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The idea of hiding behind a generic name such as Alan Smithee  is part
of a long theatrical tradition where actors doubling in roles (or hiding
their responsibility) adopted the name George Spelvin.  This practice
has been traced back as early as 1886 in the United States.  In the way
of these things, I'd be surprised if there aren't similar anonymous
names used other countries.
 
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Cal Pryluck, Radio-Television-Film, Temple University, Philadelphia
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