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Iran's First TV Star Dies Aged 69

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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 Wednesday.

"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 specialties.

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 revolution.

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.

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