Anne Heche, who proved to be one of the most idiosyncratic Hollywood stars of her time, as adept at screwball comedy as she was in dramatic roles in movies like Six Days Seven Nights and Wag the Dog, died on Friday. She was 53.
"Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend," a representative for Heche said in a statement. "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."
The actress sustained a critical brain injury after crashing her car into a residence in Mar Vista, California, on Aug. 5 and subsequently slipping into a coma. On Friday, Aug. 12, she was considered legally dead, but remained on life support so it could be determined whether any of Heche's organs were viable for donation. On Sunday, her rep confirmed, "Anne Heche has been peacefully taken off life support."
Born on May 25, 1969, in Aurora, Ohio, Heche overcame a traumatic childhood that she would later document in her 2001 memoir, Call Me Crazy. After being discovered in a school play, the actress booked the dual role of twins Vicky Hudson and Marley Love on the soap opera Another World, for which she won a Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series in 1991.
The '90s also saw Heche book her first film role in Disney's The Adventures of Huck Finn. She is perhaps best remembered for her movie roles in the decade that followed, including Nicole Holofcener's Walking and Talking (1996) and Ivan Reitman's Six Days Seven Nights (1998).
In 1997 alone, Heche starred with Johnny Depp in the crime drama Donnie Brasco, with Tommy Lee Jones in the disaster movie Volcano, and with Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman in Barry Levinson's political satire, Wag the Dog. She also popped up in the now-classic slasher, I Know What You Did Last Summer.
The next year, the actress starred in director Gus Van Sant's remake of Psycho, in which she played Marion Crane, the same role that Janet Leigh played in the original.
On the small screen, Heche earned a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for 2004's Gracie's Choice, amongst work on series such as Ally McBeal, Everwood, Men in Trees, and Hung. She is also a Tony Award nominee for Best Actress for her stage work in 2004's Twentieth Century.
Following news of her passing, De Niro said in a statement, "I’m very sad to hear of the tragic passing of Anne Heche. She was a wonderful actress and I enjoyed working with her tremendously in Wag the Dog. Sad!Sad!Sad!"
Heche is survived by her sons Atlas Tupper, 13, and Homer Laffoon, 20. "My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom," said Homer in the statement. "Hopefully my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom."