Anne Heche dies following car crash, family says

Heche suffered a "severe anoxic brain injury," her family said.

August 14, 2022, 10:52 PM

Anne Heche has died at the age of 53 after suffering serious injuries in a fiery car accident in Los Angeles, according to her family.

Heche was declared brain dead Thursday night but was kept on life support for organ donation, and her heart was still beating, her representative said Friday.

Her representative told ABC News on Sunday night that she has been peacefully taken off life support.

"My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom," her oldest son Homer said in a statement Friday. "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."

"Rest In Peace Mom, I love you," he said.

PHOTO: Anne Heche attends SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations screening of "The Brave" at   on Jan. 24, 2018 in Los Angeles.
Anne Heche attends SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations screening of "The Brave" at on Jan. 24, 2018 in Los Angeles.
Vincent Sandoval/Getty Images, FILE

"We have lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend," Heche's family and friends said 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 actress was driving on Aug. 5 when she crashed into a home in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles, engulfing her car and the house in flames, according to Los Angeles police and fire officials. No one else was injured and the home's resident and her pets were able to escape the blaze unharmed.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, results from a blood draw completed after the crash showed Heche had narcotics in her system, but additional tests were being run to determine more about the drugs, and to rule out which ones may have been present based on drugs administered at the hospital.

Charred debris and caution tape are seen at the site where actress Anne Heche crashed into a home in Mar Vista, Calif., Aug. 8, 2022.
Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

Investigators told ABC News no alcohol was detected in Heche's blood sample, however, the blood draw was many hours after the crash and alcohol could have already gone through her system.

Heche's representative said the actress was initially hospitalized in stable condition. On Aug. 8, her rep said she slipped into a coma and was in critical condition.

Anne Heche attends the 74th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards, on March 12, 2022 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Jesse Grant/Getty Images, FILE

Heche's family said in a statement on Thursday that the actress "suffered a severe anoxic brain injury" and was "not expected to survive."

"It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept on life support to determine if any are viable," her family said.

"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," her family said. "She will be remembered for her courageous honesty and dearly missed for her light."

Heche broke into Hollywood in the 1980s on the soap opera "Another World," for which she won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1991.

She went on to receive Primetime Emmy and Tony Award nominations for her work on "Gracie's Choice" and "Twentieth Century," respectively, and appeared in films including "Donnie Brasco," "Volcano," "Wag the Dog," "Six Days, Seven Nights" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer."

Anne Heche attends an event at Del Mar Race Track on Nov. 6, 2021 in Del Mar, Calif.
Leon Bennett/Getty Images, FILE

In her 2001 memoir "Call Me Crazy," Heche recounted her difficult childhood and surviving abuse. She told ABC News' Barbara Walters in 2001 that her father sexually assaulted her when she was a child and that the family experienced homelessness.

Heche told Walters she relied on drugs and alcohol to avoid her painful upbringing.

"I was raised in a crazy family and it took me 31 years to get the crazy out of me," she said at the time. "I did a lot of things in my life to get away from what had happened to me. ... I did anything I could to get the shame out of my life."

In recent years, Heche competed on "Dancing with the Stars" and co-hosted the podcast "BETTER TOGETHER With Anne & Heather."

Heche is survived by her two sons.

James Tupper, the father of her youngest son, wrote on Instagram Friday, "love you forever."

Anne Heche attends Disney On Ice "Let's Celebrate!" with son Atlas on Dec. 11, 2014 in Los Angeles.
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic via Getty Images, FILE

ABC News' Alex Stone and George Pennacchio contributed to this report.