Image: Stephen Hawking
Yonathan Weitzman  /  Reuters
Renowned British cosmologist Stephen Hawking attends a conference with Israeli high school students at the Bloomfield Museum of Science in Jerusalem Dec. 10, 2006.
updated 12/11/2006 8:29:55 PM ET 2006-12-12T01:29:55

Stephen Hawking showed off his sense of humor Monday, telling an Israeli TV interviewer that "the only advantage of my disability is that I do not get put on a lot of boring committees."

During the interview, the renowned physicist also told journalist Yair Lapid that, "The downside of my celebrity is that I cannot go anywhere in the world without being recognized. It is not enough for me to wear dark sunglasses and a wig. The wheelchair gives me away. People want to be photographed with me, but it can be a nuisance when I am in a hurry."

Hawking, whose speech and mobility have been limited to a speech synthesizer and wheelchair by the progression of Lou Gehrig's disease, added that his debilitating illness had not prevented him from living a full and satisfying life.

Hawking, 64, was asked if his predicament had ever led him to consider ending his life.

"I think a person should have a right to end their life if they want, but I think it would be a great mistake," he replied. "However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. While there is life, there is hope."

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