Anne Heche has died aged 53

Joe Harker

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Anne Heche has died aged 53

Featured Image Credit: Everett Collection Inc/Alamy Stock Photo/Paul Smith/Alamy Stock Photo

Actor Anne Heche's family have confirmed that she has been declared brain dead aged 53 - a condition that makes someone legally dead in California - a week after she was critically injured in a car crash that left her in a coma.

The family had previously confirmed that they did not expect her to survive her injuries when she fell into a coma after crashing her car into a Los Angeles house on 5 August.

They said they were keeping her on life support to give medical staff time to determine whether her organs would be suitable for donation as it had 'long been her choice' to donate her organs after she died.

"Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend," a representative for the star told NBC News in a statement on behalf of Heche's family and friends.

They said: "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 representative told NBC News that while Heche is legally dead according to California law, her heart is still beating and she has not been taken off life support in order to allow OneLegacy Foundation enough time to find recipients who will be a match.

Heche had been rushed to hospital after crashing her car into a house on 5 August, with authorities saying they believe her vehicle may have hit a kerb and been two feet in the air before it collided with the house.

House occupant Lynne Mishele was described by a neighbour as 'extremely fortunate' to survive the crash with no injuries as she happened to be in another part of the house when the car hit.

A representative for Heche had previously confirmed that she had not regained consciousness after falling into a coma, and that she was suffering from a 'significant pulmonary injury' and 'burns that require surgical intervention'.

According to The Guardian, there had been early hopes that she would make a recovery after a publicist said she was in a 'stable' condition, while firefighters said she had been speaking to them as they cut her free from the wreckage of the crash.

However, she later lost consciousness and on 8 August she was described as being in an 'extreme critical condition', which required her to be on 'medical ventilation'.

Anne Heche. Credit: Everett Collection Inc/Alamy Stock Photo
Anne Heche. Credit: Everett Collection Inc/Alamy Stock Photo

Heche shot to fame playing twins Vicky Hudson and Marley Love on soap opera Another World, for which she won an Emmy in 1991.

She followed that up with major roles in Donnie Brasco, Six Days, Seven Nights and I Know What You Did Last Summer, while younger fans may recognise her voice as that of Suyin Beifong in animated series The Legend of Korra.

The actor also starred in the 1998 remake of Psycho, for which she was nominated for a Saturn Award, while she was later nominated for another Emmy for her role in Gracie's Choice.

Before her death she completed filming on upcoming HBO series The Idol.

Tributes dedicating kind words to Heche's memory have poured in - including from friend Nancy Davis, who took to Instagram to say 'heaven has a new angel'.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Topics: News, Celebrity, Film and TV, US News

Joe Harker
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