(CNN) — Anne Heche, a fascinating actress whose versatility fueled an admirable career in television and film spanning four decades, has died aged 53.
“Anne Heche was peacefully removed from life support,” a representative of the actress’ family told CNN Sunday night, which later confirmed her death.
Heche’s car crashed into a Los Angeles home and burst into flames on August 5. Heche suffered “severe anoxic brain injury” that deprived her brain of oxygen, among other critical injuries after the crash, her family and friends told CNN in a statement.
An award-winning actress, Heche has appeared in films such 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, 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 award-winning 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 led to her losing roles, referring to herself as “cancel culture patient zero.”
Still, he said, it is considered “part of the change” that has helped normalize same-sex relationships in mainstream culture.
“I’m part of it,” she told Page Six. “It’s a medal of honor.”
In her 2001 biography, “Call Me Crazy,” she said that 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. In an interview that year, she told CNN’s Larry King that her personality fragmented between herself and a persona she made up as a child to accommodate the abuse.
“I had to live a long time to get 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 in series such as “The Brave,” “Quantico” and “Chicago PD.” In 2020, she participated in 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 wife, actress and mother tonight, Anne Heche. We loves you. “