Anne Heche died of a brain injury and severe burns after speeding and crashing her car into a house in the residential area of Mar Vista on Friday August 5. The building caught fire and Heche was dragged from the vehicle and rushed to the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital in Los Angeles.
The 53-year-old Emmy Award-winning actress is best known for her roles in 1990s films like VolcanoGus Van Sant’s remake Psycho, Donnie Brasco and Six days, seven nights.
Holly Baird, a spokeswoman for Heche’s family, sent NPR a statement Friday afternoon saying, “While Anne is legally dead under California law, her heart is still beating and she has not been removed. respiratory support.”
Baird added that an organ procurement company was working to see if the actress was compatible with organ donation, and that decision could be made as early as Saturday or as late as next Tuesday.
Heche launched his career playing a pair of good and bad twins on the long-running daytime soap opera Another world, for which she won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1991.
In the 2000s, Heche focused on directing independent films and television series. She starred with Nicole Kidman and Cameron Bright in the drama Birth; with Jessica Lange and Christina Ricci in the film adaptation of Prozac Nation, Elizabeth Wurtzel’s best-selling book on depression; and in comedy Cedar Rapids alongside John C. Reilly and Ed Helms. She also starred in the ABC drama series Men in the trees.
Heche has made guest appearances on TV shows like Pinch/Tuck and Ally McBeal and starred in a few Broadway productions, earning a Tony Award nomination for his performance in the 1932 comedy comeback Twentieth century.
In 2020, Heche launched a weekly lifestyle podcast, better togetherwith her friend and co-host Heather Duffy and appeared on Dancing with the stars.
Heche became a lesbian icon following her highly visible relationship with comedian and TV host Ellen DeGeneres in the late 1990s.
Heche and DeGeneres were arguably Hollywood’s most famous openly gay couple at a time when dating was far less acceptable than it is today. Heche later claimed that the romance hurt her career. “I was in a relationship with Ellen DeGeneres for three and a half years and the stigma attached to that relationship was so severe that I got kicked out of my multi-million dollar photo contract and didn’t work in a studio. photo for 10 years,” Heche said in an episode of Dancing with the stars.
But the relationship paved the way for wider acceptance of single-sex partnerships.
“With so few models and portrayals of lesbians in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Anne Heche’s relationship with Ellen DeGeneres contributed significantly to her stardom and their relationship ultimately validated love. lesbian for straight and gay,” said the Los Angeles-based New York Times columnist Trish Bendix.
Bendix said that while Heche later had relationships with men – she married Coleman Laffoon in the early 2000s and they had a son together, and was more recently in a relationship with Canadian actor James Tupper with whom she also had a son – “his influence on lesbian and bisexual visibility cannot and must not be erased.”
In 2000, Fresh air host Terry Gross interviewed Heche ahead of her directorial debut in the latest episode of If these walls could talk, a series of three HBO TV movies exploring the lives of lesbian couples starring DeGeneres and Sharon Stone. In the interview, Heche said she wished she had been more sensitive to other people’s coming-out experiences when she and DeGeneres went public with their relationship.
“What I wish I had known was more about the journey and struggle of individuals in the gay community or couples in the gay community,” Heche said. “Because I would have expressed my excitement in understanding that this is not everyone’s story.”
Heche was born in Aurora, Ohio in 1969, the youngest of five siblings. She was raised in a fundamentalist Christian family.
She had a difficult childhood. The family moved around a lot. She said she believed her father, Donald, was a closeted homosexual; he died in 1983 of HIV.
“He just couldn’t settle into a normal job, which of course we found out later, and if I understand correctly now, it was because he had another life,” he said. Heche told Gross. Fresh air. “He wanted to be with men.”
A few months after his father’s death, Heche’s brother, Nathan, was killed in a car accident at the age of 18.
In his 2001 memoir call me crazyand in later interviews, Heche said her father sexually abused her as a child, triggering mental health issues that the actress said she carried with her for decades into adulthood.
In an interview with the actress for Larry King Livehost Larry King called Heche’s book “one of the most honest, candid, and extraordinary autobiographies ever written by anyone in show business”.
“I am left with deep, wordless sadness,” Heche’s son with Lafoon, Homer, wrote in a statement shared with NPR via Baird. “I hope my mother is free from pain and begins to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom.”