Visionary scientist and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has passed away at the age of 76. The British author, best known for his work on black holes and relativity, died on Wednesday in his home in Cambridge, according to a statement released by his family.
Despite being wheelchair-bound — Stephen was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neuron disease at the age of 22 — there is no doubt his life, which was captured in the film The Theory of Everything, inspired millions of people, including the science-based comedy The Big Bang Theory.
Stephen appeared in the CBS series in 2012, and the cast is paying homage to the late cosmologist following his death. "In loving memory of Stephen Hawking. It was an honor to have him on The #BigBangTheory. Thank you for inspiring us and the world," tweeted the show's official account.
Kaley Cuoco, who plays Penny on the series, also shared her fond memories of Stephen on social media. "It was truly such an honor getting to work with the incredible Stephen Hawking," she wrote alongside a photo of the cast with Stephen. "He made us laugh and we made him laugh. His life and career workings have been many a subject matter on @thebigbangtheory and we are all better for it. You will be missed but the world is grateful for the knowledge and courage you leave in your path. Thank you for being an inspiration to everyone."
Her co-star Mayim Bialik (Amy), went on to point out how his death fell so close to an unofficial science holiday. "As we near Pi day (3.14) I join the global community in mourning the loss of the greatest physicist of our era. #StephenHawking is free from the physical constraints of this earthly condition we all exist in and he is soaring above us now marveling at it all," she wrote. "Thank you, Dr. Hawking, for enlightening us and blessing us with your wisdom and courage."
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It was truly such an honor getting to work with the incredible Stephen Hawking.. He made us laugh and we made him laugh. His life and career workings have been many a subject matter on @thebigbangtheory__ and we are all better for it. You will be missed but the world is grateful for the knowledge and courage you leave in your path. Thank you for being an inspiration to everyone 🙏🏼 #stephenhawking ♥️
Big Bang Theory's Leonard Johnny Galecki agreed, adding, "RIP #stephenhawking Not only your brilliance, but your sense of humor will be sorely missed by all." Stephen leaves behind his three children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, and three grandchildren. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.