Anne Heche dies of crash injuries after life support removed

  • FILE - Actress Anne Heche poses for a portrait to promote the film, "The Last Word" during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Jan. 23, 2017. Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53.  (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP, File)

    FILE - Actress Anne Heche poses for a portrait to promote the film, "The Last Word" during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Jan. 23, 2017. Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53. (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP, File) Associated Press

  • FILE - Anne Heche arrives at the 74th annual Directors Guild of America Awards on March 12, 2022, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

    FILE - Anne Heche arrives at the 74th annual Directors Guild of America Awards on March 12, 2022, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File) Associated Press

  • FILE - Anne Heche poses during the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Pasadena, Calif., on July 19, 2006. Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53.

    FILE - Anne Heche poses during the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Pasadena, Calif., on July 19, 2006. Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53. Associated Press

  • FILE - Anne Heche, left, a cast member in the film "John Q," arrives with her, husband Coley Laffoon, at a screening of the film in West Hollywood, Calif., on Feb. 7, 2002. Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53.

    FILE - Anne Heche, left, a cast member in the film "John Q," arrives with her, husband Coley Laffoon, at a screening of the film in West Hollywood, Calif., on Feb. 7, 2002. Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53. Associated Press

  • FILE - Actress Anne Heche poses for a portrait in Park City, Utah on  Jan. 21, 2012.  Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53.

    FILE - Actress Anne Heche poses for a portrait in Park City, Utah on Jan. 21, 2012. Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53. Associated Press

  • FILE - Actor Anne Heche arrives at the Disney ABC Television Group All Star Party in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 14, 2007. Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53.

    FILE - Actor Anne Heche arrives at the Disney ABC Television Group All Star Party in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 14, 2007. Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53. Associated Press

  • FILE - Ellen DeGeneres, left, and Anne Heche arrive at the 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Jan. 18, 1998. Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53.

    FILE - Ellen DeGeneres, left, and Anne Heche arrive at the 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Jan. 18, 1998. Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53. Associated Press

  • FILE - Actors James Tupper, left, and Anne Heche attend the The 2012 Gentlemen's Ball hosted in New York on Oct. 24, 2012. Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

    FILE - Actors James Tupper, left, and Anne Heche attend the The 2012 Gentlemen's Ball hosted in New York on Oct. 24, 2012. Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File) Associated Press

  • FILE - Anne Heche arrives at the 74th annual Directors Guild of America Awards on March 12, 2022, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. Heche was in the hospital Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, following an accident in which her car smashed into a house and flames erupted, a representative for the actor told People magazine. The representative, who was not identified, told the magazine that Heche was in stable condition a day after Friday's accident. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

    FILE - Anne Heche arrives at the 74th annual Directors Guild of America Awards on March 12, 2022, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. Heche was in the hospital Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, following an accident in which her car smashed into a house and flames erupted, a representative for the actor told People magazine. The representative, who was not identified, told the magazine that Heche was in stable condition a day after Friday's accident. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File) Associated Press

  • FILE - Anne Heche, left, and Harrison Ford embrace at the premiere of their film, "Six Days, Seven Nights" in the Westwood section of Los Angeles on June 8, 1998. Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53.

    FILE - Anne Heche, left, and Harrison Ford embrace at the premiere of their film, "Six Days, Seven Nights" in the Westwood section of Los Angeles on June 8, 1998. Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53. Associated Press

  • FILE - Ann Heche poses for a photo at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, Dec. 11, 2003 to promote her Lifetime movie "Gracie's Choice."  Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53.

    FILE - Ann Heche poses for a photo at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, Dec. 11, 2003 to promote her Lifetime movie "Gracie's Choice." Heche, who first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě in the late 1980s before becoming one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, nine days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. She was 53. Associated Press

  • FILE - Actor Anne Heche poses at Variety's 4th annual Power of Women event in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Oct. 5, 2012. A spokesperson for  Heche says the actor is on life support after suffering a brain injury in a fiery crash a week ago and isn't expected to survive. The statement released on behalf of her family said she is being kept on life support to determine if she is a viable organ donor. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

    FILE - Actor Anne Heche poses at Variety's 4th annual Power of Women event in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Oct. 5, 2012. A spokesperson for Heche says the actor is on life support after suffering a brain injury in a fiery crash a week ago and isn't expected to survive. The statement released on behalf of her family said she is being kept on life support to determine if she is a viable organ donor. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File) Associated Press

 
 
Updated 8/15/2022 6:40 AM

LOS ANGELES -- Anne Heche, the Emmy-winning film and television actor whose dramatic Hollywood rise in the 1990s and accomplished career contrasted with personal chapters of turmoil, died of injuries from a fiery car crash. She was 53.

