Anne Heche Dies at 53 Following Car Wreck

The 53-year-old Emmy-winning actor suffered a "severe brain injury" after crashing her car into a house.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Anne Heche smiling.

Anne Heche pictured on the red carpet in March 2022.

Momodu Mansaray/WireImage

Award-winning actor Anne Heche has died at the age of 53 following a horrific car wreck a week ago.

"Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend," a representative for Heche told People on Friday. "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 had been in hospitalized since the Aug. 5 crash. She suffered a severe brain injury and had been in a coma and on life support, a representative for Heche's family told Deadline on Thursday.

The actor was reportedly driving erratically and was involved in another minor collision before crashing her car into a house in Los Angeles. The house and vehicle were engulfed in flames. It took 59 firefighters over an hour to rescue Heche and bring the fire under control. The house owner was safely evacuated.

Police told Deadline that initial bloodwork showed Heche had narcotics in her system. 

Born in Ohio in 1969, Heche won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1991 for playing twins in soap opera Another World. On the big screen she starred in Donnie Brasco, Volcano, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Six Days Seven Nights, and Gus Van Sant's horror remake film Psycho. She also starred in various indie films and more recently returned to television in shows including Hung, Save Me and Dancing With the Stars. She earned an Emmy nomination in 2004 for Lifetime movie Gracie's Choice. In the same year, she received a Tony nomination for her performance in Broadway show Twentieth Century.

Heche had recently finished working on another Lifetime movie, Girl in Room 13, which tackles the world of human trafficking.

Heche was in a relationship with Ellen DeGeneres in the late 1990s, which she said negatively affected her career. She later married cameraman Coleman Laffoon. They had a son in 2002. In 2009 she had a son with actor James Tupper, her co-star in the TV show Men in Trees. Their relationship ended in 2018.