Anne Heche, an actress known for her roles in films such as “Six Days, Seven Nights” and “Donnie Brasco” as well as her personal life, including a three-year romance with comedian Ellen DeGeneres, died on Sunday in Los Angeles. , nine days after she had a devastating car accident there. She was 53.
Her death was announced by a representative, Holly Baird, who said in an email late Sunday that Ms Heche “had been peacefully taken off the ventilator”.
Ms. Heche was seriously injured on Aug. 5 when a Mini Cooper she was driving crashed into a two-story home in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles, starting a fire that took firefighters more than an hour to extinguish. Ms. Heche, who was alone in the car, suffered burns and a severe anoxic brain injury, caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain.
A Los Angeles Police Department spokesman said the department is continuing to investigate whether drug use contributed to the accident.
A statement released Thursday evening by her publicist on behalf of her family said Ms. Heche had remained in a coma at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital in Los Angeles.
“It has long been her choice to donate her organs, and she is being held to determine if they are viable,” the statement said.
On Friday, a representative said that Ms Heche had been pronounced brain dead on Thursday evening.
Ms. Heche was a soap opera star before she became known to movie audiences. In the late 1980s, shortly after graduating from high school, she joined the cast of the daytime drama “Another World,” in which she played the good and bad twins Vicky Hudson and Marley Love. She won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1991 for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series.
By the mid-1990s, she was a rising star in Hollywood. She played Catherine Keener’s best friend in “Walking and Talking” (1996); Johnny Depp’s wife in “Donnie Brasco” (1997); a presidential aide in the political satire “Wag the Dog” (1997), with Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro; and a fashion magazine editor who, in “Six Days, Seven Nights” (1998), makes an emergency landing on a South Sea island in a plane piloted by Harrison Ford.
“Romantic comedies don’t get more formal than this bouncing Valentine, but they don’t get much more delightful either,” wrote Rita Kempley in her review of “Six Days, Seven Nights” in The Washington Post. “The same goes for Heche and Ford as bickering opposites that come together during this tropical adventure.”
Ms. Heche started a relationship with Ms. DeGeneres in 1997, at a time when same-sex relationships were not fully accepted in Hollywood. The relationship became widely known in April of that year when they appeared holding hands at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington. A few days later, Ms. DeGeneres’ character on her sitcom, “Ellen,” came out as gay.
Ms. Heche’s decision to reveal she was in a lesbian relationship, The New York Times wrote, “faced Hollywood with a very delicate issue: how to deal with a gay actress whose career has been built on playing heterosexual roles. “
After that relationship ended, Ms. Heche married and later divorced a man, Coleman Laffoon, with whom she had a son, Homer. She also had a son, Atlas Heche Tupper, from her relationship with the actor James Tupper.
Full information about her survivors was not immediately available.
Ms. Heche told The New York Post in 2021 that she was “blacklisted” in Hollywood because of her relationship with Ms. DeGeneres.
“I haven’t taken a studio photo for ten years,” she said. “I was fired on a $10 million photo deal and didn’t see the light of day in a studio photo.”
After starring in “Six Days, Seven Nights” and in Gus Van Sant’s 1998 remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” as Marion Crane, the role originally played by Janet Leigh, starring roles in films largely gave way to guest appearances on television shows. such as “Ally McBeal” and “Nip/Tuck.”
She also starred in the short-lived sitcom “Men in Trees,” had recurring roles on “Everwood” and “Chicago PD,” and landed a starring role in the HBO series “Hung,” which starred Thomas Jane as a male prostitute.
She appeared on Broadway in the play ‘Proof’ from 2002 until it closed in 2003, then in the 2004 revival of ‘Twentieth Century’, the 1932 comedy about a Broadway producer (Alec Baldwin) who travels as a passenger on the Twentieth Century Limited train, meet a former explorer, Lily Garland (Mrs Heche), turned Hollywood star. The role earned Ms Heche a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play.
In his review in The Times, Ben Brantley wrote: “Her attitude that fuses between tortuous seduction and the aggressiveness of a street fighter, her voice that shifts between supper club velvet and double-shop vinyl, Mrs. Heche conjures up an entire gallery of studio-made sirens from the Depression era: Jean Harlow, the pre-mummified Joan Crawford and, yes, Carole Lombard, who famously played Lily in Howard Hawks’ screen version of ‘Twentieth Century’.”
In 2004, Mrs. Heche was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for her role in “Gracie’s Choice,” a TV movie about a teen who had to raise her half-siblings after their drug-addicted mother is sent to prison.
She was most recently seen in the films “The Vanished” (2020), a psychological thriller, and “13 Minutes” (2021), which focuses on a tornado, and in several episodes of the courtroom drama “All Rise”.
Anne Celeste Heche was born on May 25, 1969 in Aurora, Ohio, to Nancy and Donald Heche. Her father was an evangelical Christian and it turned out to be a gay man in the closet. Her first acting role was in a New Jersey theater production of “The Music Man,” for which she paid $100 a week.
In 1983, after her father died of AIDS, her mother became a Christian therapist and gave a talk on “overcoming” homosexuality on behalf of James Dobson’s organization Focus on the Family.
Ms. Heche wrote in her 2001 memoir, “Call Me Crazy,” about sexual abuse by her father and her mother’s denial of that abuse. She said that when she called her mother after years of therapy to confront her, her mother ended the call by saying, “Jesus loves you, Anne,” before hanging up on her.
“People wonder why I am so candid with the truths that have happened in my life,” Ms Heche said in an interview with The Times in 2009. Raised in, for better or worse, gave birth to a child of truth and love.”
In 2018, she said she was fired from Miramax for refusing to perform oral sex on Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie mogul who founded the company with his brother, Bob, and who had been accused of sexual assault by dozens of women. . He was convicted of two sex offenses in 2020 and is serving a 23-year prison term.
“If I hadn’t been sexually abused as a child, I don’t know if I would have had the strength to stand up to Harvey – and many others for that matter,” she told the podcast “allegedly… Featuring Theo Von & Matthew Cole Weiss.” “It wasn’t just Harvey, and I’ll say that.”
Vimal Patel reporting contributed.