Texan Democrat Charlie Wilson, a man who bankrolled covert CIA support for Afghan Mujahidin in the 1980s and was played by Tom Hanks in a Hollywood, has died aged 76. “The controversial former congressman, known as ‘Good-time Charlie’ for his hard-partying ways, died of a heart attack in a Texas hospital late yesterday. He was taken to hospital after suffering breathing problems following a meeting in Lufkin, the eastern Texas town where he lived, according to a hospital spokeswoman. He was pronounced dead on arrival, and the preliminary cause of death was cardiopulmonary arrest. Mr Wilson served 12 consecutive terms in the House of Representatives, and was often referred to as the ‘Liberal from Lufkin’. He sat on a key House subcommittee and helped to secure huge increases in funding for CIA efforts to help Afghan Mujahidin fighting Soviet occupation forces after the 1979 invasion. The movie Charlie Wilson’s War, which chronicled his efforts, starred Tom Hanks as Mr Wilson and Julia Roberts as the Houston socialite Joanne Herring who helped him to win support for the secret war.”
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