The stars wept for Stephen Hawking, who died Tuesday night at the age of 76.
The renown theoretical physicist, diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at the age of 21, had been played on the big and small screens by Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch, both among the celebrities honoring the scientific mind.
“We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet,” Redmayne, who played Hawking in The Theory of Everything, said in a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter). “My love and thoughts are with his extraordinary family.”
Cumberbatch, playing the titular role in BBC’s television feature Hawking, sent his “heartfelt love and condolences to all his family and colleagues.”
“I feel so lucky to have known such a truly great man who’s profundity was found both in his work and the communication of that work. Both in person and in books,” the actor continued.
Hawking also left an impression on the casts of The Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons, and Star Trek, who look back on his cameos fondly.
“Not only your brilliance, but your sense of humor will be sorely missed by all,” Johnny Galecki wrote in a tribute on Instagram — a sentiment echoed by cast mates Mayim Bialik and Kaley Cuoco.
Al Jean, an executive producer and writer on The Simpsons, honored Hawking’s “sense of humor as vast as the universe,” while Star Trek actor George Takei called him “a hero to so many.”
Hawking’s children Lucy, Robert, and Tim announced the news of their father’s passing in a statement. “We are deeply saddened that our father passed away today,” it read. “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him forever.”
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