Speed Reads

R.I.P.

Anne Heche dies at 53 after car accident

One week after being critically injured in a car accident, Anne Heche has died. She was 53.

The actress was severely burned on Aug. 5 after crashing her car into a garage and then into a nearby home in Los Angeles, and her family confirmed in an earlier statement she was "not expected to survive" after suffering "severe anoxic brain injury." Heche remained in a coma since the accident and has now been declared brain dead, according to TMZ, though her family said that because "it has long been her choice to donate her organs," she is "being kept on life support to determine if any are viable." 

Heche had been under investigation for DUI after the accident, and a blood test reportedly showed she had cocaine in her system. The actress, who had two children, was known for her roles in films like Six Days, Seven Nights and Another World, the soap opera that won her a Daytime Emmy. 

"We have lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend," Heche's family said.

Actress Rosanna Arquette paid tribute to Heche by tweeting that while "she would have been arrested for driving under the influence and putting lives in danger," she was still a "great artist and struggled with addiction [and] it's terribly sad for her children and for her friends." Ellen DeGeneres, who dated Heche from 1997 to 2000, also tweeted that today "is a sad day," sending "Anne's children, family, and friends all of my love."