Anne Heche has been declared legally brain-dead in Los Angeles at the age of 53 after suffering from brain damage following a car crash last week. The Emmy and Tony award-nominated actress appeared in everything from remakes of classic films like Psycho to soap operas to incredible cartoons.

Her family and friends said in a statement Friday, August 12 that Heche is unlikely to recover from the crash that left her comatose and severely burned. They paid tribute to her saying “she saw spreading kindness and joy as her life’s work – especially moving the needle of acceptance for those you love. She will be remembered for her courageous honesty and dearly missed for her light.”


Heche has been a working actor since the age of 18 when she was cast as twins in the soap opera Another World in 1987. She additionally raised her profile through the 90s with parts like an acclaimed appearance in a segment of the anthology films These Walls Could Talk and the indie feature Walking and Talking.


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The height of her career came in the late-90s with roles in Gus Van Sant’s Psycho, and other well-liked supporting roles in Donnie Brasco, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and the satire Wag The Dog. Around 1997, Heche’s relationship with Ellen DeGeneres was made public, and she claimed that the subsequent media scrutiny damaged her career and blooming prospects as a leading lady.

Anne Celeste Heche was born on May 25, 1969, in Aurora, Ohio. She has spoken at length about her difficult and abusive childhood in interviews and in her 2001 memoir Call Me Crazy. Her family was financially strapped and moved 11 times before settling in New Jersey, where she began working at the age of 12.

She was frequently sexually abused by her father, who passed away from HIV/AIDS when she was 13. Heche later reflected in interviews that she believed her father was a closeted gay man and that it “destroyed his happiness and my family. But it did teach me to tell the truth.”

She moved away from her mother at 18 when she was cast in Another World, and they later became estranged when she went public with her abuse claims.

The actress continued to star in some film roles through the 2000s, but worked much more in TV in the latter part of her career, starring in shows like Men In Trees and Hung and making appearances in recent shows including All Rise, Quantico and Chicago P.D. She also found work as a voice actor on cartoon shows like Adventure Time and The Legend Of Korra.

Heche is survived by her sister Abigail Heche, and her two sons Homer Heche Laffoon and Atlas Heche Tupper.

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