Dudley Nichols was an American screenwriter who first came to prominence after winning and refusing the screenwriting Oscar for The Informer in 1936.
The reason for Nichols' refusal was the fact that the Screen Writers Guild was on strike at the time.
Nichols wrote or co-wrote the screenplays for 72 movies, including such classics as Stagecoach, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Scarlet Street, And Then There Were None, Pinky and The Tin Star.
Nichols' may be best known for his collaboration with Hagar Wilde on the screenplay for Bringing Up Baby, often considered one of the funniest of the 1930s screwball comedies. The movie, directed by Howard Hawks and starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, was under-appreciated on first release but was later recognized as one of the fast-talking classics.
Dudley Nichols served as president of the Screen Writers Guild in 1937 and 1938. In 1954, he won the Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement from the Writers Guild of America.
He worked on many films and for many years with director John Ford.
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.