November 16, 2022 – 22:51 GMT
Tom Hanks has shared an emotional statement as he learnt of the death of the man who inspired one of his iconic roles
Tom Hanks was put into a reflective mood on Wednesday as the Hollywood legend paid a heartfelt tribute following the death of Mehran Karimi Nasseri.
DISCOVER: Everything you need to know about Tom Hanks’ family
Mehran was an Iranian refugee who lived in the departure lounge of Terminal 1 at the Charles de Gaulle Airport after losing his refugee passport and being denied access to France. He would serve as the inspiration for the 2004 film The Terminal, in which Tom played an Eastern European man forced to live in the John F. Kennedy Airport terminal after being denied entry to the United States.
WATCH: Tom Hanks chokes up as he remembers late friend Peter Scolari
Tom shared a photo of Mehran standing in the airport next to an advertisement for The Terminal, which also starred Catherine Zeta-Jones.
PHOTOS: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson make rare red carpet appearance together
MORE: Tom Hanks loses his cool with overzealous fan following health fears
In a heartfelt tribute, the Forrest Gump star penned: “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. Hanx.”
Tom turned the comments off for his post, but it attracted a large fan response, amassing over 21,000 likes in under half an hour.
Tom paid his respects to Mehran
Mehran was forced to live in the airport after losing his documentation by accidentally sending it to Belgium. He had initially wanted to claim asylum in the UK after being expelled from Iran for protests and even adopted the name Sir Alfred Mehran.
He lived in the airport from 1988 up until 2006, in which he was removed after he needed to be hospitalized. He then stayed in a hotel before being moved to a homeless shelter in Paris.
LOOK: Rita Wilson shares sweet pictures alongside husband Tom Hanks amid health concerns
MORE: Tom Hanks left stunned after the Queen revealed her favourite cocktail
Mehran eventually returned to living in the airport, and he suffered a heart attack while there, and sadly passed on Saturday at the age of 76.
During his life, he could be seen studying economics in the departure lounge, and regularly had food brought for him by people traveling through the airport.
Read more HELLO! US stories here
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.