Benedict Cumberbatch is planning to raise a margarita to honor physicist Stephen Hawking following his death on Wednesday (14Mar18).
Benedict and Stephen, who he portrayed in the BBC’s 2004 TV film Hawking, were unlikely drinking partners – and were known to meet up to share a tequila based beverage.
In a statement to the Press Association, the Doctor Strange star said he would celebrate the beloved scientist’s life by drinking a margarita in his honour.
“I will miss our margaritas but will raise one to the stars to celebrate your life and the light of understanding you shone so brightly on them for the rest of us,” he explained. “You were and are a true inspiration for me and for millions around the world. Thank you.”
Although Eddie Redmayne, who has also paid tribute to the physicist, was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen, Benedict was the first actor to play him on screen.
The late scientist, who died at the age of 76, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) when he was 21 years old and was given just a few years to live.
Despite being wheelchair bound for much of his life, and later having to speak with the help of a computer, Stephen’s groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology made him arguably the world’s most famous scientist.
In his statement, Benedict paid tribute to his unlikely drinking buddy’s intelligence and determination to overcome his disability.
“I feel so lucky to have known such a truly great man who’s profundity was found both in his work and the communication of that work. Both in person and in books,” the actor said.
“He virtually created the publishing genre of popular science. A heroic feat to bring the wondrous complexities of the universe to all outside of specialists in this field. But truly courageous when considering it was achieved by a man who lived a life trapped in his body from the age of 21 when he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.”