Anne Heche, the Daytime Emmy award-winning actress of “Another World” who made headlines in the 1990s when she openly dated Ellen Degeneres, has died. She was 53.
Her death was confirmed by her family Friday, days after she was injured in a Los Angeles car crash. The cause of the accident is not clear, but she sustained significant pulmonary injuries and burns, and had traces of cocaine in her system, according to officials.
Heche, who amassed more than 90 credits in her three-decade acting career, starred in various major productions, beginning with the soap opera “Another World.” She played the twins Vicky Hudson and Marley Love, the mischievous and kind pair who helped bring to life the drama of the fictional Midwestern town of Bay City.
She later appeared in a handful of major movies with such stars as Harrison Ford and Johnny Depp in the 90s. In the last decade, Heche had a number of TV appearances, including her portrayal of the famed forensic pathologist Dr. Susan Langdon in “Quantico” and the deputy superintendent Katherine Brennan in “Chicago P.D.”
Born on May 25, 1969 in Aurora, Ohio, Heche grew up the daughter of a choir director and a homemaker. Tragedy struck early on in the actress’ life, when her then 45-year-old father died of AIDS when she was just 13 years old.
When recounting her life story on the “Adam Carolla Show,” Heche attributed her “Another World” role as the opportunity that “catapulted” her into “being an actress.” She said it was “truly the beauty and the blessing of my life.”
As an adult, she would look back at her childhood through a lens of deep trauma, revealing in several interviews that her father abused her since she was a toddler, causing her personality to fragment and leading to moments of madness.
The day after her split with DeGeneres, Heche abandoned her car in Fresno, California, and entered a strangers’ house wearing only shorts and a bra and spoke incoherently about a spaceship taking her to heaven. She was subsequently hospitalized.
In her book, “Call Me Crazy: A Memoir,” published the following year, Heche paid an homage to the “woman behind the headlines,” emphasizing the extraordinary odds she had to conquer before rising to fame and emerging “happy, whole, and strong.”
“The most frustrating thing I learned in my journey is that you cannot teach people to love,” Heche wrote in her memoir. “To love another, you must love yourself, and that is a furious battle that cannot be won until we all agree that we’ve lost it already.”
She is survived by two sons — one from her marriage to Coleman “Coley” Laffoon, who she divorced in 2009, and the other from a relationship with actor James Tupper.
Katie Jerkovich contributed to this report.