Soap Opera Star Anne Heche Is Dead at 53 a Week After Fiery Car Crash

Photo credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images
Photo credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images
  • Actress Anne Heche is reportedly dead at 53.

  • The actress was in a coma and in “critical condition” after being involved in a fiery car crash in Los Angeles last Friday.

  • “Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend,” Heche’s rep said in a statement.

Soap opera star Anne Heche is reportedly dead at 53, per a People report.

“Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend,” a rep for the star told People 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 family’s rep told People that the star is legally dead per California law, but that her heart is still beating and she is still on life support in order to allow OneLegacy Foundation time to find matching recipients for organ donation.

Last Friday, Heche was in a blue Mini Cooper that crashed into a Mar Vista neighborhood residence, resulting in a substantial fire. According to Heche’s rep, she sustained “significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention.” She was reportedly intubated shortly after hospitalization and was in “critical condition” for some time.

According to local news footage, immediately following the accident, she was conscious and communicating with officers while being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher. A release from the Los Angeles Fire Department reported that it took 59 firefighters around 65 minutes to put out the flames and retrieve Heche from the vehicle.

“We really had a multifaceted incident here,” LAFD Captain Erik Scott told local news station KTLA. “We had a significant traffic collision, we had entrapment of a woman inside that, we had [a] car that erupted into fire, and then we had a home that had significant fire that is red-tagged. It’s at this point destroyed.”

Los Angeles officials are reportedly still investigating the incident. “Her family and friends ask for your thoughts and prayers and to respect her privacy during this difficult time,” Heche’s rep told People.

Since news of the accident broke, Heche’s family and friends have extended their love and support online. “Thoughts and prayers for this lovely woman, actress and mother tonight,” James Tupper, her ex-partner and father of their 13-year-old son wrote on Instagram. “We love you.”

Hours before her crash, Heche purchased a wig from a Venice Beach salon, owner Richard Glass told The Los Angeles Times. They even took an Instagram selfie. Glass said the actress wasn’t “speaking in cursive,” in other words, she didn’t appear altered or intoxicated in any way.

Some of Heche’s recent projects include the horror thriller Full Ride, and recurring roles in HBO’s The Idol, and OWN’s All Rise.

Our thoughts are with Heche’s friends and family at this time.

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