Argo: Tony Mendez, the Real-Life CIA Officer Played by Ben Affleck in Best Picture, Dies at 78

Tony Mendez, the former CIA technical operations officer who orchestrated the 1980 rescue of six American diplomats from Iran, and who was portrayed by Ben Affleck in the Oscar winning film Argo, has died. He was 78.

Mendez’s literary agent, Christy Fletcher, announced the news on Twitter Saturday morning.

“Early this morning, Antonio (Tony) J. Mendez finally succumbed to the Parkinson’s Disease that he had been diagnosed with ten+ years ago,” the statement reads. “He was surrounded with love from his family and will be sorely missed. The last thing he and his wife Jonna Mendez did was get their new book to the publisher and he died feeling he had completed writing the stories that he wanted to be told.”

The message states Mendez will be buried in a private ceremony at the family graveyard in Nevada.