Anne Heche, star with a troubled life, dies following an accident

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anne Heche, the Emmy-winning film and television actress whose spectacular rise in Hollywood in the 1990s and accomplished career contrasted with personal chapters of turmoil, has died from complications from a fiery car crash. She was 53 years old.

Heche was “peacefully removed from life support,” spokeswoman Holly Baird said in a statement late Sunday.

Heche had been on life support at a Los Angeles burn care center after suffering a “severe anoxic brain injury”, caused by a lack of oxygen, when his car crashed into a house on August 5, according to a statement released Thursday by a representative on behalf of his family and friends.

She was declared brain dead on Friday, but was kept on life support in case her organs could be donated, an evaluation that lasted nine days. In the United States, most organ transplants are performed after such a determination.

Originally from Ohio whose family moved across the country, Heche endured an abusive and tragic childhood, which drove her to act as a way to escape her own life. She showed enough early promise to be offered a professional job in high school and first rose to prominence on the NBC soap opera “Another World” from 1987 to 1991, winning a Daytime Emmy Award for the role of the Marley twins. and Vicky Hudson, who on the show suffered injuries that anticipated those of Heche: Vicky fell into a coma for months after a car accident.

In the late 1990s, Heche was one of Hollywood’s hottest actors, a constant on magazine covers and in big-budget movies. In 1997 alone, she starred alongside Johnny Depp as the wife in “Donnie Brasco” and Tommy Lee Jones in “Volcano” and was part of the entire cast of the original “I Know What. You Did Last Summer”.

The following year she starred with Ford in “Six Days, Seven Nights” and appeared with Vince Vaughn and Joaquin Phoenix in “Return to Paradise.” She also played one of cinema’s most famous murder victims, Marion Crane of “Psycho,” in Gus Van Sant’s remake of the Alfred Hitchcock classic, and co-starred in the indie favorite “Walking and talking”.

Around the same time, his personal life led to even greater fame and personal and professional upheaval. She met Ellen DeGeneres at 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 had been damaged by an industry that was reluctant to cast her in starring roles. She would recall advisers who opposed her decision to have DeGeneres accompany her to the premiere of “Volcano.”

“We were tapped on the shoulder, put in his limo in the third act, and told we couldn’t take pictures of ourselves at the press conference,” Heche said in 2018 on the Irish Goodbye Podcast.

After she and DeGeneres separated, Heche had a public breakdown and was candid about her mental health issues.

Heche’s delicately elven gaze belied his strength on screen. When she won the National Board of Review’s Best Supporting Actress award in 1997, the board cited the stunt double “Donnie Brasco” and the political satire “Wag the Dog,” in which Heche portrayed a cynical White House aide and fought back. against the great filmmaker Robert De Niro.

Heche also effectively appealed to his apparent fragility. In 2002, she starred on Broadway in the play “Proof” as a woman fearful of losing her mind, just like her father, a brilliant math teacher. A review from The Associated Press praised her “touching, vulnerable yet funny performance, particularly when Catherine mocks suspicions about her mental stability”.

In the fall of 2000, shortly after her split from DeGeneres, Heche was hospitalized after knocking on a stranger’s door in a rural area near Fresno, California. Authorities said she appeared shaken and disoriented and spoke incoherently to residents.

In a memoir published the following year, “Call Me Crazy”, Heche opened up about his lifelong battles. During a 2001 interview with television journalist Barbara Walters, Heche recounted in painful detail the alleged sexual abuse of her father, Donald Heche, who professed to be deeply religious and died in 1983 of complications from AIDS. Heche described her suffering as so extreme that she developed a distinct personality and imagined herself as a descendant from another planet.

In the last days of his life, Heche said, she learned that he was secretly gay and that she believed his inability to live honestly fueled his anger and hurtful behavior. His father is no longer dead, his brother Nathan – one of his four siblings – was killed in a car accident.

“I’m not crazy. But it’s a crazy life. I was raised in a crazy family and it took 31 years for me to be crazy,” Heche told Walters. In an effort to escape the past, “I drank. I used to smoke. I took drugs. I slept with people. I did everything I could to get rid of the shame in my life.

Heche dated Steve Martin in the 1990s and is widely believed to have inspired the budding but ambitious actor played by Heather Graham in his Hollywood parody “Bowfinger.” She then had a son with cameraman 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 in the television series ” Men In Trees”.

Heche has worked steadily in smaller films, on Broadway, and in television shows over the past two decades. She recently had recurring roles on the network series “Chicago PD” and “All Rise,” and in 2020 she took part in “Dancing With the Stars.”

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