Oscar win for Eddie Redmayne's portrayal of former St Albans resident Stephen Hawking

PUBLISHED: 12:11 23 February 2015 | UPDATED: 14:48 23 February 2015

Stephen Hawking and Eddie Redmayne attending the UK Premiere of The Theory of Everything at the Odeon Leicester Square, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 9, 2014. Photo courtesy of Ian West/PA Wire

Stephen Hawking and Eddie Redmayne attending the UK Premiere of The Theory of Everything at the Odeon Leicester Square, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 9, 2014. Photo courtesy of Ian West/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Eddie Redmayne's Oscar win for his portrayal of former St Albans resident Stephen Hawking has been applauded by the head master of the school he attended before becoming a world-famous physicist, on whom the movie is based.

Eddie Redmayne accepts the award for best actor in a leading role for ìn The Theory of Everything at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)Eddie Redmayne accepts the award for best actor in a leading role for ìn The Theory of Everything at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)

The Oscar for Actor in a Leading Role was last night (Sunday) awarded to Eddie, who starred in the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything.

Eddie plays a brilliant young cosmologist who learns that he is suffering from a progressive motor neuron disease.

Stephen was born in Oxford and when he was eight his family moved to St Albans, where he attended St Albans School.

Reacting to Eddie’s win, the school’s headmaster Jonathan Gillespie said today (Monday): “Having had the great privilege of meeting Professor Hawking through his close association with the school, as one of our most prestigious Old Albanians, we were intrigued to see how his story would translate onto the ‘big screen’.

“We are delighted with the result and even more delighted to see Eddie recognised for his outstanding portrayal of a truly remarkable man.”

Just last year Stephen attended the launch of a fundraising appeal for the school at the Science Museum in London.

The physicist has also applauded Eddie’s win, posting on Facebook: “Congratulations to Eddie Redmayne for winning an Oscar for playing me in The Theory of Everything movie. Well done Eddie, I’m very proud of you. – SH”.

And Stephen’s many fans have in turn praised the physicist, saying they have been inspired by his work - with one responding via Facebook, “I’m reading books and studying hard and hopefully someday I will have my degree in physics. You have made me realise it’s never too late and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

The Theory of Everything stars Felicity Jones as his first wife Jane Hawking - who also hails from St Albans - and it follows the story of Stephen and Jane’s life from their first meeting in 1964 with Stephen’s subsequent academic successes and his increasing disability.

The couple, on whose story The Theory of Everything is based, married in 1965 - Stephen met Jane, a former pupil of St Albans High School for Girls, through his sister with whom she was a friend.

It was the first Academy Award nomination for Eddie, and the film was also nominated for best picture.

Stephen contracted motor neuron disease in 1963, and was given just two years to live.

But he went on to Cambridge and Caius College and is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein.

According to his website, he still hopes to make it into space one day.

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