Here's what Eddie Redmayne, who played Stephen Hawking in 'The Theory of Everything,' said about his death

 

  • Eddie Redmayne has paid tribute to Stephen Hawking, who died at the age of 76 on Wednesday.
  • Redmayne won an Oscar for his portrayal of Hawking in the 2014 film "The Theory of Everything."
  • He called him an "astonishing scientist" and "the funniest man" he ever met.

Hollywood star Eddie Redmayne, who received an Oscar for his portrayal of scientist Stephen Hawking in the 2014 film "The Theory of Everything," has paid tribute to "the funniest man" he ever met.

Hawking, known for explaining the Big Bang and black holes in his book "A Brief History of Time," died at the age of 76 on Wednesday morning.

Despite having amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease that impaired his motor functions, confined him to a wheelchair, and made him dependent on a computerised voice system in order to communicate, he went on to become a mathematics professor, and eventually the director of research at the University of Cambridge's Center for Theoretical Cosmology.

According to The Telegraph, Redmayne, who met Hawking while preparing for his Oscar-winning role, said: "We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet.

See photos of Stephen Hawking:

32 PHOTOS
Stephen Hawking through the years
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Stephen Hawking through the years
PRINCETON, NJ - OCTOBER 10: Cosmologist Stephen Hawking on October 10, 1979 in Princeton, New Jersey. (Photo by Santi Visalli/Getty Images)
Stephen Hawking (born in 1942), British mathematician and scientist, 1989. (Photo by Jean-Regis Rouston/Roger Viollet/Getty Images)
Professor Stephen Hawking poses for a photograph in his office at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, U.K, in April 1991. Hawking has written countless scientific papers as well as books, receiving 12 honorary degrees and becoming Cambridge's Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a post held by Sir Isaac Newton over 300 years earlier. (Photo by Bryn Colton/Getty Images)
SF.Hawking.1.bv.2Â5/PASADENA ÂÂ Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in his Cal Tech office. (Photo by Brian Vander Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) - COL*08.01.1942-Physiker, Mathematiker, Grossbritannien- Porträt (Photo by LS-PRESS/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
LONDON - DECEMBER 16: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Scientist Stephen Hawking and wife Elaine Mason arrive at the European Premiere of 'Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events' at the Empire Leicester Square on December 16, 2004 in London. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)
OVIEDO, SPAIN: British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking gives his conference to open the XXV Prince of Asturias Awards Anniversary event in Oviedo, Northern Spain, 12April 2005. Stephen Hawking won the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord in 1989. AFP PHOTO / Miguel RIOPA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANKFURT, GERMANY - OCTOBER 19: Professor Stephen Hawking (L) and his wife Elaine Mason attend the international bookfair on October 19, 2005 in Frankfurt, Germany. South Korea is the guest of honour at the 57th annual Frankfurt Book Fair where 270.000 people are expected to visit the world's most important book fair, and 7000 exhibitors from 100 countries are present. (Photo by Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images)
FRANKFURT/MAIN, Germany: British physicist Stephen Hawking visits his German publisher Rowohlt's stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair 19 October 2005. The Frankfurt book fair opened its doors for the 57th time with the focus on authors from the Korean peninsula, but the presence of some 60 writers from the South and none from the North spoke as much of politics as literature. AFP PHOTO DDP/THOMAS LOHNES GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read THOMAS LOHNES/AFP/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - JUNE 18: (CHINA OUT) Cosmologist Stephen Hawking visits the Temple of Heaven on June 18, 2006, in Beijing, China. Hawking has arrived in Beijing prior to his lecture at the Great Hall of the People today where he will discuss the origins of the universe at the Strings 2006 International Conference, hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Theoretical Physics. The conference runs from June 19 ?24 at the Beijing Friendship Hotel. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)
BEIJING - JUNE 19: (CHINA OUT) British scientist Stephen Hawking, delivers a lecture entitled 'The Origin of the Universe' at the Great Hall of the People June 19, 2006 in Beijing, China. British scientist Stephen Hawking is also visiting Beijing to attend the conference on the riddle of string theory which, if solved, could help unlock the mysteries of black holes and the creation of the universe, according to reports. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)
BEIJING - JUNE 21: British scientist Stephen Hawking attends a conference during the 2006 International Conference on String Theory on June 21, 2006 in Beijing, China. Hawking is visiting Beijing to attend the conference on the riddle of string theory which, if solved, could help unlock the mysteries of black holes and the creation of the universe, according to reports. (Photo by Cancan Chu/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, -: British scientist Stephen Hawking is helped to turn his head as he arrives 10 December 2006 at the Israeli premier's offices to meet with Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem. Hawking is in Jerusalem for a lecture at the Bloomfield Museum of Science. AFP PHOTO/Yoav LEMMER (Photo credit should read YOAV LEMMER/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON - JANUARY 17: Professor Stephen Hawking delivers his speech at the release of the 'Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' on January 17, 2007 in London, Ebgland. A group of scientists assessing the dangers posed to civilisation have moved the Doomsday Clock forward two minutes closer to midnight as an indication and warning of the threats of nuclear war and climate change. (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, UNITED STATES: British cosmologist Stephen Hawking(L) has his communication device adjusted by an aide at a pre-flight press conference 26 April 2007 at Kennedy Space Center, FLorida. Hawking, who has spent his career pondering the nature of gravity from a wheelchair, is set to experience weightlessness during a 'vomit comet' flight in Florida Thursday. The