Physicist and author Stephen Hawking passed away on Wednesday at the age of 76. The physicist will be remembered for his immense contribution to the field of physics with the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation. He was the first to set out a theory explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.
His unique life was full of achievements that often attracted filmmakers. Various documentaries, feature films were made on his life and his works. The scientist also made a few television appearances, some for his work in science in TV specials and others were in fiction shows where he played himself.
The Theory of Everything (2014)
In 2014, Eddie Redmayne-starrer The Theory of Everything, a biographical drama, was based on Hawking’s life. Directed by James Marsh, this was adapted from the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Hawking. The film explored Hawking’s relationships and the early onset of his motor neuron disease.
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Here, Benedict Cumberbatch played the physicist as he explored his early university years and his struggle with the motor neuron disease. This was the first time that an actor played the role of Stephen Hawking on screen. Hawking was a BBC TV film.
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A Brief History of Time (1991)
This was a biographical documentary based on Hawking’s life that was directed by Errol Morris. The film’s title was taken from Hawking’s best-selling book. This documentary was a compilation of interviews with friends, family and many of his colleagues and also his childhood nanny.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Hawking appeared on the sixth season episode “Descent” in 1993. In the episode, Lieutenant Commander Data is playing Poker with Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton. Here, Hawking played himself.
He also appeared in various episodes of The Simpsons.
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The Big Bang Theory
Stephen Hawking appeared as himself in many episodes of The Big Bang Theory. The lead character Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) considers Hawking as one of his academic idols.
Hawking first appeared on the show in the fifth season’s The Hawking Excitation. Here, Howard gets a chance to work with Stephen Hawking and so Sheldon gets a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet his idol.
Next, Hawking was credited in sixth season’s The Extract Obliteration. Stephen Hawking did not make an appearance on the TV show but his distinct voice was a part of the episode. The episode had Sheldon playing Words with Friends with the scientist.
In Season 9’s The Celebration Experimentation, Stephen Hawking made another appearance on the show. Here, he comes on board to wish Sheldon for his birthday via a video call. He was also seen in Season 10’s episode The Geology Elevation where he consoles Sheldon as he is facing professional competition and is also jealous of his colleague.
In his last appearance on the show, Stephen Hawking was seen in Season 11’s premiere episode. He was credited for the voice over as he gives his blessing to Sheldon for his marriage.