Anne Heche Dead at 53 After Car Crash in Los Angeles

The actress suffered severe burns following the crash.

Anne Heche, the actress best known for her roles in the soap opera Another World and films such as Donnie Brasco, Psycho and Six Days, Seven Nights, has died at age 53, ET confirms.

While the actress' heart is still beating, she is brain dead, which is the definition of death according to California law, Heche's rep told ET. Heche has not been taken off life support because doctors are working to determine if her organs are viable, as the late actress was an organ donor, her rep said.

"Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend," Heche's rep told ET 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."

Heche's 20-year-old son, Homer, also reacted to the actress' death in a statement.

"My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom," he told ET of himself and his 13-year-old brother. "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."

"Over those six days, thousands of friends, family, and fans made their hearts known to me," he added. "I am grateful for their love, as I am for the support of my Dad, Coley, and my stepmom Alexi who continue to be my rock during this time. Rest In Peace Mom, I love you."

Heche died after she was hospitalized in Los Angeles following a horrific car crash. On Aug. 5, Heche was taken away from the crash scene on a stretcher by an ambulance with severe burns, according to TMZ, who was first to report the news at the time.

A public information officer for the Los Angeles Police Department told ET that, at 10:55 a.m., a vehicle collided into a residence located at the address of the accident. Per the LAPD, the vehicle became engulfed in flames and the driver was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment by an ambulance. 

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Fire Department said that the solo passenger vehicle in question struck and came to rest well within a 738-square foot two-story home, causing structural compromise and erupting in heavy fire prior to LAFD arrival. Per the LAFD, 59 firefighters took 65 minutes to access, confine and fully extinguish the stubborn flames within the heavily damaged structure, and rescue one female adult found within the vehicle, who has been taken to an area hospital by LAFD paramedics in critical condition. 

While her rep told ET the following day that Heche was in stable condition but suffered burns from the crash, her condition worsened by Aug 8. Her rep then revealed the she was in a coma and in "extreme critical condition."

“At this time Anne is in extreme critical condition, she has a significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention," the rep shared at the time. "She is in a coma and has not regained consciousness since shortly after the accident." 

On Aug. 11, Heche's family shared in a statement that she suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and  was not expected to survive.

"It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she's being kept on life support to determine if any are viable," the statement read in part. "Anne had a huge heart and touched everyone she met with her generous spirit. More than her extraordinary talent, she saw spreading kindness and joy as her life’s work -- especially moving the needle for acceptance of who you love. She will be remembered for her courageous honesty and dearly missed for her light."

A source tells ET, "Anne's friends and family are absolutely heartbroken by her passing. They are devastated beyond belief. It's even harder because they feel as though they have to be on the offense while grieving the loss given the negative press surrounding  the circumstances of the crash."

Heche earned a Daytime Emmy Award for her role on Another World. She portrayed Vicky Hudson and Marley Love. Those roles also earned her two Soap Opera Digest Awards.

Some of her other film credits include I Know What You Did Last Summer, Return to Paradise, Cedar Rapids, Rampart and Volcano. Heche also earned critical acclaim for her 2004 TV role in Gracie's Choice, which earned her a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie. She was also nominated for a Tony Award for her work on the Broadway play Twentieth Century.

Heche was no stranger to the ET family. She guest co-hosted Entertainment Tonight back in October 2020 following her elimination from season 29 of Dancing With the Stars. While guest co-hosting ET, Heche opened up about her experience on DWTS.

"[It was] one of the hardest things I think I've ever done, and I work hard," she said. "But, you know, you say yes to things in life -- or you can say no, but what's the fun in that?"

Heche was a mother to two children. She and actor James Tupper, whom she dated for more than a decade before they split in 2018, shared their 13-year-old son, Atlas. Heche shared her 20-year-old son, Homer, with cameraman Coleman Laffoon, whom she was married to for five years before their divorce was finalized in 2009.