UPDATE (08/14/2022 @ 10:00 p.m. EST): Anne Heche “has been peacefully taken off life support” on Sunday, Aug. 14. As Anne’s rep confirmed, the actress was a registered organ donor and remained on life support after being declared brain dead so that doctors could find potential recipients. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time.
ORIGINAL STORY: Anne Heche passed away at the age of 53 after suffering injuries from a car crash in Los Angeles on August 5. A rep for the actress confirmed that she died on Friday, August 12 in a statement received by HollywoodLife. “Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend,” they told the outlet. “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.”
It was also noted that Anne is still on life support, but she is legally dead according to California law. She is an organ donor, and the OneLegacy Foundation is seeking potential matches.
Before her death, her rep confirmed that the actress was not expected to survive due to a brain injury. “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,” they said in an emailed statement to HollywoodLife, also thanking the medical staff at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills hospital.
“It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept on life support to determine if any are viable,” the rep also said. “Anne had a huge heart and touched everyone she met with her generous spirit. More than her extraordinary talent, she saw spreading kindness and joy as her life’s work –especially moving the needle for acceptance of who you love. She will be remembered for her courageous honesty and dearly missed for her light.”
The Six Days, Seven Nights star was taken to a local hospital after a car she was driving crashed into a residential home. “The vehicle was heading east on Preston Way at a high rate of speed, entered the T intersection at Preston Way and Walgrove Ave, ran off the road, and collided with the residence in the 1700 block of Walgrove,” a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson confirmed to Deadline. Anne’s car then became engulfed in flames, causing the house to catch fire as well. It took firefighters over an hour to “access, confine and fully extinguish the stubborn flames within the heavily damaged structure,” the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement.
Paramedics took Anne away on a stretcher, according to reports, and she was said to be in critical condition when she arrived at the hospital. “Anne is in the ICU, she’s lucky to be alive,” a source for CNN said at the time. “She has severe burns and has a long recovery ahead. Her team and her family are still trying to process what led up to the crash.”
Anne first rose to fame working on the soap opera Another World from 1987 to 1991, earning a Daytime Emmy Award for her dual role of twins Vicky Hudson and Marley Love. She then jumped from the small screen to the big screen, starring in a string of hits in the ’90s such as Volcano, Wag the Dog and Donnie Brasco. However, it was her highly publicized romance with Ellen DeGeneres that made her a household name. The pair dated from 1997 to 2000.
More recently, Anne was seen in The Vanished with Thomas Jane, the TV cop drama Chicago P.D. and The Weeknd’s HBO show The Idol, starring Johnny Depp’s daughter Lily-Rose Depp. She is survived by her son Homer, whom she shares with her ex-husband Coleman Laffoon, and another son Atlas, whom she welcomed with her Men in Trees co-star James Tupper.