John Nash, 'A Beautiful Mind' Mathematician, Dies in Car Crash

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Russell Crowe as John Nash in the 2001 hit ‘A Beautiful Mind.’

John Nash, the Princeton University mathematician, whose brilliance and mental health struggles inspired the Oscar-winning film A Beautiful Mind, died in a car crash on Saturday.

He was 86. Nash’s 82-year old wife, Alicia Nash, also died after a taxi that they were riding in crashed into a guard rail. A spokesman for the New Jersey state police did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but multiple reports state the Nashs were not wearing seat belts and were ejected from the car.

Nash’s work in game theory, differential geometry, and other mathematical research were influential in economic, artificial intelligence, computer technology and a number of other fields. He shared the 1994 Nobel Prize for his work in economics along with Reinhard Selten and John Harsanyi.

Sylvia Nasar’s 1998 biography A Beautiful Mind and the 2001 film of the same name it inspired documented Nash’s academic accomplishments and the schizophrenia that almost cost him his family and his career. The film earned a Best Picture Academy Award and a statue for Jennifer Connelly’s performance as Alicia Nash. Russell Crowe was nominated for an Oscar his portrayal of John Nash.

On Twitter, Crowe wrote, “Stunned…my heart goes out to John & Alicia & family. An amazing partnership. Beautiful minds, beautiful hearts.”

Watch Russell Crowe discuss playing John Nash below: