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Melinda Wilson, Who Helped Brian Wilson Battle Mental Illness, Dies at 77

Melinda Kay Ledbetter Wilson, who rescued her husband, the Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson, from psychological ruin, died on Tuesday. She was 77.

Mr. Wilson confirmed her death on Instagram, saying that they had been married for 28 years and had five children together. Representatives for the family could not be reached for comment late Tuesday night. No cause of death was given.

The couple’s relationship was portrayed in the 2014 biopic “Love & Mercy.” The film shows Ms. Wilson (Elizabeth Banks) helping Mr. Wilson, played by both John Cusack and Paul Dano, navigate a bout of mental illness when they were first dating in the 1980s. Their courtship is complicated by the presence of Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti), a psychologist who serves as Mr. Wilson’s guru, dietitian and legal guardian.

Ms. Wilson had been a model, her husband said in the social media post announcing her death.

She also worked as a producer on several films related to her husband’s music, including “Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road” (2021) and “Pet Sounds Live at Royce Hall” (2006). The latter title refers to “Pet Sounds,” a landmark 1966 Beach Boys album.

This is a developing story.

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