UPDATE: On Thursday, August 11, 2022, came the news that Daytime Emmy-winning actress Anne Heche was pronounced brain dead after sustaining serious injuries in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles. The next day she was removed from life support and passed away. The former Another World star suffered severe burns over her body that left fans praying for her recovery. She was 53 years old.
Deadline reported the news. After determining that she was brain dead following the accident on August 5, the article said that the decision was made to remove Heche from life support once it was determined if Heche’s organs were viable for donation. Later on Friday, ExtraTV reported that she had passed away.
Heche was born on May 25, 1969, in Aurora, Ohio, to Nancy and Donald Heche. She was the youngest of five siblings. The family moved often and struggled financially. The budding actress found work at a dinner theater to help contribute to the family’s income.
She was only 13 when her father passed away from HIV/AIDS. The family packed up and moved to Chicago, where Heche was spotted at 16 by a talent agent while performing in a school play. The agent secured an audition for the teenager on the daytime serial As the World Turns. She was offered the role, but her mother insisted that she finish high school.
In 1987, Another World offered Heche the dual role of Marley and Vicky, and this time, against her mother’s wishes, the actress took on the challenge that garnered her a golden Daytime Emmy statuette for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series in 1991.
The talented young star quickly began adding film roles such as O Pioneers!, An Ambush of Ghosts, The Adventures of Huck Finn, I’ll Do Anything, Against the Wall, Girls in Prison, Milk Money, A Simple Twist of Fate, Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long, Wild Side, Pie in the Sky, and The Juror to her long list of credits.
By the late 1990s, Heche gained mainstream prominence with such films as If These Walls Could Talk, Donnie Brasco, Volcano, Wag the Dog, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Psycho, and Six Days Seven Nights. Everyone was taking notice and in 1998, she was voted as one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People.
Anne Heche continued to add notable primetime roles on such shows as Ellen, Ally McBeal, Everwood, Nip/Tuck, Higglytown Heroes, Hung, Blackout, Save Me, The Michael J. Fox Show, Dig, Aftermath, The Brave, Quantico, Chicago P.D., and All Rise.
Despite her on-screen successes, Heche’s personal life was a rollercoaster ride. In 1997, she embarked on a highly publicized relationship with Ellen DeGeneres that lasted until 2000, when Heche suffered a very public mental health crisis.
The troubled actress married cameraman Coleman “Coley” Laffoon the following year, whom she met on DeGeneres’s comedy tour. As her new relationship was blooming, Heche addressed her personal demons in an autobiography titled Call Me Crazy, released in 2001. The couple were married for five and a half years and had one son named Homer.
In 2006, Heche’s sister Susan Bergman passed away after battling brain cancer but not before penning a book about the family’s struggles called Anonymity: The Secret Life of an American Family. Another sister, Abigail, overcame a life as a prostitute and became a jewelry designer in New York. Their mother, Nancy, is a born-again Christian and has spoken out against homosexuality.
Anne Heche met her next partner, James Tupper, on the set of the TV series Men in Trees, and they had a son named Atlas in 2009. The couple officially separated in 2018. She soon found love with actor Thomas Jane (The Punisher), and they lived together until 2021.
Heche suffered through many personal crises throughout her life. Her unstable childhood, sexual abuse, her father’s death, the death of three of her siblings, her own struggles with mental health, and rocky relationships strewn throughout but still managed to build a career to be proud of, and win over fans with speaking her truth along the way.
At the time of her accident, the actress still had many projects in the queue that are in post-production, such as the films What Remains, Wildfire: The Legend of the Cherokee Ghost Horse, Full Ride, Supercell, and Chasing Nightmares, as well as the TV series The Idol, and one film in pre-production called Wake.
Perhaps Anne Heche said it best when speaking about her life while promoting Call Me Crazy. “I wrote this book to say goodbye, once and for all to my story of shame and embrace my life choice of love. The fact that there are people hearing my story is the icing on the most beautiful cake in the world, that I imagine saying, ‘Happy freedom Anne. You have made it to the other side.'”
Soap Hub sends its deepest condolences to Anne Heche’s family, which includes her mother Nancy, sister Abigail, her two sons Homer and Atlas, and her nephews and nieces as well as her friends, co-stars, and fans during this difficult time.
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