Achmed Abdullah

Achmed Abdullah

Achmed Abdullah (12 May 1881 - 12 May 1945), a pseudonym of Alexander Nicholayevitch Romanoff, was a Russian-born writer. He is most noted for his pulp stories of crime, mystery and adventure. He wrote screenplays for some successful films. He was the author of the progressive Siamese drama Chang, an Academy Award nominated film made in 1927. He earned an Academy Award nomination for collaborating on the screenplay to the 1935 film The Lives of a Bengal Lancer.


Alexander Nicholayevitch Romanoff was born on 1881 in Yalta, Russia to the second cousin of Czar Nicholas Romanoff and an Afghan princess. After his mother's attempts to poison her husband due to partaking in multiple affairs, they divorced, leaving their son, and two other children to their maternal grandparents. At the age of 12, he was sent to Eton; and then to Oxford University to be educated. Although he was born Russian Orthodox, he was raised as a Muslim by his grandparents. Later he would consider himself Roman Catholic.

Upon his graduation he joined the British Army, and rose to rank of acting colonel during his 17-year military career. Throughout his military career, he served in India, Afghanistan, Tibet, Africa, China and in Turkey. He served the British-Indian army in India, and was also colonel in a cavalry regiment for one year in the Turkish army as a British spy. He mostly spent the time in the military as a spy because of his wide-knowledge of Oriental and Middle-Eastern customs and religions. He traveled widely in Russia, Europe, Africa, the Middle-East and China and spoke many languages and dialects. He was also made a British citizen by an act of Parliament, and convicted by the Germans during World War I for being a spy.

In the early 1910s he emigrated to the United States and eventually became a successful, well-paid writer, playwright and later on, a Hollywood screenwriter. At the time, he became the only British subject to receive membership in the French Academy and he also got a doctorate from the College of El-Azar, Cairo in Koranic Studies.

Romanoff was married at least three times: to Irene Bainbridge, Jean Wick, and Rosemary A. Dolan.

In January 1945, Romanoff was entered into Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and a few months later on May 12, his birthday, he died.


  • The Swinging Caravan, (1911)
  • The Red Stain, (1915)
  • The Blue-Eyed Manchu, (1916)
  • Bucking the Tiger, (1917)
  • The Trail of the Beast
  • The Man on Horseback (1919)
  • The Mating of the Blades (1920)
  • Wings: Tales of the Psychic (1920)
  • The Benefactor's Club (1921)
  • Night Drums (1921)
  • Alien Souls (1922)
  • The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
  • Shackled (1924)
  • A Buccaneer in Spats (1924)
  • The Remittance Woman (1924)
  • A Wild Goose of Limerick (1926)
  • The Year of the Wood Dragon (1926)
  • Steel and Jade (1927)
  • Dreamers of Empire (1929) (with T Compton Pakenham)
  • Broadway Interlude (1929) (with Faith Baldwin)
  • They Were So Young (1929)
  • Broadway Sensation (1930) (with Faith Baldwin)
  • The Bungalow On the Roof (1931)
  • The Lady in the Veil (1931)
  • Girl On the Make (1932) (with Faith Baldwin)
  • A Romantic Young Man (1932)
  • Fighting Through (1933)
  • Mysteries of Asia (1935)
  • The Flower of the Gods (1936) (with Fulton Oursler)
  • Deliver Us from Evil (1939)
  • "Daniel, Cory, and Ric's minds" (December 7, 2007)


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