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Stephen Hawking dies: Eddie Redmayne leads celebrity tributes

The British physicist passed away peacefully at his home in Cambridge

Gemma Strong

The news of Stephen Hawking's death has promoted an outpouring of tributes from around the world. The British physicist and author of A Brief History of Time died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of 14 March at the age of 76. Among the first to pay tribute to the Oxford-born scientist was Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen in The Theory of Everything. "We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet," he said in a statement. "My love and thoughts are with his extraordinary family."

Eddie Redmayne has led the celebrity tributes to Professor Stephen Hawking

Nasa, meanwhile, remembered Professor Hawking as a "renowned physicist and ambassador of science", while inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, said: "We have lost a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit. Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking." British astronaut Tim Peake said Stephen "inspired generations to look beyond our own blue planet and expand our understanding of the universe".

STORY: Stephen Hawking passes away aged 76; his children pay tribute

Kaley Cuoco shared a photo of the late physician on the set of The Big Bang Theory

Celebrities have also taken to social media to honour the late scientist, who was only given a few years to live at the age of 22, when he was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease. Kaley Cuoco, who met Stephen when he made a guest appearance on The Big Bang Theory, shared a photo of him on set with the cast, writing: "It was truly such an honour 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."

Piers Morgan described Stephen as "the world's most brilliant man"

Jonathan Ross tweeted: "RIP Stephen Hawking. The world just dropped a lot of IQ points. And he was a fun person, very sad news." Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan wrote: "RIP Professor Stephen Hawking, 76. The world's most brilliant man, and someone who never stopped wondering 'Why?' What a life. What a genius." David Walliams shared a photo of himself with Stephen on the set of Little Britain, writing: "Thank you for being – amongst everything else – a great laugh." British Prime Minister Theresa May said: "Stephen Hawking was a brilliant and extraordinary mind – one of the great scientists of his generation whose courage, humour and determination to get the most from life was an inspiration."

Aerosmith's Steven Tyler was also amongst those paying tribute

Maria Shriver tweeted: "A new star is in the heavens tonight. Rest in peace Stephen Hawking. Your advice and wisdom live on." Aerosmith's Steven Tyler wrote: "You knew this universe better than the rest of us… and now you play in some far away part of it. You changed the world and left an impact… a remarkable genius we won't soon forget. Endless thank yous and blessings to the Hawking family." Zoe Saldana added: "Farewell to a brilliant mind. Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge in the brief time you were with us. #ripstephenhawking."

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