Man who inspired 'The Terminal' film starring Tom Hanks dies of heart attack in airport – The Mirror

Merhan Karimi Nasseri, who inspired 2004 Tom Hanks movie The Terminal, has died of a heart attack at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport where he lived for 18 years
The refugee who inspired 'The Terminal' film starring Tom Hanks has died in the airport where he lived for 18 years.
Merhan Karimi Nasseri suffered a heart attack in Terminal 2F of Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport around midday on Saturday, according to an official.
Despite the efforts of police and a medical team, he was not able to be saved.
Iranian Nasseri, believed to have been born in 1945 and aged 76, lived in Terminal 1's departure lounge from 1988 until 2006.
First he was stuck there in legal limbo because he lacked residency papers and later stayed there by choice, according to French media reports.
He had been living in the airport again in recent weeks, the airport official said.
His saga – which he detailed in autobiography The Terminal Man – inspired multiple films, including that directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 2004.
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Nasseri claimed to have been expelled from his country of birth in 1977 for protests against the Shah.
He was eventually awarded refugee status by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Belgium, which allegedly allowed him to take up residence in several other European countries.
However, later investigations suggest Nasseri was never expelled from Iran.
In 1986 he decided to settle in the UK, due to his mum having been British, but claimed to have lost his papers en route.
On arrival in London, he failed to present a passport to immigration officials and was sent back to France where he was arrested.
He was later released as his being in the airport was legal, but he had no country of origin to be returned to.
Human rights lawyer Christian Bourget took up Nasseri's case and a French court ruled he could not be expelled from the airport but it could not grant him permission to enter the country itself.
Attempts to have new documents issued by Belgium were scuppered because authorities there said they would need the applicant to present himself in person.
In 1995, he was granted permission to travel to Belgium but to live under the supervision of a social worker.
Still adamant he wanted to settle in the UK, he declined the offer.
Both France and Belgium offered Nasseri residency but he refused to sign the papers as they listed him as Iranian rather than British.
They also did not show his preferred name 'Sir Alfred Mehran'.
This left lawyer Bourget frustrated.
Spielberg's Dreamworks production company paid him $250,000 (£211,388) for the rights to his story in 2003 despite the finished film only vaguely based on the true events.
Nasseri was hospitalised in July 2006 and remained there until the following January, going on to be looked after by the airport's branch of the French Red Cross, lodging for a few weeks in a nearby hotel.
In March 2007 he moved to an Emmaus charity reception-centre in Paris and for several years remained in a shelter in the French capital.
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