Beautiful Mind, A: John Nash, Brilliant Mathematician and Inspiration for Oscar-Winning Biopic, Dies in Car Accident

John Nash, the Princeton University mathematician whose career and mental health struggles inspired Ron Howard’s 2001 Oscar-winning film, A Beautiful Mind, died in a car crash in New Jersey on Saturday.  He was 86.

Nash’s 82-year old wife, Alicia Nash, also died after a taxi in which they were riding crashed into a guard rail.

A spokesman for the New Jersey state police did respond to a request for comment, but reports state the Nashs were not wearing seat belts and were ejected from the car.

The movie’s director, Ron Howard, tweeted, “RIP Brilliant #NobelPrize winning John Nash & and his remarkable wife Alicia. It was an honor telling part of their story  #ABeautifulMind.”

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 Oscar and Supporting Actress Oscar for Jennifer Connelly’s performance as Alicia Nash.  Russell Crowe was nominated for an Oscar his portrayal of John Nash, but did not win.

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