Tom Hanks Pays Tribute To That Thing You Do's Adam Schlesinger After His Covid-19 Death

Tom Hanks in That Thing You Do!

The news cycle has been dizzying over the past few months, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect all aspects of life across the globe. While many people are self-isolating in order to attempt to flatten the curve, the virus has still been able to take a serious toll on those infected. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are recovering from the safety of their home, but singer-songwriter Adam Schlesinger died yesterday after being in a coma due to COVID-19 symptoms. Schlesinger was nominated for an Oscar for his work on the title track for That Thing You Do!, and now Hanks has responded to his death.

COVID-19 affects every patient differently, and we've seen a huge range in symptoms. While Idris Elba is asymptomatic, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson suffered flu-like symptoms. But Adam Schlesinger was hit far harder, and ultimately succumbed to the virus. Aside from his work in the band Fountains of Wayne, Schlesinger has a legacy as a songwriter for TV and film, including That Thing You Do! Tom Hanks starred as Mr. White in the movie, and posted a tribute to Schlesinger, saying:

Succinct and powerful, it's clear that Tom Hanks is upset about Adam Schlesinger's death. He's got two degrees of connection with the late songwriter, as they both contribute to That Thing You Do! and were personally affected by COVID-19.

Tom Hanks responded to Adam Schlesinger's passing on his personal Twitter page. Hanks and Rita Wilson have been regularly communicating with the public on social media, as they recover from COVID-19 in isolation. And when news broke that Schlesinger died at the age of 52 following his own battle with the virus, the Oscar winning actor was sure to share his thoughts in a public way.

That Thing You Do! is a classic 1996 comedy that focuses on a one hit wonder band in the 1996. Said hit is the title track, which was written by Adam Schlesinger. The song became a hit single after the movie's release, and is undeniably catchy. Tom Hanks played Mr. White an A&R representative for Playtone Records that helps to discover the The Oneders.

Adam Schlesinger's contribution to pop culture and music in media doesn't only extend to That Thing You Do!, though. He also wrote songs for Music and Lyrics, Josie and the Pussycats, and Ice Age: Continental Drift. Schlesinger's work also extended to TV, awards ceremonies, and theater. He composed songs for Neil Patrick Harris to sing while hosting the Tony Awards, which in earned Schlesinger an Emmy of his own.

Most recently Adam Schlesinger wrote the countless hilarious songs for The CW's award winning musical comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. He was nominated for a slew of awards through the show's four seasons, winning one in Season 4 for the La La Land spoof song "Antidepressants Are So Not a Big Deal." Additionally, he was part of the band Fountains of Wayne, which put out the hit song "Stacey's Mom."

In the world of theater, Adam Schlesinger helped to co-write the music to Cry-Baby's Broadway adaptation. He was also writing the music for a musical based off of Sarah Silverman's memoir Bedwetter. Additionally, he was collaborating with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Rachel Bloom on a musical version of The Nanny.

Adam Schlesinger's contribution to pop culture is significant, so his loss is going to be felt throughout the entertainment world and beyond. While Tom Hanks was able to recover from Coronavirus, Schlesinger's death proves just how serious the pandemic is. Our thoughts are with Schlesinger's loved ones at this time.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.