Tony-nominated actor Anne Heche, who sustained a brain injury in a car crash August 5, was removed from life support August 14. She was 53 years old.
The family released a statement August 12 saying that the actor had been declared legally dead, but was being kept on life support in order to donate viable organs.
"We have lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend," read the 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."
She is survived by two sons, Atlas Heche Tupper and Homer Laffoon. The latter told the Los Angeles Times, “My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom. After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep, wordless sadness. Hopefully my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom."
Ms. Heche's professional performance career began at the age of 18 playing twins on the daytime drama Another World. She was in the dual roles for four years, 1987–1991, and earned a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series in her final season. Her television and film career continued throughout the 1990s with credits including Donnie Brasco, Volcano, Wag the Dog, before landing starring roles in Six Days, Seven Nights in 1997 and the remake of Psycho in 1998.
In 2001, she published Call Me Crazy, a candid memoir about her childhood trauma and struggles with mental health.
She made her Broadway debut in 2002 in the Tony-winning Proof, succeeding Jennifer Jason Leigh in the part created by Mary-Louise Parker. Heche returned to the Main Stem in 2004 for the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Twentieth Century, starring opposite Alec Baldwin. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her turn as the temperamental Hollywood starlet Lily Garland in the Ken Ludwig play.
Following her two stints on Broadway, Ms. Heche's film and television career continued to flourish for the next two decades with lead roles in the series Men in Trees, Hung, and Aftermath, as well as several recurring and guest roles. Additional film credits include John Q., Birth, Catfight, and the musical comedy Opening Night.