Anne Heche has died at age 53 following the car accident that left her in critical condition, Us Weekly confirms.
“Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend,” a rep for Heche told People in a Friday, August 12, statement on behalf of the late star’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. Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact.”
The actress’ rep also explained that while Heche is legally dead according to California law, her heart is still beating as she has not been taken off life support while OneLegacy Foundation searches for recipients who will be a match for Heche’s organ donations.
The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to Us Weekly on Friday, August 5, that the driver — who was later identified as Heche — was allegedly speeding while traveling eastbound on Preston Way in Los Angeles.
The blue Mini Cooper ran off the road and collided with a house on Preston and Walgrove around 11 a.m. PT, subsequently going up in flames, resulting in severe burns for the actress. One woman who was home at the time was in the backyard and was not injured.
The Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed in a video update the next morning that the car went 30 feet into the two-story home, which was deemed unsafe to enter after the fire was extinguished. It took 59 firefighters over an hour to control the blaze.
LAFD reported that the Dancing With the Stars alum was conscious and able to speak with firefighters while she was transported to a trauma center.
Heche was left with “a significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation” on Monday, August 8, following the accident, a representative for Heche told Us at the time. “She is in a coma and has not regained consciousness since shortly after the accident.”
Initially, the California resident was said to be “in stable condition,” her rep told Us on Saturday, August 6, before succumbing to her injuries.
Heche was born on May 25, 1969 in Aurora, Ohio and gained recognition by portraying twins Vicky Hudson and Marley Love on the soap opera Another World from 1987 to 1991. Following a Daytime Emmy win, she rose to prominence in the industry with significant roles in Donnie Brasco (1997), Volcano (1997), I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), Six Days, Seven Nights (1998) and more.
The former soap star went on to portray Marion Crane in Gus Van Sant’s remake of the 1960 horror flick, Psycho. The move garnered her more roles in independent films, including Spread (2009), Birth Rampart (2011) and Catfight (2016).
In addition to her movie roles, Heche took her acting skills to Broadway in 2004 for Twentieth Century, for which she earned a Tony Award nomination. She also starred in numerous TV shows, including Men In Trees (2006 to 2008) and Hung (2009 to 2011).
Heche made headlines off screen as well, starting with her late ‘90s relationship with Ellen DeGeneres. The pair began dating in 1997 but broke things off in 2000. Shortly thereafter, the Vanished performer started seeing Coleman Laffoon, who worked as a cameraman on DeGeneres’ standup comedy tour.
The duo tied the knot in September 2001 and welcomed a son, Homer, in 2002. Following their split in 2007, their divorce was finalized in 2009. Heche moved on with her Men In Trees costar, James Tupper, whom she met while working on the show in 2006.
The couple moved in together in 2007 and welcomed a son, Atlas, in March 2009. They confirmed their split in 2018 after more than a decade together. Following Heche’s car accident, Tupper sent her well wishes via Instagram.
The Cedar Rapids actress also received “thoughts and #prayers” from skincare guru Peter Thomas Roth, to whom she was last linked in September 2021. A source told Us at the time that they “met through mutual friends in the Hamptons.” It is not known if the pair were still an item at the time of her death.