(CNN) — Anne Heche, a fascinating actress whose versatility fueled an admirable career in television and film that spanned four decades, has died at the age of 53.
“Anne Heche was peacefully taken off life support,” a representative for the actress’s family told CNN on Sunday night, later confirming her death.
Heche’s car crashed into a Los Angeles home and burst into flames on August 5. After the accident, Heche experienced “severe anoxic brain injury,” which deprived the brain of oxygen, among other critical injuries following the accident, his family and friends said in a statement to CNN.
An award-winning actress, Heche appeared in such films as the 1998 remake of “Psycho” and the romantic comedy “Six Days Seven Nights” opposite Harrison Ford. She also directed a segment of a 2000 HBO movie, “If These Walls Could Talk 2”, and in her 2001 memoir she revealed her ongoing struggle with mental illness after being abused by her father. .
In 1987, Heche made her television debut on the soap opera “Another World,” for which she won a Daytime Emmy. After leaving the show, he began his film career, appearing in such acclaimed films as “Donnie Brasco” and “Wag the Dog.”
When Heche and Ellen DeGeneres started dating in 1997, around the same time DeGeneres came out as gay in real life and on her comedy show, they quickly became one of the most famous same-sex couples in the world. They broke up in 2000.
Last year, Heche told Page Six that her relationship with DeGeneres resulted in her losing roles, referring to herself as “cancel culture patient zero.”
Still, he said, it was considered “part of the change” that helped normalize same-sex relationships in the mainstream culture.
“I’m a part of it,” she told Page Six. “It’s a medal of honor.”
In her 2001 biography, “Call Me Crazy,” she said she was sexually abused by her father as a child, and that she experienced mental illness for much of the first 30 years of her life. She told CNN’s Larry King in an interview that year that her personality fragmented between her and a personality she made up as a child to accommodate her abuse.
“I had to live a long time to get to where I am now,” he told King. “I had to see the truth and get over the shame, and I’m so grateful for every step I took. I don’t think I could have handled it before.”
In 2004, Heche appeared on Broadway in “Twentieth Century,” for which she was nominated for a Tony. In more recent years, Heche has returned to television, appearing on such series as “The Brave,” “Quantico” and “Chicago PD.” In 2020, she competed on the 29th season of “Dancing with the Stars.”
Heche’s peers in Hollywood responded to the news of her accident with support. Her former partner and “Men in Trees” co-star James Tupper, with whom she had one of her two children, wrote on Instagram: “Thoughts and prayers to this beautiful woman, actress and mother tonight, Anne Heche. We love you.”