NCIS star Vachik Mangassarian dies of Covid-19 complications aged 78

Vachik Mangassarian, known for his roles in NCIS, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., has died at the age of 78.

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The TV star’s representatives confirmed to Deadline that he passed away from COVID-19 complications at his home in Burbank, California on Monday 24 January 2022. They said that while he had initially been opposed to getting the coronavirus vaccine, he was vaccinated before his death.

WATCH: Vachik played two separate characters on NCIS spinoff series, NCIS: Los Angeles

Originally from Iran and with Armenian heritage, Vachik moved to the US at the age of 23 to begin a career in the film and TV industry. He landed his first Hollywood role in the 1978 movie The South’s Shark. 

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He worked steadily throughout the eighties and nineties, scoring guest roles on the TV series of The Fall Guy, The A-Team, Sledge Hammer! and Murder, She Wrote while also appearing in movies. In 2008, he landed a key role in the award-winning film The Stoning of Soraya M. playing the father of a young woman sentenced to death amid false charges. 

Vachik starred in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

However, he is perhaps best known to television audiences for his more recent roles, which include playing Qasim Zaghlul in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a guest star in Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and two separate characters on NCIS spinoff series, NCIS: Los Angeles. 

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He first appeared on the police procedural in 2010, playing a character named Sadiki Hassan, before returning in 2019 to portray a fictional Iranian President.

His most recent project saw him team up with Grace and Frankie stars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda for a movie titled Moving On. The film, which does not yet have a release date, also stars Malcolm McDowell and Richard Roundtree and focuses on two old friends who meet at a funeral and resolve to exact revenge on a widower who wronged them decades earlier. 

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