Ken Taylor, Heroic Canadian Ambassador Depicted in ‘Argo,’ Dead at 81

Diplomat sheltered Americans at his residence during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis

Ken Taylor and wife, Pat, at "Argo" premiere in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Getty Images)

Ken Taylor, the Canadian ambassador to Iran who secretly hid Americans at his residence during the 1979 hostage crisis, died Thursday at age 81.

Taylor’s heroic actions were depicted in Ben Affleck‘s Oscar-winning 2012 film “Argo,” in which the ambassador was played by Victor Garber.

Taylor was diagnosed with colon cancer in August, according to the Associated Press.

After Iranian militants stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979, six Americans managed to escape the compound and made their way to the Canadian facility.

Taylor sheltered them at his home and at that of his deputy, John Sheardown, for three months before facilitating their escape by plane and the issuing of false Canadian passports.

While he was hailed as a hero in the U.S. and Canada for his actions, many felt Affleck’s film downplayed his role and that of Canada in the operation.