Actress Anne Heche, whose charismatic persona made her one of Hollywood’s biggest stars of the 1990s, died Sunday, a little more than a week after she crashed her car into a home in Los Angeles.
She was 53.
Her representative said in an email she was “peacefully taken off life support.”
“Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy,” Heche’s family said in a statement on Friday while Heche was still on life support to allow her organs to be harvested. “Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact.”
Anne Heche’s Career
The Ohio native rose to fame on the NBC soap opera “Another World” just after high school. She played the dual role of twins Vicky Hudson and Marley Love from 1987 to 1991. The role earned her a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama series in 1991.
In the late 1990s, Heche’s career soared on the big screen.
She received accolades for her supporting role as the wife of an undercover FBI agent in 1997’s “Donnie Brasco,” which starred Johnny Depp and Al Pacino.
Heche had supporting roles in other high-profile projects that year, including the summer blockbuster “Volcano” starring Tommy Lee Jones. While the explosive disaster film wasn’t a critical hit, it performed well at the box office.
Heche also had a smaller role in another box office winner, “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”
She capped off the year by starring opposite Robert DeNiro and Dustin Hoffman in “Wag the Dog.”
Heche’s career was moving full-steam ahead.
She booked her first starring role opposite Harrison Ford in the 1998 romantic adventure comedy “Six Days, Seven Nights.” That same year, she starred in “Return to Paradise” with Vince Vaughn and Joaquin Phoenix.
Towards the end of that year, she starred in Gus Van Sant’s “Psycho” remake. Heche’s performance earned praise, but the movie itself earned negative reviews and was a box office bomb.
Heche’s relationship with comedian Ellen DeGeneres heightened her fame, but it also came with immense public scrutiny, and backlash.
“I didn’t do a studio picture for 10 years,” she told Page Six in 2021. “I was fired from a $10 million picture deal and did not see the light of day in a studio picture.”
Heche called herself “patient zero” as she claimed she was the first big name to ever get canceled before the term “cancel culture” entered into the pop culture lexicon.
Once she split from 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, “Call Me Crazy,” Heche talked about her lifelong struggles with mental health and a childhood of abuse.
Over the past two decades, Heche’s career pivoted several times.
In 2017, she hosted a weekly radio show on SiriusXM with Jason Ellis called “Love and Heche.”
In 2020, Heche made her way into the podcast world. She launched “Better Together” which she cohosted alongside Heather Duffy Boylston. The show was described as a way to celebrate friendship.
She also worked in smaller films, on Broadway, and on TV shows. She recently had recurring roles on the network series “Chicago P.D.,” “All Rise,” and was a contestant on Season 29 “Dancing With the Stars.”
Heche was married to camera operator Coleman Laffoon from 2001 to 2009. The two had a son, Homer, together. She had another son, named Atlas, during a relationship with actor James Tupper, her co-star on the TV series “Men In Trees.”
Heche succumbed to injuries suffered in a crash on Aug. 5 when witnesses saw Heche’s car speeding through city streets before slamming into a two-story house in L.A.’s Mar Vista neighborhood. Police believe she was intoxicated at the time.
Los Angeles Police said there would be no further investigative efforts in the case.