FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A former CIA technical operations officer who helped rescue six U.S. 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 Saturday at an assisted-living center in Frederick, Maryland. He had suffered from Parkinson’s disease.
Specializing 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.