This week: the world's oldest man, the producer of the Rambo films and a Pulitzer-winning author

SUPERCENTENARIAN Masazo Nonaka, who has died aged 113, was the world's oldest man.

Born on July 25 1905, he grew up in a large family and followed his parents in running an inn at hot springs in Ashoro on Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido, which is now run by his granddaughter, Yuko.

She said her grandfather appeared to be his usual self until her elder sister noticed he was not breathing. He was pronounced dead by his family doctor. "He didn't have any health problem. He went peacefully and that's at least our consolation," she said.

Nonaka, who enjoyed eating sweets, used to regularly soak in the springs, and would move about in the inn in a wheelchair, wearing his trademark knitted cap.

He outlived all seven of his siblings, as well as his wife and three of their five children.

The fastest-ageing country in the world, Japan, as of September 2018, had a centenarian population of 69,785, nearly 90 per cent of them women, according to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

The world's oldest living person is also Japanese, Kane Tanaka, a 116-year-old woman from Fukuoka on the southern main island of Kyushu.

THE film producer Andy Vajna, who has died aged 74, worked on several Rambo films with Sylvester Stallone and on Madonna's Evita.

He was also owner of the TV2 Group, a Hungarian company that owns several television channels, including TV2, one of Hungary's two main broadcasters. It is aligned closely with Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government.

Since 2011, Vajna had been a commissioner in the Orban government, in charge of developing Hungary's film industry.

Hungarian films have won several top prizes at recent international festivals.

In 2016, Son of Saul, financed mostly by Hungary's National Film Fund, won the Oscar for best foreign language film.

Vajna, who enjoyed a state-granted monopolistic concession on Budapest casinos, was recently listed by the Hungarian edition of Forbes magazine as the 18th richest Hungarian, with a net worth estimated at nearly £186 million.

The producer was born Andras Gyorgy Vajna in Budapest on August 1 1944 and escaped Hungary's communist regime in 1956 with help from the International Red Cross.

Following some time in Canada, he was reunited with his family in Los Angeles.

After studying at UCLA, Vajna operated cinemas in Hong Kong, where he also established a successful wig-making company.

In the mid-1970s, he set up Carolco, a film production firm, with Mario Kassar.

Besides the Rambo series, the two men were also behind films such as Escape to Victory, starring Stallone, Michael Caine and Pele; Red Heat and Total Recall starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Angel Heart and Johnny Handsome with Mickey Rourke.

After leaving Carolco in 1989, Vajna's films included Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Scarlet Letter, Nixon and I Spy.

He also produced several Hungarian films and was co-owner of Korda Studios, in the village of Etyek, near Budapest, where The Martian, Inferno and Hellboy II: The Golden Army were filmed. He is survived by his wife, Timea.

THE writer Russell Baker, who died aged 93, won Pulitzer Prizes for his columns in The New York Times and for a moving autobiography of his impoverished Baltimore childhood.

He later moved to television as host of Masterpiece Theatre.

He wrote a second autobiography, The Good Times, to follow Growing Up.

The first focused on his childhood, the second on his early journalistic career.

Baker would eventually write, edit or contribute to more than 15 other books, collections and assorted works - including a musical play and children's book. He died at his home in Leesburg, Virginia.