One week after being hospitalized for crashing her car into a Los Angeles home, actress Anne Heche has died, her reps confirm. She was 53 years old.
“Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend,” Heche’s rep confirms in a statement.
“Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy,” the statement continues. “Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact.”
Shortly after the Aug. 5 accident, Heche’s rep confirmed that the actress fell into a coma due to a “significant pulmonary injury requiring medical ventilation and burns that require[d] surgical intervention.” Days later, on Aug. 11, her rep shared that the actress had suffered a “severe anoxic brain injury” from the crash and was unfortunately “not expected to survive” her critical condition.
The actress was declared “brain dead” on Aug. 12, according to her reps, but she was being kept on life support to preserve her organs for donations.
AUG. 14 UPDATE: A rep for Heche has confirmed that the actress was “peacefully taken off life support” on Sunday.
Ellen DeGeneres, who dated Heche in the late ’90s, posted a message of condolence on social media:
This is a sad day. I'm sending Anne's children, family and friends all of my love.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 12, 2022
Actor James Tupper, who dated Heche while they costarred together on ABC’s Men in Trees, offered a tribute to her on Instagram, posting a photo of Heche along with the caption “love you forever” and a heartbreak emoji.
Heche had an impressive career on the small screen, beginning with a four-season stint on Another World (1987–1991) that earned her a Daytime Emmy Award. She proceeded to land recurring roles on major shows like Murphy Brown, Ally McBeal, Everwood, Nip/Tuck, Chicago P.D. and All Rise. She was also a series regular on Save Me, Hung and Men in Trees, and she even competed on Season 29 of Dancing With the Stars, finishing in 13th place.
This fall, Heche can be seen in Lifetime’s The Girl in Room 13, which is about a girl (played by When Calls the Heart‘s Larissa Dias) who finds herself in the middle of a human-trafficking ring, tricked into the situation by her boyfriend; Heche plays the title character’s mother. “[Heche] did a phenomenal performance, a tour de force,” director Elisabeth Rohm recently shared. Lifetime programming EVP Amy Winter added, “We hope that this film moves you and that you are just as inspired as Anne was to help us with our mission to stop violence against women.”
On the big screen, Heche will be remembered for her work in films such as John Q.; Six Days, Seven Nights; Wag the Dog; and the remake of Psycho, in which she starred as Marion Crane.
How will you remember Heche? Drop a comment with your favorite role(s), along with your thoughts on her tragic death, below.