Anne Heche has died at 53, she will be an organ donor

Anne Heche’s rep has confirmed that Anne has died at 53. She is still on life support in order to give time to find organ donor recipients. Anne’s son, Homer, has issued a statement as well about losing his mom. We are thinking of her family and friends at this difficult time.

Anne Heche caused a series of car accidents on Friday, ending with her Mini Cooper running into a one-story home in a residential neighborhood in Los Angeles. She had to be rescued from her burning vehicle and has been on a ventilator in a medically induced coma in intensive care. She has not regained consciousness. Anne’s family and friends have visited her in the hospital and have said through a source that they are heartbroken and distressed by the headlines about her. Anne’s rep previously clarified that she in in critical condition. Unfortunately her rep has now said that she is not expected to survive.

Anne Heche is facing a grim prognosis after suffering a catastrophic brain injury, a rep for the Emmy-winning actress tells PEOPLE.

“Unfortunately, due to her accident, Anne suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and remains in a coma, in critical condition,” the rep says in a statement on behalf of Heche’s family.

“She is 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 rep tells PEOPLE.

The statement goes on to express gratitude for the outpouring of support and for the care shown for Heche, 53, in the aftermath of the devastating car crash on Aug. 5.

“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,” the statement continues.

As for her legacy, “Anne had a huge heart and touched everyone she met with her generous spirit,” says the rep on behalf of the family. “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.”

[From People]

Anne has had a very tragic life and was estranged from her mother for good reason. Anne’s rep’s statement is lovely and sadly sounds final. She’s already being referred to in the past tense. Anne has a 20-year-old son, Homer, and a 13-year-old son, Atlas. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends.

Anne and Atlas in 2012

Anne with ex husband, James Tupper, Atlas and Homer in 2012

Anne and Homer in 2009

Embed from Getty Images

Photos credit: and Getty

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57 Responses to “Anne Heche has died at 53, she will be an organ donor”

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  1. Bettyrose says:

    This is very sad. But at this point expected. She didn’t really survive the fire. It was just delayed. I hope her last gift to the world is organ donation if that was important to her. It seems a long shot but maybe one good thing can happen here.

  2. Julia K says:

    It sounds very much like she is already brain dead and are waiting for the required number of flat EEGs before releasing her to the organ retrieval team. So sad

    • Ceej says:

      Can they donate the organs though if they found anything in her blood? I don’t know how the process works in terms of what is permissible and isn’t when checking, but it would feel like a kick in the teeth for her family if her last wish couldn’t be kept.

  3. Well Wisher says:

    There are no words. I hope that her family finds solace in their good memories.
    She was a very good actress, her career would have had a different trajectory,if she did not have mental challenges due to childhood trauma.

  4. Jessica says:

    This whole thing is so tragic. Thankfully, no one else was hurt. Hopefully, the smoke inhalation etc didn’t damage all her organs and some can be used to help others. This must all be so difficult for her sons.

    • Lucy says:

      I truly hope they can be used, if not for a live transplant, then for research. This is what happened when a family member died of blood cancer and they couldn’t be used for transplant.

  5. OriginalLaLa says:

    Very sad end to this story. I hope her family is able to find peace and forgiveness (a friend’s family member caused a major crash while under the influence and died in a similar way – the family had a really hard time dealing with their grief because it was all tied up with anger at their deceased family member)

  6. Lucy2 says:

    When they clarified the extent of her injuries in her condition, I had a feeling she would not survive this. My heart breaks for her children.

  7. Lolo86lf says:

    Anoxic means no oxygen. So she is brain dead. The ventilator is what’s keeping “alive.” Considering the degree and percentage of burns she sustained she might as well just pass on and please don’t judge me for saying that. This is just horrible poor Anne. Her family and friends must be devastated. Oh I bet the friend she was drinking with before the incident must feel pretty guilty right now. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.

    • MeganC says:

      If you don’t want to be judged, don’t post cruel comments.

    • lunchcoma says:

      They’re not keeping her alive trying to save her life. They’re keeping her alive because she wanted to be an organ donor, so they’re seeing what’s possible and probably coordinating with some transplant teams. This is a good reason to keep someone around for another day or two, not a cruel one.

  8. OriginalLaLa says:

    We can feel bad for the victims in both stories. They are both awful stories.

