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‘Big Bang Theory’ cast says Stephen Hawking ‘inspired us and the world’

Hawking died at age 76, his family announced on Wednesday.

"The Big Bang Theory" cast and other celebrities remembered the late Stephen Hawking via social media Wednesday. Photo Credit: CBS

The late physicist Stephen Hawking was remembered as a man who “inspired the world” by the cast of “The Big Bang Theory,” the CBS sitcom influenced by his groundbreaking scientific discoveries.

“Big Bang” cast members Johnny Galecki (Leonard Hofstadter), Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler) and Kaley Cuoco (Penny) reflected on Hawking via social media posts early Wednesday as the news of his passing broke. Hawking, who developed a motor neurons disease (ALS) that confined him to a wheelchair at age 21, died at age 76, his family announced in a statement Wednesday.

“Not only your brilliance but your sense of humor will be sorely missed by all. ‘Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny’ - Stephen Hawking,” Galecki wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of Hawking with the “Big Bang” cast that was reposted by the show’s official account and other actors.

Hawking appeared in the series numerous times between 2012 and 2017. He played himself, a hero of Jim Parsons’ Sheldon Cooper. Hawking first showed up in season five’s “The Hawking Excitation,” where Sheldon quivers while presenting one of his theories, proved wrong by the physicist. His last appearance on the sitcom aired during the premiere of season 11 last September.

“It was an honor to have him on The #BigBangTheory,” a tweet from the show’s account read. “Thank you for inspiring us and the world.”

Cuoco, on Instagram, recalled the laughs the crew had on set with Hawking.

“His life and career workings have been many a subject matter on @thebigbangtheory_ and we are all better for it,” she wrote. “You will be missed but the world is grateful for the knowledge and courage you leave in your path.” Bialy mirrored her statement, writing “I join the global community in mourning the loss of the greatest physicist of our era.”

Hawking was also remembered for his notable cameos on “The Simpsons” and “Star Trek,” among others. Actors Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch, who both portrayed him on film, released statements in awe of Hawking.

“[He was] the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet,” Redmayne, who portrayed the physicist in the 2014 drama “The Theory of Everything,” told The Hollywood Reporter.

Cumberbatch, who appeared in the 2004 BBC TV film “Hawking,” wrote that he was “so lucky to have known such a truly great man who’s profundity was both in his work and the communication of that work.”

A number of other celebrities and notables in the entertainment industry also came forward to offer condolences.

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