The movie made him famous – he lived at the Paris airport for 18 years – now he’s dead – News

The film made him famous – he lived in Paris airport for 18 years – now he is dead – News – SRF

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  • Mehran Karimi Nasseri (76) died of natural causes in Terminal 2F of Charles de Gaulle Airport.
  • An Iranian refugee lived there for 18 years and inspired the movie “Terminal”.

During a stopover in 1988, he lost his documents in the transit area and was no longer able to prove his refugee status. He was therefore not allowed to travel further or leave the airport. Nasseri settled in Terminal 1.

inspiration for the film

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Zuklappen box

Nasseri’s story inspired American director Steven Spielberg’s 2004 film “The Terminal” starring Tom Hanks. With the money he received for the film, he moved into a hotel.

For years he tried in vain to gain acceptance in several European countries. He was granted a visa to France in 1999, but remained in his niche under the airport escalator, where he settled. It was only in 2006 that he left the site for the hospital and then lived in a home.


Merhan Karimi Nasseri poses at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris in 2004. Its surreal existence inspired Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster The Terminal, starring Tom Hanks.

Reuters/Archive/Viktor Tonelli

Nasseri has been living at the airport since September and has always sat in the same place with his belongings in a trolley, airport staff told “Le Parisien”. Lately, he had hardly spoken and was staring into space.

Nasseri in his


The “end man” in his “kingdom” under the escalator at Paris – Charles de Gaulle airport.

Keystone/Archive/MICHEL EULER

After the death of the “terminal man”, as he was called in the autobiographical novel, the airport covered his place with a white sheet.

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