John Forbes Nash Jr Russell Crowe
John Forbes Nash Jr (L) and actor Russell Crowe (R) who played him in A Beautiful Mind. Getty

John Forbes Nash, the Nobel-Prize winning mathematician whose life was the subject of the film A Beautiful Mind, has died along with his wife in a car crash in the US State of New Jersey. He was 86.

Police said the taxi was travelling along the New Jersey turnpike when it was involved in an accident. Neither Nash nor his wife of 60 years, Alicia was thought to have been wearing seatbelts, and they were ejected from the vehicle.

State Police Sgt Gregory Williams said the taxi was travelling southbound when their driver attempted to overtake another car and crashed into the central barrier. The taxi driver was treated in hospital for non-life-threatening injuries along with a passenger in the other vehicle.

John Nash mathematician
Nash won the Nobel Prize for mathematics for advances in game theory Wikipedia

Princeton University mathematician Nash won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994 for his work in "game theory", developing "an equilibrium concept for non-cooperative games that now is called Nash equilibrium".

Among other awards, Nash also won the John von Neumann Theory Prize (1978) and American Mathematical Society's Steele Prize for a Seminal Contribution to Research (1999).

Last week Nash was in Norway where, along with his colleague Louis Nirenberg, he received the Abel Prize for mathematics from King Harald V for his work on non-linear partial differential equations. On hearing the news, Niremberg said he was a "wonderful mathematician".

Although his theories are now used in everything from artificial intelligence to economics, Nash was also well-known for overcoming mental illness. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1959 and repeatedly hospitalised he received anti-psychotic medication and underwent insulin shock therapy.

Nash's life story was made into A Beautiful Mind (2001), an Academy Award-winning movie starring Russell Crowe. In a tweet Crowe wrote: "Stunned… My heart goes out to John & Alicia & family. An amazing partnership. Beautiful minds, beautiful hearts."