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Iranian exile who inspired Steven Spielberg's 'The Terminal' dies of heart attack

Published on Nov 13, 2022 06:43 AM IST

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.

Mehran Karimi Nasseri, a political refugee who lived over 18 years in Paris' Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport and inspired director Steven Spielberg's "The Terminal", died, aged 77, at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport's terminal 2F, as reported to AFP by airport officials. (AFP)
ANI | | Posted by Lingamgunta Nirmitha Rao

Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the Iranian exile whose time spent at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport inspired filmmaker Steven Spielberg's movie 'The Terminal', on Saturday, died of a heart attack in Terminal 2F of the same airport, reported Variety.

The outlet has shared that Mehran, who also went by the name Sir Alfred, had been living in the airport again in recent weeks. He lived in Terminal 1 of Charles de Gaulle Airport.

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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.

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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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