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Biography

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Saladin Nader, a Lebanese actor who emigrated to the United States, is remembered for two things, his participation in the Lebanese movie masterpiece "The Broken Wings" and the fact that he was almost murdered by the acolytes of Charles Manson, allegedly on orders of the Main Man himself. Saladin's major acting role was the character Mansoor Bey in the movie "The Broken Wings," which was made in 1962 but was not released in the US until 1968. Based on the memoir by Kahlil Gibran (who became a major cultural icon in the US during the 1960s, primarily for his poetry collection "The Prophet"), director Yousef Malouf's film was one of the first Lebanese movies to earn an international release.

"The Broken Wings" is set in Beirut of the early 1900s. Gibran is a young poet who arrives in the city and makes the acquaintance of Shiekh Fares, a rich aristocrat who knew Gibran's father in the past. Gibran falls in love with the Shiekh's daughter Salma, an exquisite young beauty. Salma is equally attracted to the young poet, and they began to court one another.

Fate intervenes when the local bishop interferes, using is influence to match Salma as the wife of his nephew Mansoor Bey. Naser gave an intelligent and spirited performance as the callous rogue who married the love of the poet's life and turned her life into a living hell, in which she welcomes death at the film's climax.

The only other film Nader is credited with is the 1972 exploitation film "Embassy," which starred Richard Roundtree and Chuck Connors. "The Broken Wings" dropped out of circulation in the 1970s, leading most to believe that one of the seminal works of the Arabic cinema had been destroyed, another victim of Lebanon's civil war. However, several years ago, a print was found in an abandoned Beirut church, and the film has taken its place once again among the masterworks of world cinema.

Fate intervened in Saladin Nasser's life on the night of August 10th, 1969, at the time Charles Manson acolytes Charles Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten were engaged in the brutal and senseless murder of grocery wholesaler Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary. Watson and Krenwinkle already had participated in the bloody massacre of Sharon Tate and four others at her rented estate on 10050 Cielo Drive with Atkins, while their driver Linda Kasabian -- an erstwhile lover of Nasser -- had played lookout.

After dropping Watson, Krenwinkel, Van Houten and Manson himself off at the LaBianca house, Kasabian, Atkins and "Manson Family" member Steve Grogan drove around before picking Charlie up again. (Manson did not participate in any of the actual eight killings for which he was convicted and sentenced to death for.) Manson asked to be driven to the beach, and after a stroll on the sand, allegedly ordered the murder of Nasser, who lived nearby.

Kasabian had been picked up hitch-hiking by Nasser, who she had sex with. She, Grogan and Atkins went to his apartment building but Kasabian either deliberately or accidentally led the group to the wrong apartment, thus saving Nader's life. Linda Kassabian, who never killed anyone, was granted immunity from prosecution and turned state's evidence, testifying against Manson and the others. She was the star witness against Manson and "The Family," and prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi cited her deliberately misleading Atkins and Grogran to the wrong apartment -- thus sparing Nasser -- as evidence to the jury that she was different than her former compatriots who were on trial for their lives. Thus, Saladin Nasser is a footnote to one of the most sensational murder trials of the last century.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

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