Anne Heche legally dead after car crash

Actress Anne Heche has passed away at the age of 53. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
1 of 5 | Actress Anne Heche has passed away at the age of 53. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in Another World, Men in Trees and Volcano, has died. She was 53.

"My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom. After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep, wordless sadness," her son Homer Laffoon, 20, wrote in a statement to CNN.


"Hopefully my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom."

The actress is "brain dead," making her legally deceased under California law, a representative for Heche's family said in a statement to TMZ. Life support machines are keeping her heart beating to preserve her organs for donation.

Holly Baird, Heche's publicist, confirmed that she has been declared brain dead in a statement to USA Today and said the OneLegacy Foundation, a Los Angeles organ and tissue bank, will determine if she is a match for organ donation in the next few days.


"We have lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend," reads the statement to TMZ from the family's representative.

"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."

Heche's death followed a fiery car accident on Aug. 5 in Los Angeles, in which she crashed her Mini Cooper into a house at a high rate of speed, police said, causing her to be critically injured.

Initial reports from the hospital stated that Heche's prognosis was good, and that she was placed on a ventilator but remained "in stable condition," according to her family.

A representative for the family said days later, however, that Heche's condition was much more grave than initially reported, telling People Magazine that she was in a coma and had never regained consciousness following the accident.

The representative later told CNN that the actress was "not expected to survive" her injuries, and that Heche was being kept on life support to preserve her organs for donation.


Heche first made a name for herself in Hollywood during the 1990s on the soap opera Another World, where she played a dual role as a pair of twins.

Her performance received critical acclaim and earned her a Daytime Emmy Award.

Further television roles would come in the series Men in Trees, as well as the made-for-TV film Gracie's Choice. For the latter, Heche would earn a Primetime Emmy nomination.

She was also known on the big screen for her work in films like Donnie Darko, Volcano, I Know What You Did Last Summer and Cedar Rapids.

In more recent years, she made further television appearances on shows such as Quantico, Chicago P.D. and Dancing with the Stars.

Off the screen, Heche was also a gifted stage actress, earning a Tony nomination for her work in the Broadway play Twentieth Century.

Beyond her acting career, Heche was also known for her high-profile relationships over the years.

Beginning in 1997, she dated comedian Ellen DeGeneres, soon after the talk show host first came out. They would be together until 2000.

Heche would then begin dating Coley Laffoon, and the pair would marry in 2001. She had her first child with him in 2002, before getting divorced in 2007.


She also dated her co-star from Men in Trees, James Tupper, with whom she had her second child in 2009.

She was also linked to comedian Steve Martin for a short period of time.

Following the crash, Tupper wrote on Instagram, "Thoughts and prayers for this lovely woman, actress and mother tonight Anne Heche. We love you."

Another one of her exes, Thomas Jane, told the Daily Mail that Heche was "one of the true talents of her generation" and offered his thoughts and prayers.

DeGeneres has not made any official statements about Heche, and said that the pair "were not in touch."

However, when asked by a photographer for comment following the crash, DeGeneres said that she wanted to send well wishes, and that she "[doesn't] want anyone to be hurt."

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Anita Pointer
Anita Pointer of the Grammy-winning Pointer Sisters stands with Andy Madadian (C) and La Toya Jackson (L) as Madadian is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2020. Pointer, who performed alongside her sisters June and Ruth, died at the age of 74 on December 31 following a battle with cancer. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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