ARKADY RAIKIN,

76, the Soviet Union's top comedian whose biting satire won him fame as the scourge of the country's bureaucrats, has died. News dispatches reported that he died during the weekend, but did not report where he died or the cause of his death.

Mr. Raikin, a Jew, amazed Soviet citizens by retaining official approval throughout five decades of poking fun at the failings of the Soviet system. Mr. Raikin had been made a People's Artist, the highest title accorded to Soviet cultural figures, and a Hero of Socialist Labor, the nation's highest civilian award.

ROBERT PAIGE,

77, an Emmy award-winning actor who starred in such movies as "Bye Bye Birdie" with Janet Leigh and "Can't Help Singing" with Deanna Durbin, died of heart ailments Dec. 21 at a hospital in San Clemente, Calif.

Mr. Paige appeared in 65 films, some under the name David Carlyle, and won an Emmy in 1955 for outstanding male personality, a category that no longer exists. He also worked as a newscaster for ABC-TV and served as cohost of the quiz show "The Big Payoff" with former Miss America Bess Myerson.

B. MELVIN COLE,

72, Baltimore County's administrative officer since 1979, died of heart ailments Dec. 21 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Towson, Md.

A former teacher and school official, Mr. Cole was appointed administrative officer in 1979 by former county executive Donald Hutchinson. He was recently reappointed by County Executive Dennis Rasmussen. As the county's highest-ranking nonelected official he was responsible for the administration of all 18 departments of county government.

HENRY A. STRATER,

91, a painter who befriended Ernest Hemingway after they fought an impromptu boxing match on a Paris street corner in the 1920s, died Dec. 22 at his home in Palm Beach, Fla. The cause of death was not reported.

Mr. Strater illustrated Ezra Pound's book of poems "Cantos" and inspired the character Burne Halliday in the novel "This Side Of Paradise" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, a fellow Princeton graduate. He became a friend of Hemingway's after the two boxed in Paris. One of his portraits of Hemingway was reproduced for the cover of Carlos Baker's biography of the writer.

RALPH NELSON,

71, a director noted for such films as "Requiem for a Heavyweight" and "Lilies of the Field," died of cancer Dec. 21 in Santa Monica, Calif.

Mr. Nelson, who won an Emmy for the television version of "Requiem for a Heavyweight" and an Oscar nomination for the movie "Lilies of the Field," directed more than 1,000 television shows.

Arrested frequently as a youth, Mr. Nelson turned his life around, became a pilot during World War II, then a writer, and later director of such critically acclaimed 1950s television shows as "Playhouse 90," "G.E. Theater," "Dick Powell Theater," and "Desilu Playhouse."

DAISUKE YAMAUCHI,

62, president of the Japanese daily newspaper Mainichi Shimbun, died in Tokyo Dec. 22 of liver failure.

Mr. Yamauchi joined the Mainichi in 1949 and became company president in 1980. The Mainichi, Japan's third-largest newspaper, has a daily circulation of 6.3 million.

ARNOLD BERNHARD,

86, chairman and founder of Value Line Inc., the world's largest investment advisory service, died Dec. 22 in New York City. The cause of death was not reported.

Mr. Bernhard ran Value Line and its widely used flagship publication, the Value Line Investment Survey, for more than half a century. He was the son of German and Romanian immigrants, graduated from Williams College and worked as drama critic for Time magazine and the New York Post before beginning his Wall Street career.