December 7, 2005

Iran’s first TV star dies aged 69

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Half a century ago television sets
crackled into life across Iran and Manouchehr Nozari became the
country's first star of the medium. He died aged 69 on

"The box you are now looking at and seeing my image in is
called television," he told viewers 48 years ago.

Aged only 21 then, Nozari went on to become a household
name as an actor and anchorman. He also dubbed dozens of
foreign films, with U.S. star Jack Lemmon being one of his

Nozari hosted the popular radio comedy show "Friday Morning
with You" which attracted stars like Iran's most famous actress
and singer Googoosh, who went abroad after the 1979 Islamic

His television quiz "The Week's Competition" lost its
appeal after it ran into trouble with authorities after the
revolution, Nozari said.

He was asked by officials to increase the number of
questions on religious issues and ban women from appearing in
the show, he told the ISNA students' news agency two years ago.

ISNA also reported he spent two and half years in jail
after acting as guarantor for a friend who went bankrupt.

The official IRNA news agency said he died from
complications related to lung and kidney failure.