T.N. Kaul

Indian Diplomat

T.N. Kaul, 82, a former Indian ambassador to the United States and the Soviet Union who also played a key role in agreements with China and Pakistan, died Jan. 16 in a hospital in Himachal Pradesh in northern India.

The cause of death was not reported.

Mr. Kaul, a civil servant, helped mold India's foreign policy from the time of its 1947 independence.

He was co-author of the Panchsheel Agreement between India and China in the 1950s, preparing the groundwork for friendship between the world's two most populous nations.

In 1972, he assisted Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in formulating the Simla Agreement with neighboring Pakistan.

He also helped prepare the Indo-Soviet Friendship Treaty and was involved in peace initiatives with Vietnam.

Alain Poire

Film Producer

Alain Poire, 82, the producer of some of France's best-loved films, died of cancer Jan. 14 at his home in Neuilly-sur-Seine outside Paris.

He produced 250 films and worked with some of France's best-known directors--Gerard Oury, Georges Lautner, Francis Veber and Yves Robert among them.

His films included some popular successes like "Fantomas," "The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe" and "A Taxi For Tobrouk."

He received a Cesar film award in 1985 for his life's work and was named to France's Legion of Honor.

Meche Barba

Mexican Dancer

Meche Barba, 77, a circus performer's daughter whose smoldering beauty brought her fame as a dancer in Mexican films, died of emphysema Jan. 14 in Mexico City.

Ms. Barba came to be known as "the queen of the rumba," for her sensuous dancing in more than 50 films.

She and her sister Carmen began performing as children. Appearances on Mexico's premier theater stages led to film roles starting in 1937. She won acclaim for her beauty and her acting presence, appearing alongside such stars as singer Jorge Negrete and German Valdes, the comic actor better known as Tin Tan.

Benjamin Masselink

California Writer

Benjamin Masselink, 80, who wrote novels, scripts for classic television series and most recently a column called "Tales of an Ancient Beachcomber" for California's Torrance Daily Breeze, died of prostate cancer Jan. 12 in Los Angeles.

His worked appeared in the Los Angeles Times, TV Guide, Playboy, the Saturday Evening Post, Ladies' Home Journal, Collier's, Cosmopolitan and Modern Maturity. He also taught creative writing for 20 years at the University of Southern California and wrote a series of adventure yarns.

Since the 1960s, he had concentrated his work on writing television scripts, churning out material for "Dr. Kildare," "Slattery's People," "Marcus Welby, M.D.," "Barnaby Jones," "Hawaii 5-0" and "Starsky and Hutch." He also scripted the 1979 television movie "Portrait of a Stripper."