Meat Loaf's 'Paradise by the Dashboard Light' Collaborator Ellen Foley Looks Back on His Legacy (Exclusive)

ET chats with Ellen Foley about collaborating with the late singer and reflects on his legacy.

"He was always a star," Ellen Foley says of her friend, the late Meat Loaf.

The legendary rock star, whose real name was Marvin Lee Aday, died Thursday at the age of 74. Foley, who was one of Meat Loaf's longtime collaborators and worked with him on the hit single "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," reflects on their friendship and looks back at his legacy.

"I finally got a text at 2:40 this morning, and all these things just flood back. Like the image of the first day I ever met him in a rehearsal hall when we were doing the National Lampoon show," Foley tells ET's Lauren Zima of hearing about Meat Loaf's death. "And you know how they sort of say, 'At the end of your life, your life flashes before you.' Well, I think my Meat Loaf's life sort of flashed before me and just how much life and how huge... they say larger than life [he was], and it's true. So I guess where he is now, he has the biggest palette for his personality that he could possibly get."

Foley and Meat Loaf were friends for years, frequently working with each other over the years. As for something that might surprise fans about the musician, Foley notes that "he was very lonely."

"I think he had separation anxiety because his mother died young and he didn't have a lot of support in his life growing up," she recalls. "So I think he was a lonely person and needed a lot of love, and certainly got it from his fans and I think the women in his life. But he was a lonely person."

Also known for his film like Fight Club, Focus, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Wayne's World, Foley touched on his many talents as an entertainer.

"He did a lot more movies than I ever I knew that he did, but I think he's a very good actor because you weren't seeing Meat Loaf," she says. "A lot of times, if I like somebody who's a star…and does acting, you say, 'OK, well that's them.' But Meat was a good actor…Before I knew him, he had been in some Broadway shows and that's where he and Jim Steinman, who created the music match, [met]. So he wasn't up there playing Meat Loaf. I think he was a very good actor. He was able to sink into the roles."

Ebet Roberts/Redferns

It had been a couple of years since Foley had spoken with Meat Loaf, but the last time she can recall being with him was "three or four years ago" while working on music together. "I was in the studio with him and it was really fun," she remembers. "He had mellowed… and it was a lovely experience."

As for what she thinks his legacy will be, she expresses, "I think his legacy is the music."

"It's the incredible [music]. I think it's phenomenal that here I am talking to you after what… I can't do math… it was 1977 [when 'Paradise by the Dashboard Light'] came out. What is that 40, 50 years? I don't even know, but I'm still here talking to you and I was just, like, this part of it."

"He's got this huge picture that sort of hovers over the planet and something that everybody knows, and has listened to and has had the experience of [listening to him]," she tenderly says. "Yeah, it's the music."

For more on Meat Loaf's life and legacy, watch below.