The guy whose unusual life was the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s film “The Terminal” has died.
Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who was born in Iran, died Saturday after suffering a heart attack in Terminal 2F of Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport. Nasseria had spent 18 years in the airport, from 1988 to 2006, after losing his travel documents while attempting to go to England. As a result, he was prevented from boarding a flight or entering France, putting him at the airport in legal limbo. Later on, he appears to have chosen to live there.
Nasseria, who was played by Oscar winner Tom Hanks in the 2004 film, was regarded as an “iconic character” at Charles deGaulle.
According to an airport official, employees cared for Nasseria “as much as possible over many years, even though we would have preferred him to find a real shelter.” Nasseria was always free to move around the airport and lived in public areas.
He slept on a plastic bench and showered in staff facilities. He spent his days people-watching, writing in his diary and reading magazines and newspapers.
After being unable to return to his imaginary country, Krakozhia, due to an attack, Hanks’ character, Victor Navorski, establishes a makeshift home at New York’s JFK Airport. He is also prevented from entering the United States because his passport is no longer valid due to his country’s new administration being deemed illegitimate. Everyone in the airport, including a stewardess played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, falls in love with Norvorski, just like Nasseria.
Nasseria was born around 1945 in Iran, making him roughly 76 when he died.