Ex-CIA officer Mendez from movie Argo dies

Antonio "Tony" Mendez, the former CIA officer portrayed in the film Argo by Ben Affleck, has died.
Antonio "Tony" Mendez, the former CIA officer portrayed in the film Argo by Ben Affleck, has died.

A former CIA technical operations officer who helped rescue six US diplomats from Iran in 1980, and was portrayed by Ben Affleck in the film Argo, has died. He was 78.

A family statement and his literary agent confirmed that Antonio "Tony" Mendez died on Saturday at an assisted-living centre in Frederick, Maryland. He had suffered from Parkinson's disease.

Specialising in covert operations, Mendez helped devise the plan under which six diplomats who were in hiding were disguised as a Canadian film crew so they could board a flight and escape the country amid the Iran hostage crisis.

Argo won the 2013 Oscar for best picture.

His family says he will be buried in a private ceremony at the family graveyard in Nevada.

Australian Associated Press