idea is to give 'the world's expert on gravity the opportunity to experience zero gravity' said Peter Diamandis the chief executive of the Zero Gravity Corporation. Hawking, 65, the British author of the blockbuster 'A Brief History of Time,' will be surrounded by a medical team on the padded plane as it flies a roller-coaster trajectory to produce periods of weightlessness. AFP PHOTO / ROBERT SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, UNITED STATES: British cosmologist Stephen Hawking passes well wishers before boarding a plane 26 April 2007 at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Hawking, who has spent his career pondering the nature of gravity from a wheelchair, is set to experience weightlessness during a 'vomit comet' flight in Florida Thursday. The idea is to give 'the world's expert on gravity the opportunity to experience zero gravity' said Peter Diamandis the chief executive of the Zero Gravity Corporation. Hawking, 65, the British author of the blockbuster 'A Brief History of Time,' will be surrounded by a medical team on the padded plane as it flies a roller-coaster trajectory to produce periods of weightlessness. AFP PHOTO / ROBERT SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Professor Stephen Hawking gives a lecture entitled 'Why We Should Go Into Space' during the 50 Years of NASA lecture series at George Washington University in Washington, DC, April 21, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
South Africa former President Nelson Mandela (R) meets with British scientist Professor Stephen Hawking (L) in Johannesburg on May 15, 2008. Hawking, who has devoted his career to finding the origins of the universe, is in the country to begin a search for Africa?s answer to Einstein. Some of the world?s leading high-tech entrepreneurs and scientists have backed a ?75m plan to create Africa?s first postgraduate centres for advanced math and physics, after the British government declined to provide funding. AFP Photo/Denis Farrell / POOL (Photo credit should read DENIS FARRELL/AFP/Getty Images)
(FILES) British scientist Stephen Hawking attends the 2008 Cambridge Honnorary Degrees 2008's procession on June 23, 2008 at Cambridge University in east England. Renowned British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has bet 100 dollars (70 euros) that a mega-experiment this week will not find an elusive particle seen as a holy grail of cosmic science, he said Tuesday September 9, 2008. In the most complex scientific experiment ever undertaken, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will be switched on Wednesday, accelerating sub-atomic particles to nearly the speed of light before smashing them together. AFP PHOTO/SHAUN CURRY/FILES (Photo credit should read SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - AUGUST 12: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) presents the Medal of Freedom to physicist Stephen Hawking during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House August 12, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama presented the medal, the highest civilian honor in the United States, to 16 recipients during the ceremony. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House on August 12, 2009. Obama awarded 16 individuals the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor. AFP PHOTO/Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 14: Scientist Stephen Hawking of 'Into The Universe With Stephen Hawking' speaks via satellite during the Science Channel portion of the 2010 Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 14, 2010 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 02: Physicist Stephen Hawking onstage during the 2010 World Science Festival Opening Night Gala at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on June 2, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Physicist Stephen Hawking attends the 2010 World Science Festival Opening Night Gala at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on June 2, 2010 in New York City.
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 9: 'The Hawking Excitation' -- When Wolowitz gets to work with Stephen Hawking (left), Sheldon (Jim Parsons, right) is willing to do anything to meet his hero, on THE BIG BANG THEORY, Thursday, April 5 (8:00-8:31 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Professor Stephen Hawking speaks during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking poses for a picture ahead of a gala screening of the documentary 'Hawking', a film about the scientist's life, at the opening night of the Cambridge Film Festival in Cambridge, eastern England on September 19, 2013. Hawking tells the extraordinary tale of how he overcame severe disability to become the most famous living scientist in a new documentary film premiered in Britain. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW COWIE (Photo credit should read ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images)
British actor Eddie Redmayne (R) pose with British scientist Stephen Hawking (L) at the UK premiere of the film 'The Theory of Everything' in London on December 9, 2014. The film is based on the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, by Jane Hawking, and stars Eddie Redmayne protraying the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 09: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Professor Stephen Hawking attends the UK Premiere of 'The Theory Of Everything' at Odeon Leicester Square on December 9, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08: Lucy Hawking and Stephen Hawking attend the EE British Academy Film Awards at The Royal Opera House on February 8, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18: The world's best know scientist Professor Stephen Hawking takes VisitLondon.com's Official Guest of Honour Adaeze Uyanwah on a personal guided tour of his favourite places in the city's famous Science Museum on February 18, 2015 in London, England. On the tour Professor Hawking said he was pleased to lend his synthesised 'voice' to actor Eddie Redmayne for his Oscar-nominated performance in The Theory of Everything but added ' unfortunatley Eddie did not inherit my good looks.' (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for London & Partners)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 30: (SUN NEWSPAPER OUT. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE J. HOGAN GETTY IMAGES REQUIRED) Stephen Hawking attends 'Interstellar Live' at Royal Albert Hall on March 30, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
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"My love and thoughts are with his extraordinary family."

