The Interview: Former Canadian Ambassador to Iran Ken Taylor

The Canadians who secretly housed six Americans during the Iran Hostage Crisis during the Jimmy Carter administration

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It's not often that Hollywood intersects with Berkeley, but it happened with the movie Argo. The Oscar winning film tells a story about a couple from Cal who helped save American hostages. Raj Mathai sits down with the real Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor. (Published Friday, Apr 26, 2013)

    The hit movie Argo stars Ben Affleck as a CIA Agent who successfully pulls off the extraction of six American diplomats being held in Iran.

     A minor character in the movie is one many see as the true hero of the story. 

    After militants storm the US embassy in Tehran in 1979, six people escapes and hid in the home of the Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor and his wife Pat. Ken's character is played by Victor Garber.

    Ken and Pat fell in love at U.C. Berkeley.

    They met in 1958 as international students at Cal. And little did they know more than 50 years later, Berkeley native Ben Affleck would thrust them back into the international spotlight.

    The Taylors were the Canadian Ambassadors in Tehran and they secretly housed six U.S. hostages for three full months, under the threat of death if caught.

    "To us there was no discussion - there was no discussion with respects to ourselves and Tehran, nor with the Prime Minister. These were US diplomats in trouble - it was the right thing to do at the moment," Taylor said.

    You can hear more of the story and see if Taylor calls Argo truth or fiction by clicking on the video at the top of this article.

    A trailer for the movie is below: