Vachik Mangassarian, a character actor with dozens of credits including Marvel's 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm', has died at 78. His representatives at McCaffrey Talent Management told Deadline that he died on Saturday of COVID complications. Born in Iran of Armenian descent in 1943, Mangassarian came to the US in the mid-1960s, working in theatre and occasionally returning to Iran, where he had roles in films including some by Iranian director Samuel Khachikian.
He eventually landed his first Hollywood role in 'The South's Shark' (1978). By the mid-'80s, he began scoring guest shots on such popular series as 'The Fall Guy', 'The A-Team', 'Sledge Hammer!' and 'Murder, She Wrote'. Mangassarian would work steadily through the 2010s, guesting on shows including 'Murphy Brown', 'Falcon Crest', 'Jake and the Fatman', 'NYPD Blue' and 'JAG', along with some telefilms. Mangassarian landed a key role in Cyrus Nowrasteh's 2008 film 'The Stoning of Soraya M.', playing the father of a young woman sentenced to death amid false charges.
Starring Shohreh Aghdashloo and Jim Caviezel, the film won an NAACP Image Award, took prizes at the Los Angeles and Ghent film festivals and was nominated for the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Mangassarian also was instrumental in getting the script for 'Lost and Found in Armenia' made into a movie, which got a US theatrical release in 2012.
It starred Angela Sharafyan and Jamie Kennedy and was the first time in Armenian cinematic history that Armenian and American actors performed in the same feature. After that, the actor continued to land guest-star TV roles on such series as Marvel's 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.', 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' and 'NCIS: Los Angeles'.
Mangassarian also anchored his own radio and later television show, 'The Armenian National Network' for 10 years. As per Fox News, survivors include two sisters, Linda Lalaian of Glendale and Elda Hacopian of Maryland and their spouses; nephews Derek Hacopian and Ara Hacopian and niece Aida Hacopian.