Famed British scientist Stephen Hawking was laid to rest Saturday during a private funeral in Cambridge attended by some 500 people.
Those paying their respects, which included actor Eddie Redmayne, who won an Academy Award for portraying Hawking in 2014’s “The Theory of Everything,” gathered at the University Church of St. Mary the Great.
Other celebrity guests included Queen guitarist Brian May, British actress Anita Dobson and comedian Dara O’Briain, the BBC reported. Tesla CEO Elon Musk and playwright Alan Bennett were also rumored to be on the guest list.
Redmayne was also slated to give a reading from Ecclesiastes during the service, which was closed to media. A reading by Astronomer Royal Martin Reese and eulogies by Robert Hawking, the scientist’s eldest son, and former student Fay Dowker were also scheduled.
Hawking died on March 14 at the age of 76 at his Cambridge home. The bell at the church, known locally as Great St. Mary’s, rang 76 times as the funeral cortege drove up to the church.
Hawking’s coffin was carried by six porters from Caius College, where the scientist was a fellow for more than 50 years.
Hundreds of people had gathered outside the church to pay their respects to the late great mind.
Hawking, who suffered from motor neurone disease, was known for his groundbreaking research into black holes and other phenomena. His ashes were slated to be interred next to Sir Isaac Newton’s grave located in Westminster Abbey in June. Newton died in 1727.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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