Heche was 'úpeacefully taken off life support," spokeswoman Holly Baird said in a statement Sunday night.

 

Heche had been on life support at a Los Angeles burn center after suffering a 'úsevere anoxic brain injury,'Ě caused by a lack of oxygen, when her car crashed into a home Aug. 5, according to a statement released Thursday by a representative on behalf of her family and friends.

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

A native of Ohio whose family moved around the country, Heche endured an abusive and tragic childhood, one that helped push her into acting as a way of escaping her own life. She showed enough early promise to be offered professional work in high school and first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera 'úAnother World'Ě from 1987 to 1991, winning a Daytime Emmy Award for the role of twins Marley and Vicky Hudson, who on the show sustained injuries that anticipated Heche's: Vicky falls into a coma for months after a car crash.

By the late 1990s Heche was one of the hottest actors in Hollywood, a constant on magazine covers and in big-budget films. In 1997 alone, she played opposite Johnny Depp as his wife in 'úDonnie Brasco'Ě and Tommy Lee Jones in 'úVolcano'Ě and was part of the ensemble cast in the original 'úI Know What You Did Last Summer.'Ě

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The following year, she starred with Ford in 'úSix Days, Seven Nights'Ě and appeared with Vince Vaughn and Joaquin Phoenix in 'úReturn to Paradise.'Ě She also played one of cinema's most famous murder victims, Marion Crane of 'úPsycho,'Ě in Gus Van Sant's remake of the Alfred Hitchcock classic, and co-starred in the indie favorite 'úWalking and Talking.'Ě

Around the same time, her personal life led to even greater fame, and both personal and professional upheaval. She met Ellen DeGeneres at a the 1997 Vanity Fair Oscar party, fell in love and began a 3-year relationship that made one of Hollywood's first openly gay couples. But Heche later said her career was damaged by an industry wary of casting her in leading roles. She would remember advisers opposing her decision to have DeGeneres accompany her to the premiere of 'úVolcano.'Ě

'úWe were tapped on the shoulder, put into her limo in the third act and told that we couldn't have pictures of us taken at the press junket,'Ě Heche said in 2018 on the podcast Irish Goodbye.

After she and DeGeneres parted, Heche had a public breakdown and would speak candidly of her mental health struggles.

Heche's delicately elfin look belied her strength on screen. When she won the National Board of Review's 1997 best supporting actress award, the board cited the one-two punch of 'úDonnie Brasco'Ě and the political satire 'úWag the Dog,'Ě in which Heche portrayed a cynical White House aide and held her own against film great Robert De Niro.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Heche also called effectively on her apparent fragility. In 2002 she starred on Broadway in the play 'úProof'Ě as a woman fearful of losing her sanity just like her father, a brilliant mathematics professor. An Associated Press review praised her 'útouching performance, vulnerable yet funny, particularly when Catherine mocks the suspicions about her mental stability.'Ě

In the fall of 2000, soon after her break-up with DeGeneres, Heche was hospitalized after knocking on the door of a stranger in a rural area near Fresno, California. Authorities said she had appeared shaken and disoriented and spoke incoherently to the residents.

In a memoir released the following year, 'úCall Me Crazy,'Ě Heche talked about her lifelong battles. During a 2001 interview with TV journalist Barbara Walters, Heche recounted in painful detail alleged sexual abuse by her father, Donald Heche, who professed to be devoutly religious and died in 1983 from complications of AIDS. Heche described her suffering as so extreme she developed a separate personality and imagined herself descended from another planet.

In the final days of his life, Heche said, she learned he was secretly gay and that she believed his inability to live honestly fueled his anger and hurtful behavior. Not long after her father died, her brother Nathan - one of her four siblings - was killed in a car crash.

'úI'm not crazy. But it's a crazy life. I was raised in a crazy family and it took 31 years to get the crazy out of me,'Ě Heche told Walters. In an effort to escape the past, 'úI drank. I smoked. I did drugs. I had sex with people. I did anything I could to get the shame out of my life.'Ě

Heche dated Steve Martin in the 1990s, and is widely believed to have inspired the childlike, but ambitious aspiring actor played by Heather Graham in his Hollywood spoof 'úBowfinger.'Ě She later had a son with camera operator Coleman Laffoon, to whom she was married from 2001 to 2009. She had another son during a relationship with actor James Tupper, her co-star on the TV series 'úMen In Trees.'Ě

Heche worked consistently in smaller films, on Broadway and on TV shows in the past two decades. She recently had recurring roles on the network series 'úChicago P.D.'Ě and 'úAll Rise,'Ě and in 2020 was a contestant on 'úDancing With the Stars.'Ě

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