Hollywood and the entertainment industry are remembering Stephen Hawking, the brilliant British theoretical physicist who defied a debilitating disease to inspire the world. The author of the best-selling book A Brief History of Time and subject of the Oscar-winning film The Theory of Everything, died Tuesday night at the age of 76.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, the cast of The Big Bang Theory, George Takei and Emmy Rossum also are among those sharing their condolences below.
But to start things off, here is a remembrance written by Darkest Hour screenwriter Anthony McCarten, whose script for 2014’s The Theory of Everything chronicled Hawking’s life.
Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything screenwriter:
Stephen Hawking’s life was devoted to wondering and to wonder. Upon hearing that he died today my first thought was that if you’d told him at 21, when he received the cold verdict from a doctor that he had two years to live, and there was nothing they could do for him medically, that he’d never have imagined he’d live another 55 years. He was a molecular miracle, both physically and intellectually, and it was one of the great honors of my life to have met him, spent some time with him, and been his cinematic biographer. I will always remember his reaction to his first viewing of “The Theory of Everything.” As the lights rose in the private theatre his nurse wiped a tear from his cheek and he began to type – a laborious process for him – his verdict: “Broadly true.” His place in history is assured, for his pioneering work on understanding black holes and the early universe, but I will remember him for his bravery, his wit, and the object lesson he delivered every day, that life is what you make it. Travel well Steve, to your rightful place among the stars. I trust that in death you have fulfilled your life’s ambition, to know the mind of God.
John Hendricks, founder of the Discovery Channel and CuriosityStream:
While we are mourning the passing of the epically brilliant Stephen Hawking, we are comforted by the fact that his profound insights into the workings of our Universe will live on and will inspire and inform future generations of humans who simply long to understand. At CuriosityStream, we will always be grateful that Stephen Hawking passionately shared his enthusiasm for the wonders of the Universe with his fellow humans. His dedicated and tireless work on television projects that took viewers to the furthest reaches of his mind and the cosmos he sought to deeply understand are treasured gifts to humanity. Although Stephen Hawking demonstrated a remarkable optimism about our capacity to understand the Universe, he also cautioned us about the fragility of our human condition as we currently remain bound to a small planet subject to meteor strikes and other natural and manmade catastrophes. In the end, he urged us all to get on with the quest to explore and populate worlds beyond our origin. He will always remain a towering figure in the history of human thought and inspiration.