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Tony Mendez, former CIA officer and inspiration for ‘Argo’, dies at 78

Tony Mendez, the previous CIA technical operations officer who orchestrated the 1980 rescue of six American diplomats from Iran and who was once portrayed via Ben Affleck within the Academy Award-winning movie Argo, has died. He was once 78.


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Mendez’s e-book agent, Christy Fletcher, introduced the scoop on Twitter Saturday morning.

“Early this morning, Antonio (Tony) J. Mendez after all succumbed to the Parkinson’s Illness that he have been recognized with ten+ years in the past,” the remark reads. “He was once surrounded with love from his circle of relatives and shall be sorely ignored. The very last thing he and his spouse Jonna Mendez did was once get their new e-book to the writer and he died feeling he had finished writing the tales that he sought after to be informed.”

The message states Mendez shall be buried in a non-public rite on the circle of relatives graveyard in Nevada.

Born on Nov. 15 1940, Mendez started his profession as an artist after learning artwork on the College of Colorado. He was once employed via the CIA after answering a blind commercial for a graphic artist in 1965 and was an espionage artist for the technical services and products department.


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After operating in Southeast Asia, the Heart East, and South Asia, Mendez was once despatched to Iran to regulate what was referred to as the “Canadian Caper,” through which he created the plan to go off six American diplomats as a Canadian movie group to get them in another country.

Mendez had the plan of making a faux science fiction film referred to as “Argo” that will be filmed in Tehran. Canada agreed to present passports to the six American citizens.

Mendez went to Tehran pretending to scout for places for the film, and was once ready to sneak the American citizens via immigration on the airport to flee.


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Argo, loosely tailored for movie and directed via Ben Affleck, received 3 Oscars on the 2013 Academy Awards, together with easiest image, easiest tailored screenplay, and easiest movie enhancing. It was once nominated for 4 extra, together with easiest efficiency via an actor in a supporting function for Alan Arkin, easiest unique ranking, easiest sound blending, and easiest sound enhancing. It additionally received Affleck the most productive director Golden Globe and the most productive movement image – drama Globe.

Ben Affleck gave his condolences on Twitter, announcing he was once a “true American hero.”

“He was once a person of abnormal grace, decency, humility and kindness,” he wrote.

 

Mendez is the writer of 3 memoirs, together with Grasp of Hide: My Secret Lifestyles within the CIA; Spy Mud: Two Masters of Hide Disclose the Equipment and Operations that Helped Win the Chilly Conflict along with his spouse Jonna, who’s a 27-year veteran of the CIA; and Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Maximum Audacious Rescue in Historical past, upon which Argo is primarily based.

Mendez ran an artwork studio after he retired from the CIA.

“I’ve at all times regarded as myself to be an artist first,” he as soon as mentioned. “And for 25 years I used to be a horny just right secret agent.”

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