Deaths Elsewhere

April 10, 2005

Yoshitaro Nomura,

85, whose 1974 suspense thriller Castle of Sand has been ranked by critics as one of Japan's best films ever, died Friday of pneumonia at Tokyo's Okubo Hospital.

He was one of Japan's most prolific and celebrated post-World War II directors, making 89 films - from samurai dramas to musicals to crime stories - over more than three decades.

He showed he could skillfully weave tales that were both social commentaries and suspense thrillers, and was a pioneer of Japanese film noir, collaborating with best-selling mystery writer Seicho Matsumoto. They made eight films, including The Chase in 1957, Castle of Sand and The Demon in 1978.

Mr. Nomura also adapted American detective novels, turning Ellery Queen's Calamity Town into Three Undelivered Letters in 1979 and Agatha Christie's The Hollow into Dangerous Women in 1985.

Chalmers Roberts,

94, a former diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post and the author of a number of books, died Friday of congestive heart failure at his home in Bethesda.

The bulk of his reporting came in the 1950s and '60s as the Post's chief diplomatic correspondent. He covered stories from the Cold War to the Watts riots in 1965. He also contributed to the Post's efforts to print the Pentagon Papers.

His books include First Rough Draft: A Journalist's Journal of Our Times and The Nuclear Years: The Arms Race and Arms Control 1945-70.

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