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

Merhan Karimi Nasseri died after a heart attack in the airport’s Terminal 2F, according an official with the Paris airport authority.

PARIS — 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.

Mehran Karimi Nasseri sits among his belongings at Charles De Gaulle Airport
Mehran Karimi Nasseri sits among his belongings at Charles De Gaulle Airport in France on Aug. 11, 2004. Michel Euler / AP file

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.

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.

He had been living in the airport again in recent weeks, the airport official said.

His saga inspired “The Terminal” starring Tom Hanks, and a French film.