Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the man who lived inside Paris Charles de Gaulle airport for years and inspired Steven Spielberg’s 2004 film “Terminal”, died Saturday at the same airport.
The airport medical team in Terminal 2F announced Nasiri’s death and died of natural causes, an airport spokesperson told CNN.
Nasseri, an Iranian refugee, was on his way to England via Belgium and France in 1988 when he lost his papers and was unable to board the plane or leave the airport and was stuck in limbo until 2006.
The spokesman said he “has returned to live as a homeless in the general area of the airport since mid-September, after staying in a nursing home.”
The spokesperson added that Nasseri was a “prominent figure” at the airport and that “the entire airport community was attached to him, and our staff took care of him as much as possible over many years, even if we would have preferred him to find real shelter.”
While Tom Hanks memorialized Nasseri’s story inside the airport in the movie “Terminal”, an airport spokesperson noted: “Spielberg’s film indicates that he was stuck in a transit area in Paris by Charles de Gaulle. In fact, he spent several stays there, but always at The public area of the airport, he was always free to move around.”
French authorities at one point offered to allow him to reside in France, but Nasseri refused the offer, as he reportedly wanted to reach his original destination, England.