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Iranian man who inspired Steven Spielberg's The Terminal dies at Paris airport

Karimi Nasseri, believed to have been born in 1945, lived in the airport's Terminal 1 from 1988 until 2006, first in legal limbo because he lacked residency papers and later by choice, according to French media reports.

Agencies Reported By: Agencies New Delhi Published on: November 13, 2022 8:04 IST
Mehran Karimi Nasseri news
Image Source : TWITTER/GAHNUG18MOHAMED Mehran Karimi Nasseri

An Iranian man who lived for 18 years in Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport and inspired the Steven Spielberg film “The Terminal” died Saturday in the airport, officials said. Merhan Karimi Nasseri died after a heart attack in the airport's Terminal 2F around midday, according an official with the Paris airport authority. Police and a medical team treated him but were not able to save him, the official said. The official was not authorized to be publicly named. His saga inspired “The Terminal” starring Tom Hanks, and a French film.

Karimi Nasseri, believed to have been born in 1945. It was in 1988 that Mehran first settled at the airport after the United Kingdom denied him political asylum as a refugee despite the fact that he had a Scottish mother.

According to Variety, he deliberately chose to reside at the airport after declaring himself stateless and reportedly always had his luggage by his side. Mehran, first left the airport when he was hospitalized in 2006, 18 years after first settling there, used to spend time reading, writing diary entries and studying economics, reported Variety.

Spielberg decided to make the 2004 film 'The Terminal' based on his unconventional situation. It starred Tom Hanks as an Eastern European man who resides in New York's John F. Kennedy airport after being denied entry to the United States.

Apart from this, the 1993 French film 'Tombes du ciel,' starring Jean Rochefort, was also inspired by Mehran, who was the subject of numerous documentaries and journalistic profiles. As per Variety, he was believed to have been born in 1945 in the Iranian city of Masjed Soleiman and his autobiography titled 'The Terminal Man' was published in 2004.


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