Anne Heche dies from injuries sustained in Los Angeles crash
Actor Anne Heche died Sunday after being removed from life support, just over week after she crashed her car into a home in Los Angeles and it caught fire with her inside.
"We have lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend. Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy," her family said in a statement prepared ahead of her death. "Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact."
Heche, 53, suffered a "severe anoxic brain injury" during the crash, according to a statement from her family. Such an injury is caused by a sustained lack of oxygen to the brain.
Surveillance video posted on social media showed the car speeding down the residential street just prior to the crash, which sent Heche's blue Mini Cooper completely into the home.
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Last week, police said they were investigating Heche for driving under the influence. Detectives with a search warrant took a sample of her blood and found narcotics in her system, LAPD spokesperson Officer Jeff Lee said.
Heche was declared brain dead on Friday, but doctors kept her on life support in hopes of fulfilling her wishes to find recipients for her organs. She passed away two days later.
"Anne has been peacefully removed off life support," a spokesperson said in a statement to FOX 11 on Sunday.
Anne Heche's career
A native of Ohio, Heche first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera "Another World" from 1987 to 1991, for which she won a Daytime Emmy Award.
Her film career took off in the late 1990s, with Heche playing opposite stars including Johnny Depp in "Donnie Brasco" and Harrison Ford in "Six Days, Seven Nights."
Heche has also appeared on several television shows including "Ally McBeal," "Chicago P.D." and a recurring role on the series "All Rise." In June, she signed on to star in Lifetime's "Girl in Room 13," which is set to premiere this fall. She was a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars" in 2020.
Anne Heche attends the 24th CDGA (Costume Designers Guild Awards) on March 09, 2022 at The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage)
She had a high-profile romance with comedian-actress and former talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres from March 1997 until they broke up in August 2000. She has a 20-year-old son, Homer Heche Laffoon, with ex-husband Coleman 'Coley' Laffoon, FOX 11 reports.
Heche also has another son from a relationship with actor James Tupper, her co-star on the TV series "Men in Trees," which aired on ABC for two seasons from 2006 to 2008, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
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In interviews and in her memoir "Call Me Crazy," Heche alleged she was sexually abused by her father. In an interview with ABC News, she revealed the abuse began when she was a toddler.
"I think it's always hard for children to talk about abuse because it is only memory. I didn't carry around a tape recorder … I didn't chisel anything in stone … Anybody can look and say, 'Well how do you know for sure?' And that's one of the most painful things about it. You don't," she said in a 2000 interview.
The Associated Press and FOX 11 Los Angeles contributed to this report.