French Film Director

Jacques Demy, 59, the French master of musical comedies best known for his 1963 film "Les Parapluies de Cherbourg," (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) which won the Palme D'Or award at the Cannes Film Festival, died in Paris Oct. 27. He had leukemia.

Among his other major musicals was the acclaimed "Les Demoiselles de Rochefort" (The Maidens of Rochefort) of 1966, starring Catherine Deneuve and her elder sister, Francoise Dorleac. He also directed the film version of the fairy tale "Peau d'Ane" (Donkey Skin) in 1970 starring Deneuve.

His first feature-length piece was, "Lola" (1960) with Anouk Aimee. In 1962 he directed "La Baie des Anges" (Window of Angels) with Jeanne Moreau. He won the national Grand Prix of Cinema for his 1982 "Chambre en Ville" (A Room in the City). His last film was "Trois Places Pour le 26" (Three Places for the 26) in 1988, which marked the return of Yves Montand to cinema.


Japanese Executive

Nobutaka Shikanai, 78, who built the Fujisankei Communications Group into Japan's largest media company before transferring the chairmanship to his son in 1989, died Oct. 28 at a hospital in Tokyo. The cause of death was not reported.

In 1954, with the creation of the Nippon Broadcasting System, he began building his group, which describes itself as the world's fourth-largest media conglomerate. Its holdings include the Fuji Television Network, Inc., the newspaper Sankei Shimbun, the Nippon Broadcasting System and record and video companies.

He was instrumental in establishing the Praemium Imperiale awards for cultural achievement. His company reportedly paid $2 million to Ronald Reagan to visit Japan and attend the first awards ceremony last year. Mr. Shikanai also had served as organizing committee director for the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games and vice president of the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics.


Funeral Director

Richard R. Poindexter, 57, executive director of the National Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards for the past 12 years and a cousin of former national security adviser John M. Poindexter, died Oct. 24 in Odon, Ind. The cause of death was not disclosed.

He operated Poindexter & Son Funeral Home in Odon. It was established by his grandfather, Huett Poindexter, in 1902. He also owned Poindexter Funeral Home in Washington, Ind.


New York Editor

John F. Davis, 50, executive editor of The New York Amsterdam News from 1981 to 1983 and former member of the board of directors of the NAACP, died of cancer Oct. 22 at a hospital in New York City. He lived in Harlem.

Mr. Davis, who was a lawyer by training, also contributed articles to The Village Voice. He also was a former deputy executive director of the New York City Planning Department and had worked for the New York State Mortgage Agency and the Harlem-East Harlem Model Cities.


British Architect

Berthold Lubetkin, 88, an architect who played a leading role in founding the Modernist school in Britain in the 1930s, died Oct. 23 in London. The cause of death was not reported.

He came to London in 1931 and the following year set up Tecton, a cooperative of young architects committed to radical ideas. Tecton broke up in 1948. Modernism was named after the Modern Architecture Research Group that he helped found in 1933.