The man who inspired ‘The Terminal’ dies at the Paris airport where he lived for almost 2 decades

The Iranian who inspired the Steven Spielberg movie “The terminal” died in paris Charles de Gaulle airport after living there for nearly two decades, French officials said.

Mehran Karimi Nasseri, a political refugee, died after a heart attack at the airport’s Terminal 2F, officials with the Paris airport authority said.

Police and a medical team treated Nasseri but were unable to save him, an airport spokesman said. told Agence France-Presse news agency.

Nasseri died shortly before noon, the outlet reported. She was 77 years old.

Nasseri, who tThe Guardian reported calling himself “Sir Alfred”, he was caught in an immigration trap in the late 1980s, unable to enter France. Born in 1945, Nasseri lived in Terminal 1 at the airport from 1988 to 2006, first in legal limbo because he lacked residency papers and then by choice, USA TODAY files show.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 12, 2004, Mehran Karimi Nasseri looks at a poster for the film inspired by her life, in Terminal 1 at Paris Charles De Gaulle airport.  - Mehran Karimi Nasseri, a political refugee who lived for more than 18 years at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and inspired

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 12, 2004, Mehran Karimi Nasseri looks at a poster for the film inspired by her life, in Terminal 1 at Paris Charles De Gaulle airport. – Mehran Karimi Nasseri, a political refugee who lived for more than 18 years at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and inspired “The Terminal” by director Steven Spielberg, has died, aged 77, in terminal 2F at Roissy airport. Charles de Gaulle, as reported to AFP by airport officials.

‘Art can heal’: Banksy appears to go on the offensive with moving murals in war-torn UkraineUSA TODAY reported in 2004 that Nasseri showed up at the Paris airport in 1988 with a ticket to London but no identity papers; he said that he had robbed them in a Paris subway. He flew to England, but the authorities sent him back to de Gaulle, where he remained in legal limbo: living on food stamps donated by sympathetic airport employees, dozing on a bench near the departure lounge of Paris Bye Bye, and became the star of French documentaries. until he received a French residence permit in 1999.

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Although an airport spokeswoman at the time confirmed that Nasseri has been free to come and go since 1999, she decided to stay.

It is rumored that he received $250,000 from DreamWorks for his story. In June 2004, he told a reporter from Premiere magazine, “I have a better image now that the movie is released. But my lifestyle is the same. I’m happy. This is the world of my dreams.”

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 12, 2004, Mehran Karimi Nasseri walks past a poster for the film inspired by her life, at Terminal 1 at Paris Charles De Gaulle airport.  - Mehran Karimi Nasseri, a political refugee who lived for more than 18 years at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and inspired

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 12, 2004, Mehran Karimi Nasseri walks past a poster for the film inspired by her life, at Terminal 1 at Paris Charles De Gaulle airport. – Mehran Karimi Nasseri, a political refugee who lived for more than 18 years at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and inspired “The Terminal” by director Steven Spielberg, has died, aged 77, in terminal 2F at Roissy airport. Charles de Gaulle, as reported to AFP by airport officials.

Airport officials said Nasseri had been living at the airport again in recent weeks.

His saga inspired “The terminal” starring Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones, as well as a French film.

Contributing: Associated Press

Natalie Neysa Alund covers breaking news for USA TODAY. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mehran Nasseri, who inspired ‘The Terminal,’ dies at Paris airport