The US actor Anne Heche has died, a week after she was critically injured in a car crash. The news was confirmed by a representative for her family to the US online media outlet TMZ, who said in a statement: “We have lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend.
“Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy. Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact.”
On Friday afternoon representatives for Heche, 53, confirmed she was “brain dead”, which under California law is the definition of death. It was announced earlier in the day Heche would be taken off of life support. It is understood her heartbeat was being maintained in case appropriate organ donation could take place.
On Friday evening, Heche’s eldest son, Homer, 20, released a statement on behalf of himself and his half-brother, Atlas, 13.
“My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom,” he told People. “After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep, wordless sadness. Hopefully my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom.”
He added, “Over those six days, thousands of friends, family, and fans made their hearts known to me. I am grateful for their love, as I am for the support of my Dad, Coley, and my stepmom Alexi who continue to be my rock during this time.”
“Rest In Peace Mom, I love you,” Homer Heche concluded.
Earlier on Friday a friend of the actor, Nancy Davis, wrote on Instagram: “Heaven has a new Angel. My loving, kind, fun, endearing and beautiful friend @anneheche went to heaven. I will miss her terribly and cherish all the beautiful memories we have shared.
“Anne was always the kindest, most thoughtful person who always brought out the best in me … My heart is broken.”
Ellen DeGeneres, who used to be with Heche, wrote on Twitter, “This is a sad day. I send all my love to Anne’s children, family, and friends.”
“Rest in peace now, Anne,” actor Patricia Arquette wrote in a tweet. Mark Harris, a well-known film historian, said on Twitter that Anne Heche was a very talented actress who had to go through more horror than anyone should have to. Harris linked to a 2009 article about the actress that talked about how hard her childhood was. “She deserves kindness when we think about her.”
Many people had hoped that Heche would get better after her publicist said she was in “stable” condition after she crashed her car into a house in Los Angeles on August 5. Firefighters said she talked to them as they freed her from the wreckage and took her to the hospital.
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But the actor soon lost consciousness, and on August 8, representatives posted an update saying that Heche was in “extremely critical condition” and had gone into a coma. In a statement released on Friday, her family said that she was not expected to live, but that she was being kept alive to see if her organs could be donated.
Heche, a very smart actor, became well-known in the early 1990s when she played twins on the soap opera Another World and Laura in Nicole Holofcener’s first movie, Walking and Talking.
In the gangster movie Donnie Brasco, she played Johnny Depp’s girlfriend. This was her first big part (1997). In the same year, she was also in Wag the Dog, a political satire, Volcano, a disaster movie, and I Know What You Did Last Summer, a slasher classic.
In the same year that DeGeneres announced her sexual orientation to the world, Heche began a public relationship with the popular comedian. After three years together, Heche expressed her appreciation to Harrison Ford for continuing filming of the romantic comedy Six Days, Seven Nights despite the backlash Heche received for her real-life relationship with her partner.
From her breakout role as Marion Crane in Gus van Sant’s shot-for-shot remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho in 1998, she went on to appear in around one film per year over the next decade, balancing her career and motherhood with a focus on challenging roles creatively. She had roles as Nicole Kidman’s sister in Jonathan Glazer’s psychological thriller Birth and Ashton Kutcher’s girlfriend in the hustling comedy Spread. She had roles in two 2011 films: the critically acclaimed indie comedy Cedar Rapids and the drama Rampart, in which she played the ex-wife of corrupt cop Woody Harrelson.
Recently, she has been seen in several critically acclaimed films, including one in which she played the mother of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. The film’s reviewer, Benjamin Lee of the Guardian, praised it as “a rare comedy with something to say and a highly ambitious structure that goes far beyond its small budget.” In the film, “both of the leads are outstanding,” but “Hache in particular proved to be a welcome presence on the big screen, permitted to occupy more than just a supporting character.”
She also competed in the upcoming 2020 season of Dancing with the Stars in the United States. She was the youngest of five children and her family relocated 11 times until she was 18 years old when Heche wrote her book, Call Me Crazy, in 2001.
According to Heche, her father died at the age of 13 from AIDS she believes he caught via his sexual activity with other same-sex people. Heche also claimed that she contracted genital herpes from her father’s continuous sexual assaults on her when she was a child. Some of her relatives didn’t believe her.
Nathan, Heche’s brother, died in a car crash three months after their father passed away; Heche has always maintained that Nathan committed suicide. In the years that followed, Heche and her mom drifted apart.
Supposedly, in the year 2000, Heche drove out to the desert, wandered for a while, and eventually arrived to the ranch of a total stranger, where she had a shower, changed into comfy clothes, and settled in to watch a movie.
When Heche refused to leave, the homeowner called the police, and the star was transported to a mental hospital, where she admitted to using ecstasy. Heche claims in her book that the abuse she endured at her father’s hands rendered her “crazy” for the first 31 years of her life.
Speaking about her earlier insecurities while promoting the book, Heche revealed that she used to create a fictional persona of Christ’s half-sister who communicated with aliens. Heche married cameraman Coleman Laffoon in 2001, and they had their son Homer together. After divorcing, Heche had Atlas with James Tupper, her co-star in Men in Trees, in 2009.