James Bridges, 57, an Oscar-nominated writer and director whose films include "The Paper Chase," "The China Syndrome" and "Urban Cowboy," died of intestinal cancer June 6 at a hospital in Los Angeles. He lived in Los Angeles.

Mr. Bridges also appeared in bit parts in such 1950s television shows as "Dragnet" and "Matinee Theater" and wrote several scripts for the "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" television show.

In 1966, he directed "The Candied House," a play written by his companion, Jack Larson. In 1977, Tennessee Williams chose Mr. Bridges to stage a 25th anniversary revival of "A Streetcar Named Desire."

Mr. Bridges broke into movies in 1970 by writing and directing "The Baby Maker," in which Barbara Hershey played a young woman who agreed to bear a child for a childless couple.

He also wrote and directed "The Paper Chase," the popular 1973 film about students struggling through law school, and 1979's "The China Syndrome." The latter, about a nuclear power plant accident, starred Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon and Michael Douglas.

That film garnered Mr. Bridges an Academy Award nomination for best screenplay. He also had been nominated for "Urban Cowboy."

"He never did one work that he didn't believe in," said Larson, who played Jimmy Olson in television's "The Adventures of Superman."

The last film Mr. Bridges wrote and directed was "Bright Lights, Big City," starring Michael J. Fox.

Mr. Bridges, who was born in Paris, Ark., came to Los Angeles in the 1950s to act in television. Later, writing for "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," he penned 16 scripts, including "The Unlocked Window," for which he won a Mystery Writer's award.

In 1978, he teamed up with Aaron Latham for "Urban Cowboy" after he read an article Latham had written for Esquire about "citified" cowboys who wore fancy garb, rode mechanical bulls and danced the two-step on Saturday nights.

In addition to his companion, of Los Angeles, survivors include his mother, Celestine Wiggins, and a sister, Mary Ann Wiggins, both of Paris, Ark.


Foreign Service Officer

Ruth L. Brooks, 71, a retired Foreign Service officer and former Capitol Hill aide, died June 4 at George Washington University Hospital after a stroke. She lived in Washington.

Mrs. Brooks, who graduated from Wayne State University in her native Detroit, moved here in 1955 when she joined the office of Sen. Patrick V. McNamara (D-Mich.). She later worked as a legislative aide to Sen. Philip A. Hart (D-Mich.) before joining the State Department in 1965.

She served in the consular service in such countries as Canada, Nigeria and the Philippines. Her last assignment was in Nairobi, where she worked in the emigration section before retiring in 1985.

Mrs. Brooks was a member of the NAACP, the Urban League and the Joint Center for Political Studies. She had done volunteer work for the American Association of Retired Persons.

Her marriage to Joseph Brooks ended in divorce.

Survivors include a brother, Magellan McCrary of Detroit; and four sisters, Antoinette Nowell of Silver Spring, Dores McCree of Ann Arbor, Mich., Winifred Duncan of River Rouge, Mich., and Mildred Smith of Detroit.


Finance Officer

William Bauer Koehler, 50, vice president and chief financial officer of Radix Systems Inc., died June 4 at his home in Germantown after a heart attack.

Mr. Koehler was born in Baltimore and moved to the Washington area as a child. He graduated from High Point High School in Prince George's County and in 1968 from Capital College, which then was in Washington.

He was an associate engineer with Hydrospace Research Corp., a design engineer with MAR Inc., a senior engineer with NUS Corp. and a private consultant before 1983 when he founded Radix Systems, a research and engineering firm based in Rockville, with branch offices in Florida and Idaho.

He was a member of the American Management Association, the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He sailed on the Chesapeake Bay and coached baseball in Damascus. He was a model railroad enthusiast and a member of the National Model Railroad Association.

Survivors include his wife, Rosemary L. Koehler and two children, Courtney and Greg Koehler, all of Germantown; his parents, William and Charlotte Smith Koehler, and a sister, Charlotte K. Kerr, all of Annapolis.



Archie L. Fisher, 73, who practiced government procurement law in Washington from 1945 until moving to Florida in 1969, died June 4 in a nursing home in Fort Worth, Tex. He had a heart ailment.

Mr. Fisher, who moved to Fort Worth earlier this year, was born in Chattanooga, Tenn., and came to Washington in 1934. He was a graduate of Catholic University, and its law school, and received a master's degree in government procurement law from Georgetown University. During World War II, he served with the Army in the Mediterranean theater and was awarded the Bronze Star.

During his years in Washington, he was a member of the Congress Heights Methodist Church, where he taught Sunday school and was Sunday school superintendent. He had served on the board of the Methodist Men's Association.

His first marriage, to Betty Fisher, ended in divorce.

Surviors include his wife, Mary, whom he married in 1965 and who lives in Fort Worth; two sons by his first marriage, Geoffrey, of Arlington, and Dean, of Alexandria; two stepchildren; two brothers; a sister; and nine grandchildren.


Washington Barber

Boyd Prophet Sr., 75, a retired Washington barber who served as a trustee and had sung in the angelic choir of Riggs Park Baptist Church in Washington, died June 4 at his home in Washington.

Mr. Prophet, a South Carolina native, moved to Washington after serving in the Army in the Mediterranean theater during World War II. He was a city barber, mainly in shops in Northeast Washington, for 29 years before retiring in 1983.

Survivors include his wife, the former Annie M. Perry, whom he married in 1948 and who lives in Washington; a son, Boyd Jr., of Oxon Hill; a daughter, Patricia Wheeler of Seat Pleasant; a stepson, Eddie Holloway of Washington; four brothers, Dale, of Arlington, Randolph, of West Columbia, S.C., and LeVance and Mackie Van Prophet, both of Washington; two sisters, Iola Wise and Ella Livingston, both of West Columbia; three grandsons; and two great-grandchildren.