Actress Anne Heche (53) died, ex-girlfriend Ellen DeGeneres speaks of ‘sad day’

Several media outlets, including the British newspaper The Guardian, reported on Friday that Heche had been taken off life support, but later recanted. Heche’s relatives tell news agency AFP that the actress has been declared brain dead and therefore has died according to U.S. law. Her heart is still beating because Heche is still on a respirator, awaiting possible organ donation.

The actress drove her car into a Los Angeles home last Friday. Heche was taken to the hospital in critical condition after the collision. Last weekend a spokesperson said that the actress was stable, but on Monday it was announced that she was still doing very poorly and was in a coma. The police informed that traces of narcotics were found in her blood.

A few days later, a representative of Heche reported that the actress would probably not survive. “It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept alive to determine if they are viable,” the spokesman said.

Career

The actress became known in the 1980s for her role on the soap opera Another World. She could be seen in it until 1992. She later starred in such films as Donnie Brasco (1997) with Johnny Depp and Al Pacino, Wag the dog (1997) with Robert de Niro and Dustin Hoffmann and Six days seven nights (1998) with Harrison Ford and David Schwimmer. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role in the 2004 TV movie Gracie’s choice.

In the late 1990s, Heche attracted a lot of media attention because of her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres. The two broke up in 2000 after three years. A year later Heche married cameraman Coleman Laffoon, with whom she had a son. In 2007 she filed for divorce, which was final two years later. The actress then got into a relationship with actor James Tupper, with whom she also had a son. The two broke up in 2018.

‘Sad day’

Ellen DeGeneres responded to Heche’s passing via social media. ‘This is a sad day. I send all my love to Anne’s children, family and friends,’ she wrote in a short message.

The family is also extremely saddened by the death of the 53-year-old actress. “We have lost a sparkling light, a kind and joyful soul, a loving mother and a loyal friend. Anne will be greatly missed, but she lives on in her beautiful sons and her iconic body of work. Her courage to always stand up for the truth and her message of love and acceptance that she spread will have a lasting impact.”

Heche’s heart is still kept going so that her organs remain available for donation. The machines that still keep Heche’s heart beating will continue to do so until a donor match is found, according to People.