Anne Heche dies week after Los Angeles car crash


(NewsNation) —  Actor Anne Heche has died from her injuries days after a fiery car crash, per multiple media reports. She was 53.

“Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend,” Heche’s rep told People in a statement on behalf of her family and friends. “Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy. Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact.”

Heche is considered brain dead, which under California law qualifies as dead. Although life support machines are keeping her heart beating to preserve her organs for donation, the representative said the actor has no brain function.

Heche’s older son, Homer, 20, said in a statement to People that “six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings” have left him and his brother, Atlas, with a “deep, wordless sadness.”

“Hopefully, my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom,” he said.

Heche’s car crashed on Aug. 5 into a home located on the west side of Los Angeles. The vehicle erupted into flames and firefighters pulled Heche, who was alone, from the car.

According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, around 60 firefighters responded to the scene. The cause of the crash is still under investigation. Drugs, including cocaine, were found in her blood sample taken on the scene, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to NewsNation.

Following the accident, Heche was hospitalized for critical injuries and slipped into a coma. A spokeswoman said Heche suffered significant injuries related to her lungs that required mechanical ventilation and also had severe burns.

Images obtained by TMZ appear to show Heche’s car crashing into a garage and speeding down residential streets. Another image shows what appears to be a liquor bottle in the vehicle.

FILE – Actor Anne Heche poses at Variety’s 4th annual Power of Women event in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Oct. 5, 2012. A spokesperson for Heche says the actor is on life support after suffering a brain injury in a fiery crash a week ago and isn’t expected to survive. The statement released on behalf of her family said she is being kept on life support to determine if she is a viable organ donor. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

Minutes before the crash, salon owner Richard Glass told NewsNation that Heche bought a red wig from him. He described Heche as “coherent and polite” and said nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Heche was involved in the crash roughly 21 minutes later.

In her acting career, Heche played in movies with stars like Harrison Ford in “Six Days, Seven Nights” and Johnny Depp in “Donnie Brasco.”

The Ohio native first came on the Hollywood scene when she appeared in the NBC soap opera “Another World” from 1987 to 1991.

More recently, Heche acted on Broadway and in smaller films and TV shows like “Chicago P.D.” and “All Rise.” In 2020, she competed on “Dancing With the Stars.”

In her personal life, Heche was married to cameraman Coleman Laffoon from 2001 to 2009. They had a son together. She also has a son with actor James Tupper, her co-star in “Men In Trees.”

Heche openly spoke about experiencing an abusive childhood and struggling with her mental health.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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