Anne Heche died on August 12 after being taken off life support by her family. Her death was confirmed in a statement by her family, per People, writing, “Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend.” While, as of this writing, the actor’s heart is still beating in hopes of providing organ donations, she is brain dead, meeting the legal definition of death in California. Heche had suffered a severe brain injury after crashing her vehicle into a Los Angeles residence last week; representatives for the actor revealed on Thursday she was not expected to survive. She was 53 years old.
Heche began her career as a teenage soap opera star, earning a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series in 1991 for her work on Another World. She began appearing in larger projects after leaving the show in 1992, including a starring role in Nicole Holofcener’s Walking And Talking opposite Catherine Keener.
Heche had a series of high profile roles in the late ’90s, appearing in films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer, Donnie Brasco, Wag The Dog, and perhaps most notably, Six Days Seven Nights with Harrison Ford. She was also cast as Marion Crane in Gus Van Sant’s 1998 remake of Psycho, though the film was not well received.
In the 2000s, she worked steadily in both film and television; she had roles in shows like Men In Trees, Hung, and Chicago P.D., as well as lending her voice to animated series The Legend Of Korra. At the time of her death she had completed several as yet unreleased projects, including the HBO series The Idol with The Weeknd.
Heche struggled with mental health issues throughout her life, as detailed in her 2001 memoir Call Me Crazy. She spoke about suffering sexual abuse at the hands of her father, who passed away when she was a teenager; shortly after his death, her older brother also died in a car crash. In an interview with ABC News, she spoke about turning to drugs and alcohol “to get the shame out of my life.”
She also later spoke about being blacklisted in Hollywood for her highly publicized romance with Ellen DeGeneres. However, she told Page Six in 2021 that she was proud to have been part of changing attitudes. “Those repercussions that happened, are to me what has created a part of the change. I’m a part of it. It is a badge of honor.”
This is a developing story and we will provide updates as they come in.