Anne Heche has died, aged 53, after suffering serious injuries when a car she was in crashed into a house in Los Angeles and was engulfed in flames.
The actress, who appeared in Six Days And Seven Nights and Donnie Brasco, has been declared brain dead , which in California is the legal definition of death,.
Her representatives added to the site that while Heche has been declared dead, her heart has been kept beating so that her organs can be donated.
They said in a statement: ‘We have lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend.
‘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 had been in a coma after suffering burns and damage to her lungs from smoke inhalation, and never regained consciousness.
The news was confirmed to by her family, as well as by friend Nancy Davis, who shared photos with Heche as she paid tribute.
David wrote: ‘Heaven has a new Angel . My loving , kind , fun , endearing and beautiful friend went to heaven.
‘I will miss her terribly and cherish all the beautiful memories we have shared . Anne was always the kindest, most thoughtful person who always brought out the best in me.
‘She was so supportive with anything she could do to help and would always say yes when she knew she could contribute something with her time, talent and creative genius to help find a cure for MS . My heart is broken.’
Heche was involved in a car accident last week after crashing into a home in Mar Vista, Los Angeles.
She was rushed to hospital after a car was seen speeding through the residential streets and smashed into a two-storey home lived in by Lynne Mishele, with the car bursting into flames shortly after.
Her family had earlier released a statement revealing that the actress was not expected to survive her injuries and was going to be taken off life support.
A representative said in a statement: ‘We want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers for Anne’s recovery and thank the dedicated staff and wonderful nurses that cared for Anne at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills hospital.
‘Unfortunately, due to her accident, Anne Heche suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and remains in a coma, in critical condition. She is not expected to survive.’
Her reps confirmed that she had been intubated, which involve a tube being fitted through a patient’s nose or mouth to help them breathe, and that she suffered burns.
Reports also claimed that the late star was stable following the incident, .
‘Shortly after the accident, Anne became unconscious, slipping into a coma and is in critical condition,’ they said at the time.
‘She has a significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention.’
Ohio native Heche kicked off her entertainment career as a teenager, when a talent agent was taken by her stint in a school play – and shortly after graduating, she moved to New York and began her stint on soap opera Another World, in 1987.
She took home an Emmy Award for outstanding younger actress in a drama series in 1991, the same year that she left the role to make her primetime debut in Murphy Brown.
Her big screen debut came two years later, in The Adventures of Huck Finn, with Elijah Wood, and she also racked up acclaimed appearances in Donnie Brasco – opposite Johnny Depp – and in Robert De Niro flick, Wag The Dog.
The actress also returned to the small screen throughout her career, popping up in Ally McBeal, Men In Trees, Quantico and Chicago PD.
Heche made headlines around the world over her much-publicized relationship with Ellen DeGeneres.
The former couple met at a Vanity Fair party in 1997, and were inseparable – becoming one of the first openly gay couples in Hollywood.
They dated for more than three years before calling time on their romance in 2000.
‘It is an amicable parting and we greatly value the 3 1/2 years we have spent together,’ they said in a joint statement at the time.
Following their split, Heche married cameraman Coleman ‘Coley’ Laffoon, with the couple sharing son Homer together.
However, it wasn’t to last and they filed for divorce in 2007, with their marriage formally ending two years later.
She then moved on with James Tupper, her co-star in Men In Trees, and welcomed their first child together in 2009, a son named Atlas.
Heche and Tupper later separated in 2018.
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