    Anne’s behavior was reckless and landed up killing someone – herself. We are allowed to feel bad for her family, who will be dealing with very complicated feelings of anger, grief and rage for a long time over this.

  9. Alexandria says:

    Why did you stop there? Why not list all the injustice in the world happening at the same time?

    The above comments on this article do not mean Heche was not accountable. People are allowed to feel bad for her family and for the people who lost their property because of her. She was a public figure. A released statement is the norm.

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      Cool. What I didn’t see in the comments on yesterday’s post was that same compassion for the nurse when she was brought into the equation out of the blue.

    • Ellie says:

      The nurse who, having apparently been involved in no less than thirteen previous car accidents, still deliberately chose to drive, deliberately chose to speed at 90mph and deliberately chose to run a red light, slaughtering six innocents in the process?

      The result of her actions is no different to the mass shooter who indiscriminately sprays a hail of bullets into a crowded room.

  10. girl_ninja says:

    This is so awful. She is still a young, talented woman leaving being her children and those who loved her.

  11. MeganC says:

    Both things can be sad and people can have compassion for more than one person or one family.

  12. k says:

    The poor dear. Very sad.

    And for the record, I also have compassion for the nurse in the other case. She is certainly living in a tormented hell.

    I know this is a silly thing to say in the comments of a gossip site, but we are not required to judge these people. Life will judge them. And, there but for the grace of whatever go I.

  13. Andi says:

    My understanding is that anoxic brain injury is essentially “brain dead” (awful term), and can result from brain cells dying off due to lung injury that prevents oxygen from getting to the brain.

    It sounds like, yeah, they are keeping her alive to see if she can donate any organs. In her case, I’d imagine that there would be extra focus on the state of her organs as to whether any are healthy enough to transplant. Hopefully, there is/are.

    In a way, it seems like a blessing of sorts that she never regained consciousness.

    I think it’s worth emphasizing that if anyone is suffering from addiction and/or depression, get help. Given our crap health care system, you may have to fight to get the care you need. Fight. Enlist any trusted friends, family, or doctors to help.

    • OriginalMich says:

      Anoxic means that the injury was sustained from lack of oxygen in the surroundings. Brain cell die off starts after about four minutes of oxygen deprivation and she was in that inferno for a long time. So this was on top of what was happening with her lungs and the severe brain swelling that surely followed. Not to mention that the severe, full body, burns to her skin. Not regaining consciousness was a blessing after all of this. What her body endured was catastrophic.

      My heart breaks for her children, no-one should have to see a loved one in such a state let alone be haunted by thoughts of what she went through to get those injuries. What happened to her is literally my worst nightmare.

  14. Veronica S. says:

    I hope the family has a lot of support. My sister’s husband died in an accident that may have been linked to OD, and it’s so hard to grapple with after because there is grief but also anger at the choices they made has caused so much pain. What a shame, in all honesty. A shame to throw that all away because she either couldn’t or wouldn’t get help.

    Addiction is a bear and leaves a lot of detritus in its wake.

  15. ^Julissa 🙄😹 says:

    So sad. One doesn’t have to stan her or support driving under the influence to have compassion. This is undoubtedly very painful for her loved ones too.

  16. C-Shell says:

    This entire story is horrible, and the only saving grace is that no one else was hurt or killed during Anne’s drug fueled, last drive. Her self-destructive life choices, including this last one, might have damaged some of her vital organs, but if they are able to determine the viability of some to donate, that’s a blessing.

  17. Amy T says:

    Not unexpected, and I hope her sons and those who loved her have good support and strong community. I also hope the women whose house she destroyed (the owner and the tenant) also are made whole and supported as they heal.

  18. Emmi says:

    Can we just for once simply focus on one thing at a time? I think most of us expressed a certain level of anger on previous posts at Anne’s reckless and dangerous behavior towards herself but more importantly towards others. Nobody is painting her as the poor woman who was just engulfed by tragedy. No, she caused a lot of it herself. We know. I can still have compassion for her. You don’t seem to have any.

    I feel terrible for Anne’s children and the people she injured. It’s horrible that up to seven people were killed by that nurse. Many tragic things happen every day but this is a celeb gossip site. So the celebrity is discussed.

