Tom Hanks pens touching tribute to man who inspired The Terminal

Film Still from
Tom Hanks starred in The Terminal in 2004. (PA Images/Alamy)

Tom Hanks has paid tribute after the death of the Iranian man who inspired his 2004 film The Terminal.

The Hollywood star, 66, posted his touching message on Instagram after it was reported that Mehran Karimi Nasseri – who was in his 70s – had passed away.

The real life story partly inspired The Terminal, which followed a man stuck in a New York airport because there was a coup in his home country and he was denied entry to the US.

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Nasseri had lived in Paris's Charles de Gaulle Airport from 1988 until 2006, and had apparently returned there in the weeks before he died.

Sharing a picture of Nasseri standing alongside a poster for The Terminal, Hanks wrote: "Sad to hear of the passing of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, aka Alfred, from Charles de Gaulle.

“'The airport is not that bad.' No one knew that better than Mehran."

He signed off: "Hanx."

The Terminal also starred Catherine Zeta-Jones and Stanley Tucci and was directed by Steven Spielberg.

Film Still from
Catherine Zeta-Jones also starred in the movie. (Merrick Morton/PA Images/Alamy)

It saw Hanks as Viktor Navorski, who arrived at New York's John F Kennedy International Airport from the made up country of Krakozhia and soon discovered that he was stuck there.

Zeta-Jones starred as flight attendant Amelia Warren, who tried to help him with his predicament.

Nasseri arrived in France in 1988 and reportedly ended up staying at the airport after losing some papers.

Tom Hanks on the red carpet at the Roy Thomson Theatre, Toronto, for the Toronto internationa film festival 2019
Tom Hanks penned a moving tribute to Mehran Karimi Nasseri. (PA)

He did later win the right to stay in the country but remained in the airport for a few more years, before moving on in 2006.

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According to reports, he died after a heart attack.

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