LOS ANGELES — Following a devastating car crash in Los Angeles that left her in a coma, Anne Heche was taken off life support on Sunday, her family confirmed.
The actress had been declared brain dead several days ago but was being kept on life support until a suitable recipient could be found for organ donation, per her wishes.
Heche was critically injured in a car crash in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles on Aug. 5.
Her Mini Cooper was driving at high speeds when she apparently lost control, slamming into a home, knocking through the walls and narrowly missing a woman inside and her pets.
Heche was hospitalized in critical condition with a severe brain injury and slipped into a coma after the crash. Days later, a representative for her family confirmed that it was not expected to survive. On Friday, the family said Heche had been declared brain dead.
The Los Angeles Police Department later said she had narcotics in her system at the time of the crash. The department on Friday said it was closing the criminal investigation into the crash after she was declared brain dead.
Heche first rose to prominence on the soap opera “Another World,” from 1987 to 1991 winning a Daytime Emmy for her role. In the 1990s she became a popular choice for Hollywood, co-starring in films such as “Donnie Brasco,” “Volcano” and “Return to Paradise.”
Her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres during the late 1990s heightened her fame, although she lamented that the publicity seemed to harm her career.
In the fall of 2000, soon after the two broke up, Heche was hospitalized after knocking on the door of a stranger near Fresno. Authorities said she had appeared shaken and disoriented, and spoke incoherently to the residents.
In a memoir released the following year, “Call Me Crazy,” Heche talked about her lifelong struggles with mental health and a childhood of abuse.
She was married to camera operator Coleman Laffoon from 2001 to 2009. The two had a son, Homer, together. She had another son during a relationship with actor James Tupper, her co-star on the TV series “Men In Trees.”
On Friday, Laffoon posted a video tribute to Heche:
“In the wake of Ann’s passing, I just want to say a few things. One, I loved her, and I miss her. And I’m always going to. Two Homer is okay. He’s grieving, of course. And it’s rough . It’s really rough, as probably anybody can imagine. But he’s surrounded by family, and he’s strong and he’s going to be okay. So for all those people checking in, thank you. You check in, showing us your heart, offering prayers and everything. So beautiful. Thank you.
“It’s hard for me, it’s hard for my family, it’s really hard for Homer, but we got each other and we have a lot of support and we’re going to be OK,” he said. “I think Anne is probably, I’d like to think she’s free, free from pain and enjoying or experiencing whatever’s next in her journey. She came in hot, and she had a lot to say she was brave and fearless, loved really hard . And was never afraid to let us know what she thought and what she believed in and it was always love. It was all about love. So, goodbye Anne love you. Thank you.”
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