By Sydney Bucksbaum
April 01, 2020 at 10:11 PM EDT
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Tom Hanks and Ethan Embry are paying tribute to That Thing You Do! songwriter Adam Schlesinger, who died Wednesday morning from coronavirus complications at age 52.

The Emmy and Grammy-winning artist and Fountains of Wayne co-founder was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe in 1997 for his theme song in That Thing You Do!, Hanks' directorial debut that he starred in along with Embry.

20th Century Studios/Everette Collection

"There would be no Playtone without Adam Schlesinger, without his That Thing You Do!" Hanks wrote, referencing the fictional Playtone record label from the film (Hanks and Gary Goetzman later used the name for their real-life production company). "He was a One-der," Hanks added, this time referencing the name of the ficitonal band from the film (pronounced "Wonders"). "Lost him to Covid-19. Terribly sad today."

Meanwhile, Embry shared an emotional memory. "I remember the day all the Oneders, Live Tyler and Tom Hanks sat in a room and played about 6 submitted tracks from different bands for That Thing You Do," he wrote. "When we heard Adam Schlesinger's cassette it was instantly clear which track we would need to learn."

In the 1996 musical comedy film, Embry played The Onders' bass player, while Hanks played Mr. White, an A&R representative for Playtone Records who offers the band a contract.

Hanks announced on March 11 that he and his wife Rita Wilson had contracted COVID-19 in Australia, where Hanks was filming Baz Luhrmann’s untitled Elvis Presley biopic. The couple is feeling better and has since returned to Los Angeles.

For the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19), including how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are sick, please visit coronavirus.gov.

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That Thing You Do!

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  • PG
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  • Tom Hanks

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