  19. Julia K says:

    Once declared brain dead, the ventilator is not keeping her alive. It’s only purpose is to keep the organs oxygenated in hopes of using them for donation.

  20. Scal says:

    Her poor kids. They don’t have anything to do with this and for them that’s their mom that’s died. It’s got to be so hard for them-they are the ones I really feel for.

  21. 4Pibs says:

    I really love this site, but it makes me deeply uncomfortable that some comments show a complete lack of empathy and just total callousness for the situation. You don’t have to “feel bad” for Anne. She has been punished beyond what our criminal justice system would have ever imposed upon her. But she has loved ones, children whose entire lives have been ripped apart in a day. Yes, it was Anne’s own doing, but come on. Her kids didn’t ask for this.

    Don’t come at me with, well but the woman in the house lost everything. Yes she did. And that is Anne’s fault as well. But we can have empathy here for more than one person (I would hope).

    • Lolo86lf says:

      Well said 4Pibs. Anne’s auto insurance and/or her estate will pay for the material damage that Anne caused. The house is not hers anyway but I can totally understand the woman and her cats will need some therapy to deal with PTSD which also should be paid by Anne’s estate.

    • Rural Juror says:

      Thank you for this. I’ve been really bothered by some of the comments on this story. Of course it’s wrong to drive while intoxicated. But the penalty for that is being charged criminally, losing your license for a period of time, and maybe some jail time. Plus whatever civil penalties might result. To be trapped in a car and burned alive is a fate worse than death and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Having empathy for her and her family doesn’t mean that anyone is condoning her behavior, but that’s largely a moot point. She isn’t surviving the accident. The woman who lost her home can surely get money damages from the estate after she passes.

    • Daphne says:

      I agree. There’s a grudging tone of “ok sad for her kids but at least she didn’t kill anyone else and others will benefit from her donated organs”.

      She did something bad but it’s as if that wrongdoing put her completely beyond the pale as a human being, even in death.

    • Nic says:

      @4Pibs and @Rural Juror +1 100% thank you both for posting. I’ve been shocked by the callousness of some of the comments to this and previous posts.

    • Lucy says:

      Thank you for saying this so well @4pibs. I have been attacked for similar sentiments over that past few days and it has been difficult to reconcile with how much I love this site.

      This is all so very sad and tragic. At this moment, my heart goes out to her poor children who have to find their way through all of this. I hope everyone who has been affected by this tragedy has the love and support they need.

    • OriginalMich says:

      To not be able to muster an ounce of sympathy for a deeply troubled woman who was burned alive says more about the commenter than it does about Heche.

      The woman in the house didn’t lose everything. For one, she is alive and physically unharmed. If she had renters insurance, she will be compensated for property lost. And I’m sure she has already retained a good lawyer and is suing the relevant insurance companies and the estate. As she should.

  22. Ameerah says:

    You can have empathy in both instances. It’s not a hard thing to do. Anne is leaving behind two children one who is still a minor. It’s a tragedy and sad anyway you slice it. And it’s sad that this is the way her life is ending. Her boys will also have to deal with all the nasty comments and stories on social media while they grieve the loss of their mother.

  23. Lolo86lf says:

    The nurse must have had her foot planted firmly on the gas pedal for she ran the red light at 90 miles an hour. This incident is so weird compared to Anne’s. Unfortunately the nurse killed 6 people and (she survived). Please don’t make this a racial issue where the white woman is being treated better than the black nurse. We are not racist on this website.

  24. Fowler says:

    I first saw Anne Heche on Another World in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She played twins Marley & Vicky Hudson. Her performances were riveting, electric, and fully committed. I thought then that she was one of the most compelling and talented actresses I had ever seen. I’ve rewatched a few scenes on YouTube since her accident. God, she was a phenomenal actress. She never got a chance to show what she could do in a quality project to a wider audience after leaving Another World. Her life has certainly been troubled and tragic. My heart goes out to her sons and loved ones.

    • TwinFalls says:

      I saw her in Proof on Broadway. She really was very talented.

    • Lolo86lf says:

      In the mid to late 90’s Anne and Ellen Degeneris were one of the power lesbian couples in Hollywood. The only movie I remember seeing with Anne was Six days, seven nights with Harrison Ford.

