Melinda Ledbetter Wilson, the wife of Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson for nearly three decades, passed away at 77.
Brian Wilson, the musician and husband, confirmed Melinda’s death in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
Expressing his grief, he mentioned that his “heart is broken” over the loss of his “beloved wife.”
In the tribute, Brian did not disclose the cause of Melinda’s death.
The post included a set of throwback photos of Melinda, and Brian expressed deep sorrow, stating, “Our five children and I are just in tears. We are lost.”
Brian emphasized Melinda’s profound impact on his life, describing her as more than a wife. He called her his savior, anchor, and source of emotional security.
The post concluded with a request for prayers and the message, “Love and Mercy Brian.” The couple’s children also shared that Melinda passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday morning.
Brian Wilson married Melina Ledbetter after Eugene Landy lawsuit
Brian Wilson co-founded the Beach Boys and played a significant role in shaping the band’s sound. As a songwriter, he had written or co-written more than 20 Top 40 hits.
Among these hits were the number-one songs Surf City, I Get Around, and Help Me, Rhonda. Wilson’s contributions to the Beach Boys’ musical catalog played a crucial role in the band’s success in the 60s.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Melinda Ledbetter Wilson met Brian Wilson in 1986. At the time of their meeting, Wilson, who had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and mild bipolar disorder, was under the strict supervision of psychologist Eugene Landy.
Ledbetter reported Landy to the attorney general in 1989, leading to the dismissal of the case, and the couple separated under Landy’s influence.
In 1991, Wilson’s family filed a conservatorship lawsuit, removing him from Landy’s care.
Subsequently, Ledbetter and Wilson rekindled their relationship, eventually marrying in 1995. Together, they adopted five children, and Ledbetter served as Wilson’s manager from 1999 onward.
In Brian Wilson’s social media post, he expressed heartfelt praise for his late wife, acknowledging her pivotal role in his life reflected the gratitude Wilson felt for Melinda’s care and support throughout their life together.
Elizabeth Banks portrayed Melinda in Love & Mercy
In 2014, the lives of Brian Wilson and Melinda Ledbetter were portrayed in the movie Love & Mercy, where John Cusack and Elizabeth Banks portrayed Brian and Melinda, respectively.
The film provided a comprehensive exploration of Wilson’s struggles with mental illness and delved into his complex relationship with therapist and legal guardian Dr. Eugene Landy.
Screenwriter Oren Moverman emphasized the movie’s accuracy, stating to Collider that “every single scene in that part of the movie happened because I talked to Melinda, and she told me all these stories, and I just transformed them into scenes.”
Melinda Kay Ledbetter Wilson is survived by Brian Wilson and their five children.