to make sure people get proper credit. The Writers Guild is reviewing screen credits from movies of the 1950s and early 1960s so blacklisted writers such as Carl Foreman and Hugo Butler receive recognition. The guild, acting on a request for an investigation made by his dying son Christopher Trumbo, announced that Dalton Trumbo would get full credit for his work on the screenplay for the 1953 romantic comedy Roman Holiday. So it is knowable.
    – RichS
    Commented Sep 3, 2017 at 16:19
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    ...but it's still too broad.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Sep 3, 2017 at 17:45
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    @Paulie_D By saying there is a list of blacklisted winners on Wikipedia, you showed it is knowable, which is contrary to your earlier claim that it is unknowable. Anyhow, I wrote an answer based on that list.
    – RichS
    Commented Sep 3, 2017 at 19:02

1 Answer 1


People who were denied an Oscar because they were blacklisted.

Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson

These screenwriters did not receive an Oscar for The Bridge on the River Kwai. Pierre Boulle won the Oscar instead. On December 11, 1984, the Board of Governors voted posthumous Oscars to the duo.

Nedrick Young and Harold Jacob Smith

Nedrick Young and Harold Jacob Smith co-wrote the screenplay for The Defiant Ones, but Young was blacklisted and used a pseudonym, Nathan E. Douglas, for his screen credit. 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.

Dalton Trumbo

Dalton Trumbo, used a friend's name, Ian McLellan Hunter, for Roman Holiday. 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, so the Academy presented a second Academy Award.

Trumbo should also have won the 1956 Oscar for Best Story for The Brave One. Shortly before his death, Trumbo revealed the much-suspected truth.

There may be other should-have-been-winners we don't know yet.

There may also be should-have-been-winners for other awards such as the Golden Globe, BAFTA, or Writer's Guid that are currently unrecognized.

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