Actress Anne Heche has died at the age of 53

American actress Anne Heche died this Friday at the age of 53 from a severe brain injury caused by a traffic accident last week.

TMZ noted that Heche is considered dead under California law but is still connected to life support to preserve organs for donation. The regulations state that “an individual who has suffered the irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or the irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brainstem, is dead.”

In a statement, the family said: “We have lost a bright light, a kind and very cheerful soul, a loving mother and a loyal friend. She will be sorely missed, but she lives on through her beautiful children, her iconic work, and her passionate advocacy. Her courage to always keep the truth about her, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact.”

Heche had been hospitalized since last August 5, when her blue Mini Cooper crashed into a house in the Mar Vista area (Los Angeles, USA) and the vehicle engulfed in flames.

Heche’s inner circle hoped she would recover soon after one of her publicists reported that she was “stable” after the accident. Firefighters claimed the actress had spoken to them as they pulled her out of the rubble and took her to the hospital. However, shortly afterward, Ella Heche lost consciousness, and on August 8, the representatives released a statement saying that she was in “extremely critical condition” and that she had fallen into a coma.

This Friday, before confirming her death, Heche’s family said in a statement that she was not expected to survive and that she was being kept on a ventilator to determine if her organs could be donated.

“Heaven has a new angel. My loving, kind, funny, endearing, and beautiful friend has gone to heaven. I will miss her terribly and cherish all the beautiful memories we have shared,” philanthropist Nancy Davis, a close friend of Anne Heche, announced in a social media post.

“This is a sad day. I send all my love to Anne’s children, family, and friends,” wrote Ellen DeGeneres. Anne and Ellen dated for three years from 1997 to 2000 and were one of the first openly gay couples in the mainstream.

The accident that killed Anne Heche

Up to 59 firefighters worked to remove Anne from the rubble after her car hit a home at high speed and burst into flames. She was taken to a nearby hospital in an operation that lasted 65 minutes and was questioned for taking another hour to reach the scene of the incident.

The conditions in which Heche got behind the wheel of her vehicle have also been the subject of intense controversy after she was recorded driving recklessly and erratically before colliding. As revealed by FoxNews, a Los Angeles police officer (LAPD) said that in the tests they carried out, evidence of drug use emerged in the hours prior to the tragedy. Heche was involved in another minor traffic incident a few meters from where the accident occurred.

The actress, who was a partner of actress Ellen DeGeneres and actor James Tupper, rose to fame in the late 1980s with her portrayal of Vicky Hudson and Marley Love on the soap opera “Another World,” for which she won an Emmy.

She then established herself in Hollywood with several films such as Psycho (1998), Donnie Brasco (1997), I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), and Six Days, Seven Nights (1998) and was nominated for a Tony for the work Broadway’s “Twentieth Century.”

In a 2001 memoir, she discussed her lifelong struggles with mental health. She disclosed she had been raped by her father who later died from AIDS.

She recently had recurring roles in the television series “Chicago PD” and “All Rise”, and in 2020 she participated in “Dancing With the Stars”.

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