Anne Heche, a Daytime Emmy Award-winning actress known for roles on Another World and the films Donnie Brasco, Volcano and Six Days Seven Nights, died Friday after a fiery car crash a week earlier. She was 53.
The actress’ son Homer confirmed her death in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.
“My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom. After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep, wordless sadness,” the statement said. “Hopefully my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom.”
Earlier in the day, a representative for Heche said the actress was brain dead, but remained on life support in order to donate her organs.
“Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend,” the rep said in a statement to the media on behalf of Heche’s family and friends. “Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy.”
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Heche had been hospitalized and in a coma since Friday, Aug. 5, when she crashed her Mini Cooper into a house in the Mar Vista neighborhood of L.A., causing the home to erupt in flames. The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the crash in the 1700 block of South Walgrove Avenue just before 11 a.m.
Ring surveillance video obtained by local news stations showed Heche’s car speeding down the residential street moments before the crash. The woman living in the house lost everything in the fire, neighbors said.
On Thursday, Aug. 11, the LAPD said blood tests done on Heche after she was hospitalized showed narcotics in her system. Police did not specify what drugs were found, but said they had launched a felony DUI investigation into the case. Several published reports said Heche had cocaine in her system.
Heche spent a week in a coma, with her rep issuing a statement on Thursday night confirming the situation was grave.
“Unfortunately, due to her accident, Anne Heche suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and remains in a coma, in critical condition. She is not expected to survive,” the statement said.
Born Anne Celeste Heche on May 25, 1969, the actress was originally from Aurora, Ohio.
She began to pursue acting as a teenager and landed a dual role as Vicky Hudson/Marley Love on Another World in 1987. She won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1991 for her work on the series.
Heche also had parts on a string of hit TV shows, including All Rise, Chicago P.D., Quantico, Men in Trees, Nip/Tuck, Ally McBeal, and The Brave.
She remained busy up until her accident and has a role in HBO’s upcoming drama series The Idol, starring The Weeknd.
Heche also leads the cast of the upcoming Lifetime movie Girl in Room 13, a drama inspired by real events about the human trafficking industry. Lifetime issued a statement on Thursday at the Television Critics Association virtual summer press tour, saying the movie is still scheduled to air on Sept. 17.
Heche received a lot of attention when she was in a relationship with comedian Ellen DeGeneres from 1997-2000.
In 2020, the actress was part of the Dancing With the Stars cast for season 29.