In news that was expected but is still tragic and very sad, Anne Heche died of her injuries from her car crash a little over a week ago. Anne suffered a severe brain injury during the crash, went into a coma shortly afterward, and never came out of it. On Friday, Anne’s rep said that she had died and was being kept on life support to give enough time to find donor organ matches. It had long been Anne’s wish to donate her organs. Yesterday, Anne’s rep confirmed that she’s been taken off of life support. Anne was only 53.
Anne’s rep said in a statement to People that she “has been peacefully taken off life support,” after an organ recipient match was made. The LAPD was investigating Anne for felony DUI but they announced that they have closed the case and will not investigate further. Anne is survived by her two sons, 20-year-old Homer Laffoon and 13-year-old Atlas Heche Tupper. In a statement from Homer on Friday, he wished his mother eternal peace and thanked his family for being the support he needed during this dark and horrible time.
“My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom. After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep, wordless sadness. Hopefully my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom.
Over those six days, thousands of friends, family, and fans made their hearts known to me. I am grateful for their love, as I am for the support of my Dad, Coley, and my stepmom Alexi who continue to be my rock during this time. Rest In Peace Mom, I love you.”
Anne Heche was born in Akron, Ohio and her family moved around a lot. They even lived in an Amish community at one point. I wrote about Anne’s traumatic childhood in a post about her crash. Anne wrote in her 2001 memoir, Call Me Crazy, that her father abused her throughout her childhood. Her father died when she was 13 and shortly after his death, her older brother, Eric Heche, died in a car accident at 18. Anne’s sister Cynthia died from a heart defect as a baby and her older sister Susan Bergman died of brain cancer in 2006. Anne was estranged from her other sister Abigail and her mother Nancy. Anne was also open about how she turned to drugs and alcohol to temporarily escape the psychological trauma from her childhood.
Anne’s acting career started in a way that many high school drama kids dream of! How many of us delusional high school theater nerds peeked into the audience from backstage before a play, hoping to spot a Hollywood power player (aka anybody in a suit and smoking a cigar) who would pluck us out of obscurity and turn us into a STAH! Well, it didn’t happen for many, but Anne had talent and charisma, so it happened to her! An agent saw her in a high school play when she was 16 and got her an audition for As The World Turns. Anne flew to NYC for the audition and was offered a role. Anne’s mom wouldn’t let her get into the world of professional acting until she graduated high school so she had to turn down the part. But right before she graduated high school in 1987, she was offered the soap opera dream job to play twins. Anne took over the roles of good twin/bad twin Vicky Hudson and Marley Love on Another World from 1987 to 1991. It got her a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series.
After she left Another World, she was in episodes of Murphy Brown and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, as well as the TV movies Girls in Prison and If These Walls Could Talk. Anne was also in the movies The Adventures of Huck Finn, I’ll Do Anything, Milk Money, Wild Side, and The Juror before 1997 came. 1997 was a big year for Anne’s career because she was in Donnie Brasco, Volcano, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and Wag The Dog. Her first big starring role came a year later when she was cast as Harrison Ford’s daughter, I mean, love interest in Six Days, Seven Nights.
1997 was also a big year for Anne Heche personally. That’s when she met Ellen DeGeneres at Vanity Fair’s Oscar party. And a day after Ellen came out on the cover of Time, she was Anne’s date to the Volcano premiere. Anne later said that she was told by the higher-ups at Fox that if she went public with Ellen at the Volcano premiere, she may as well visit the unemployment office afterward because they’d fire her ass and she’d never get the Six Days, Seven Nights gig. Anne got the role in Six Days, Seven Night, obviously, but she says Fox dropped her contract. via People:
“I took Ellen, we were told that my contract for Fox would be [ended] and I would be fired. And that the movie that I had just met Harrison Ford on wouldn’t hire me,” she said during a 2018 appearance on the Irish Goodbye podcast. “And we went to the premiere — these are the stories that I know people don’t know — we went to the premiere, we 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.”
“Both she and I were fired that week,” added Heche, referencing her alleged blacklisting and DeGeneres’ firing from her short-lived Ellen sitcom.
Ellen and Anne broke up in 2000, and just hours after their announcement, Anne ended up on a stranger’s doorstep in Fresno County. She told them she was God and wanted to take everyone to Heaven on her spaceship. Anne, who said she was on Ecstasy at the time, was briefly treated at a hospital. Anne didn’t have much time to recover from that breakdown because she had to go to Toronto to film John Q.
For the rest of the 90s and into the early aughts, Anne starred as Marion Crane in Gus Van Sant’s shot-by-shot remake of Psycho, Return To Paradise, Birth, Prozac Nation, Auggie Rose, Ally McBeal, Nip/Tuck, Everwood, and Gracie’s Choice, which got her an Emmy nomination. In 2002, she made her Broadway debut in Proof, and a couple of years later, starred as Lily Garland in a revival of Twentieth Century.
More recently, Anne was in Cedar Rapids, Catfight, My Friend Dahmer, Men In Trees, Hung, Save Me, All Rise, Dig, and Dancing with the Stars. Before her death, Anne filmed episodes of The Weeknd’s upcoming HBOMax show The Idol, as well as the Lifetime movie Girl In Room 13, which will be released next month as planned.
Throughout the weekend, Anne’s friends, family, and co-workers paid tribute to her, including Ellen, Coley Laffoon, her ex-husband and father of her oldest son, and James Tupper, father of her youngest son.
This is a sad day. I'm sending Anne's children, family and friends all of my love.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 12, 2022
Lynne Mishele, the woman who was living in the home that was destroyed in the crash, sent love to Anne’s family:
May Anne Heche finally rest in peace.