    • AppleCart says:

      @Fowler she was in some huge movies like Donnie Brasco and Six Days and Seven Nights. She was a movie star for a short time. But she did the unthinkable. She fell in love with a woman at a time homophobia was normalized. So Hollywood Studios deemed her ‘unfu*kable by men’ and blacklisted her.

      She did carve out a career in qualty TV series.

      I think this was a suicide her brother died in a car accident in the 80’s. Her ex-James Tupper seems like a good person. And apparently was trying to get her help. And she railed against him in a now pulled podcast.

      The fact that she popped up in the gurney made me think she had a chance at survivial. But see now it was just the adrenaline pumping through her.

      I just feel sorry for her, she took herself out of this world in a horrible way. And put people at risk doing it. Thankfully no one else was hurt. And the property she destroyed can be replaced And glad people stepped up with a go fund me for the home owner. I feel awful for her sons, and family. It’s going to be a heavy burden to carry for them.

  25. detritus says:

    When they mentioned how long she’d been in the smoke, the level of burns she faced, I suspected brain damage. I didn’t want to put it out there though. And this is worse than expected.

    Absolute tragedy all around. Her poor children. Rest in peace, Anne.

  26. Liz Version 700k says:

    This is heartbreaking for Anne’s children and loved ones. It is tragic to see someone so young taken and tragic that her demons led to such horrible choices. Anyone who has had a relative struggling with addiction knows the fear of a scenario like this.

    I was relieved to see that the fire victim released a statement thanking people for their generous donations to her Gofund Me page. One of the few positive things to see in this story was the fact that over $130K has been raised to help her start over. She will need it as her loss was horrible.

  27. Jp says:

    I feel like the expression “you don’t have to blow out someone else’s candle to make yours shine brighter” sometimes applies to tragedies. Yes, she did things that were terrible and illegal and preventable and I’m sure she had tremendous privilege based on the color of her skin…but the woman clearly suffered from addiction and had very real and horrible personal tragedies- I’m not sure how a person gets past being raped by their own father. We can feel for Anne Heche and still have sympathy for other people who have suffered.

  28. Chaine says:

    Really saddened to see this tragic end to the life of someone who was incredibly brave. A quarter century ago, she essentially torched her promising career to come out along with Ellen as her partner on the world stage at a time when being LGBTQ was still basically verboten. By her actions, Anne did so much to pave the way for so many others and make their own paths easier. It seems she was never able to overcome her own childhood demons. As others have said, I’m glad that the woman and pets whose house she hit survived, and no doubt the estate will compensate her.

  29. Case says:

    What a very sad conclusion to this story. I hope both she and her family find peace.

    I saw Anne on DWTS a few years ago and I thought she seemed like a really lovely woman. I’m sorry that she’s leaving us in this way.

  30. Giddy says:

    I feel so sorry for her family, especially her sons. It’s awful enough for them to lose their mother, but this terrible, protracted, public loss is devastating. I hope so much for them that they are surrounded by family and loved ones. If there is an honor walk I hope it will bring them some peace knowing that she helped others. For anyone who doesn’t know, an honor walk is when the patient is transferred to an operating room. Staff, caregivers, and family quietly line the hall as the donor is wheeled down the hall. I have heard it referred to as “a hero’s goodbye” and it is exactly that. They will help so many who are waiting for donors.

  31. Amanda says:

    This is sad. I feel sorry for her sons.

  32. Athena says:

    I keep thinking about her twenty year old son, her next of kin, who had to sign off taking his mother off life support, and will now have to deal with a funeral, insurance companies, lawyers, investigators…what a tragic mess.

    Given the life that would have been ahead of her had she survived this for Anne may be a blessing.

  33. K-Peace says:

    This is so sad, and so senseless. What a stupid choice she made. I just can’t wrap my head around what in the hell she was doing or why. I’ve been high on cocaine & fentanyl (clean for 6 years) and never ever did i do reckless dangerous stuff like that.

    What i don’t understand is, how was she conscious after the accident (the video showed her sitting up on the stretcher and trying to get off), if she suffered catastrophic brain damage in the fire from lack of oxygen? Why did her brain injury worsen AFTER she was out of the fire? I’m just curious about that.

    I feel so bad for her sons. A 13-year-old still very much needs their mom. Such a senseless tragedy. Thank God nobody else was hurt.