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Elizabeth Banks Mourns Brian Wilson's Wife Melinda After Playing Her in “Love & Mercy”: 'She Was a Force'

Elizabeth Banks portrayed Melinda Ledbetter Wilson in the 2014 film 'Love & Mercy'

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Melinda Wilson and Elizabeth Banks in September 2014.
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Melinda Wilson and Elizabeth Banks in September 2014.

Elizabeth Banks is paying tribute to Melinda Ledbetter Wilson after her death at age 77.

On Tuesday, Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson announced that his wife Melinda died, saying his “heart is broken” at the loss of his “beloved wife.”

In an Instagram tribute Wednesday, Banks, who portrayed Melinda in the 2014 film Love & Mercy opposite John Cusack as Brian, shared throwback photos and memories.

"What an honor to know her, to be invited into her life with Brian. She was a force," said Banks, 49.

"She gave me such great advice — on parenting, which house to buy, being an artist. We laughed. She had a good laugh," she continued. "I was just thinking of her the other day when I passed the deli we used to visit. This is a reminder to reach out to people you enjoy. Tell them."

Added Banks, "Her family was her world and my heart and prayers are with them."

Related: All About Brian Wilson and His Late Wife Melinda's Decades-Long Love Story

<p>Kevin Winter/Getty</p> Melinda Wilson and Elizabeth Banks in October 2015.

Kevin Winter/Getty

Melinda Wilson and Elizabeth Banks in October 2015.

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In his statement Tuesday, Brian, 81, said, "Our five children and I are just in tears. We are lost. Melinda was more than my wife. She was my savior. She gave me the emotional security I needed to have a career. She encouraged me to make the music that was closest to my heart."

"She was my anchor. She was everything for us. Please say a prayer for her. Love and Mercy," he concluded.

The movie Love & Mercy, directed by Bill Pohlad, also starred Paul Dano as a young Brian and depicted his struggles with mental illness, and chronicled his complicated relationship with his therapist and legal guardian Dr. Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti). Melinda helped free Brian from Landy's grips.

“I didn't know how tough it would be,” Melinda told ABC News of the film in 2015. “I think I was more nervous than him when I took him to see it, and after I said, ‘So what did you think?’ And he goes, ‘Oh, it was really a lot worse in real life.’ ”

Banks told the outlet at the time that she was given advice by Melinda: "She said to me, ‘Music is his first love. Nothing can replace it. It's his being, it's his essence, it's his everything. So I'm settling for second, but it's a pretty good — it's a pretty good second."

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