Anne Heche was taken off life support, 9 days after the car accident


Anne Heche, the Emmy-winning film and television actress whose dramatic rise in Hollywood in the 1990s and her successful career was contrasted with personal chapters of turmoil, has died of her injuries in a car accident. She was 53 years old.

Heche was “peacefully removed from life support,” spokeswoman Holly Baird said in a statement late Sunday.

Heche had been on life support at a Los Angeles burn center after suffering a “severe anoxic brain injury,” caused by lack of oxygen, when her car crashed into a house on August 5, according to a statement Thursday. by a representative on behalf of your family and friends.

She was declared brain dead on Friday but was kept on life support in case her organs could be donated, an evaluation that took nine days. In the US, most organ transplants are done after that determination.

An Ohio native whose family moved across the country, Heche endured an abusive and tragic childhood, one that helped push her into acting out as a way to escape her own life. Showing enough promise to be offered professional work in high school, she first rose to fame on the NBC soap opera “Another World” from 1987 to 1991, winning a Daytime Emmy Award for the role of the twins. Marley and Vicky Hudson, who in the show suffered injuries that anticipated Heche’s: Vicky falls into a coma for months after a car accident.

By the late 1990s, Heche was one of the most popular actors in Hollywood, a fixture on magazine covers and in big-budget movies. In 1997 alone, she acted alongside Johnny Depp as his wife in “Donnie Brasco” and Tommy Lee Jones in “Volcano” and was part of the cast of the original film “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”

The following year, he starred with Ford in “Six Days, Seven Nights” and appeared with Vince Vaughn and Joaquin Phoenix in “Return to Paradise.” She also played one of cinema’s most famous murder victims, “Psycho’s” Marion Crane, in Gus Van Sant’s remake of the Alfred Hitchcock classic, and co-starred in the indie favorite “Walking and Talking.”

Around the same time, her personal life led to even greater fame and changes both personally and professionally. She met Ellen DeGeneres at a Vanity Fair Oscar party in 1997, fell in love with her and began a 3-year relationship that made them one of Hollywood’s first openly gay couples. But Heche later said that her career was damaged by an industry that was wary of casting her in leading roles. She would remember advisers who opposed her decision to have DeGeneres accompany her to the “Volcano” premiere.

“They tapped us on the shoulder, put us in their limousine in the third act and told us we couldn’t take photos on the press trip,” Heche said in 2018 on the Irish Goodbye podcast.

After she and DeGeneres split, Heche had a public meltdown and spoke candidly about her mental health struggles.

Heche’s delicately elven appearance belied her strength on screen. When she won the 1997 National Board of Review award for best supporting actress, the board cited the one-two punch “Donnie Brasco” and the political satire “Wag the Dog,” in which Heche played a cynical assistant the White House and defended himself. against the great cinema Robert De Niro.

Heche also effectively appealed to her apparent fragility. In 2002 she starred in the Broadway play “Proof” as a woman afraid of losing her sanity just like her father, a brilliant math teacher. An Associated Press review praised her “touching, vulnerable yet funny performance, particularly when Catherine pokes fun at suspicions about her mental stability.”

In the fall of 2000, shortly after her breakup with DeGeneres, Heche was hospitalized after knocking on a stranger’s door in a rural area near Fresno, California. Authorities said she appeared shocked and disoriented and was speaking incoherently to residents.

In a memoir published the following year, “Call Me Crazy,” Heche spoke about her life’s battles. During a 2001 interview with television journalist Barbara Walters, Heche recounted in painful detail the alleged sexual abuse of his father, Donald Heche, who professed to be devoutly religious and died in 1983 from complications of AIDS. Heche described his suffering as so extreme that he developed a separate personality and imagined that he descended from another planet.

In the last days of his life, Heche said, he learned that he was secretly gay and that he believed his inability to live honestly fueled his anger and hurtful behavior. Not long after his father’s death, his brother Nathan, one of his four siblings, was killed in a car accident.

“I’m not crazy. But it’s a crazy life. I grew up in a crazy family and it took me 31 years to get the crazy out of me,” Heche told Walters. In an effort to escape the past, “I drank. I smoked. I took drugs. I had sex.” with people. I did everything I could to get the shame out of my life.”

Heche dated Steve Martin in the 1990s, and is believed to have inspired the ambitious but aspiring child actor played by Heather Graham in her Hollywood spoof “Bowfinger.” She later had a son with cameraman Coleman Laffoon, whom she was married to from 2001 to 2009. She had another son during a relationship with actor James Tupper, her co-star on the television series “Men In Trees.” .

Heche has worked steadily in smaller movies, on Broadway, and in television shows for the past two decades. She recently had recurring roles on the network’s series “Chicago PD” and “All Rise,” and in 2020 she appeared on “Dancing With the Stars.”

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