Redmayne had previously said that meeting Hawking was "one of the great moments of [his] life."

"When Stephen saw the film, I was rehearsing so I couldn't see him beforehand but I saw him just after he went in and I said 'hey Stephen I'm very nervous, but please do let me know what you think,'" he said.

"He took a while to respond and said in his iconic voice: 'I will let you know what I think, good or otherwise.'"

Luckily, he said Hawking was "so nice" after viewing the film.

In a post on his Facebook page, the scientist even commended the actor.

"I thought Eddie Redmayne portrayed me very well in The Theory of Everything Movie," he wrote. "He spent time with ALS sufferers so he could be authentic. At times, I thought he was me.

"Seeing the film has given me the opportunity to reflect on my life. Although I'm severely disabled, I have been successful in my scientific work. I travel widely and have been to Antarctica and Easter Island, down in a submarine and up on a zero gravity flight. One day I hope to go into space.

He concluded: "I've been privileged to gain some understanding of the way the universe operates through my work. But it would be an empty universe indeed without the people that I love."

See photos of Eddie Redmayne:

20 PHOTOS
Eddie Redmayne through the years
See Gallery
Eddie Redmayne through the years
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 12: Actor Eddie Redmayne attends 'The Danish Girl' premiere during the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival held at the Princess of Wales Theatre on September 12, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: Actor Eddie Redmayne attends the World Premiere of 'The Good Shepherd' presented by Universal Pictures at the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 11, 2006 in New York City (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Eddie Redmayne (Photo by Donato Sardella/WireImage) *** Local Caption ***
LONDON - OCTOBER 23: (L-R) Actors Rhys Ifans, Eddie Redmayne and Geoffrey Rush and director Shekhar Kapur arrive at The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival UK premiere of 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age' at the Odeon Leicester Square on October 23, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON - FEBRUARY 19: Actor Eddie Redmayne arrives at the Royal Film Premiere of 'The Other Boleyn Girl' at the Odeon, Leicester Square on February 19, 2008 in London, England. All funds raised from this, the UK premiere, will go to the Cinema & Television Benevolent Fund. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
Eddie Redmayne, actor, 27th August 2008 (Photo by Martin Godwin/Getty Images)
LONDON - MARCH 24: Eddie Redmayne attends the 'Moet & Chandon: A tribute to Cinema' at Big Sky Studios on March 24, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Simon James/WireImage)
NEW YORK - APRIL 01: Actor Eddie Redmayne attends the opening night of 'RED' on Broadway at the Golden Theatre on April 1, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK - JUNE 13: Actor Eddie Redmayne attends the 64th Annual Tony Awards at The Sports Club/LA on June 13, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
British actor Eddie Redmayne poses as he arrives for the UK Premiere of 'My Week with Marilyn' in central London on November 20, 2011. AFP PHOTO/CARL COURT (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Eddie Redmayne attends the launch of OMEGA House on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/WIREIMAGE REQUIRED) Eddie Redmayne (R) and Hannah Bagshawe attend an after party following the World Premiere of 'Les Miserables' at The Roundhouse on December 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Kathie Lee Gifford, Eddie Redmayne and Hoda Kotb appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 10: Actor Eddie Redmayne attends the 18th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards held at Barker Hangar on January 10, 2013 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for BFCA)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 13: Actor Eddie Redmayne attends the NBCUniversal Golden Globes viewing and after party held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 13, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NBCUniversal)
Actor Eddie Redmayne poses for photographers ahead of the Evening Standard Film Awards in central London on February 4, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)
GIFFONI VALLE PIANA, ITALY - JULY 26: (EDITORS NOTE: This image was processed using digital filters) Eddie Redmayne attends 2013 Giffoni Film Festival press conference on July 26, 2013 in Giffoni Valle Piana, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK--OCT. 17, 2014-- British theater veteran Eddie Redmayne makes a splash in an intense performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Photographed in New York City on Oct. 17, 2014 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. (Photo by Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 09: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Hannah Bagshawe and Eddie Redmayne attend the UK Premiere of 'The Theory Of Everything' at Odeon Leicester Square on December 9, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Actor Eddie Redmayne arrives at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
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