– January 4
) was an American
screenwriter who first came to prominence after winning and refusing the screenwriting Oscar
for The Informer
The reason for Nichols' refusal was the fact that the Screen Writers Guild was on strike at the time.
Nichols wrote the screen plays for over sixty movies including such classics as Stagecoach, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Scarlet Street, The Tin Star, and And Then There Were None (1945 film).
Nichols' crowning achievement, though, was probably the screenplay for Bringing Up Baby, considered one of the funniest of the 1930s screwball comedies. This movie, directed by Howard Hawks and starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, was underappreciated on first release but later recognized as a unique classic.
Dudley Nichols served as president of the Screen Writers Guild during 1937 and 1938.
Nichols has the interesting distinction of being the first artist to refuse an Academy Award, an act followed by George C. Scott and Marlon Brando.
Nichols was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio. He studied at the University of Michigan. He died in Hollywood from cancer in 1960 and was interred there in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.