Hollywood is reeling from the deaths of math genius John Nash and his devoted wife, Alicia, whose love story -- through his mental illness struggles and the triumph of his Nobel prize award -- was portrayed in the Oscar-winning, “A Beautiful Mind.”
The 86-year-old Princeton professor and his wife, 82, were thrown from a cab on the southbound Jersey Turnpike and died at the scene when the vehicle hit a guardrail and another car Saturday at 5:15 p.m. in Monroe Township.
The driver, Tark Girgis of Elizabeth, N.J. remained hospitalized Monday. His son tells The Post that up until two weeks ago, his dad was an ice cream truck driver.
He had no idea he was driving the famous couple, who only hired his taxi when they arrived at busy Newark Airport five hours early, The New York Post reports.
Nash was returning from a week of accolades in Norway, where he and NYU colleague Louis Nirenberg were awarded the prestigious Abel Prize.
It’s ironic that his life story ends with the awarding of such a prestIgious prize as the Abel .
After all, it was his win of a Nobel prize in 1994 that led to the a biography by the writer, Sylvia Nasar, a book that would capture the hearts and minds of filmmakers in Hollywood, who told Nash’s story, in 2001’s “A Beautiful Mind.”
Nash was portrayed by Russell Crowe, who said he was “stunned” by the news.
“My heart goes out to John & Alicia & family,” said Crowe, who was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. “An amazing partnership. Beautiful minds, beautiful hearts.”
Co-star Jennifer Connelly won as Best Supporting statue for playing Alicia Nash.
“This is a great loss. John and Alicia Nash were an inspiration and I have deep admiration for all that they accomplished in their lives,” she told JustJared.com . “My thoughts are with their family.”
Ron Howard took home a Best Director award for A Beautiful Mind and the portrayal of Nash’s valiant struggle not to let his severe case of paranoid schizophrenia permanent fog over his brilliance.
"I was disturbed in this way for a very long period of time, like 25 years," Nash said in an interview for Nobel’s web site.
He eventually weaned himself off meds and returned to as productive life.
"John's remarkable achievements inspired generations of mathematicians, economists and scientists who were influenced by his brilliant, groundbreaking work in game theory," Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber said in a statement.
"The story of his life with Alicia moved millions of readers and moviegoers who marvelled at their courage in the face of daunting challenges."