Actress Anne Heche, who appeared in a range of roles including I Know What You Did Last Summer and Legend of Korra, has been declared legally dead following a major car accident.
Heche’s representative confirmed that while Heche is still on life support, she currently has no brain function, meaning that she falls under the definition of death under California law. The Guardian and TMZ are among the outlets reporting the news.
The actress had been on life support since August 5 in the wake of the high-speed accident that destroyed a home and left her severely burned and in a coma. Preliminary tests confirmed the presence of narcotics in her system. On August 11, her rep said she was not expected to survive.
Heche’s career in film and television extends back to 1987, where she first appeared in the soap opera Another World. Since then she has appeared in numerous shows and movies, including a recurring role in The Legend of Korra as well as films such as Wag the Dog and I Know What You Did Last Summer. She also struggled with substance absuse issues, and was reportedly “deemed to be under the influence and acting erratically” when the crashes happened.
James Gunn was among those to pay tribute to Heche, calling her appearance in Proof “maybe the best acting performance I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Honest to God, I think maybe the best acting performance I’ve ever seen in my life was Anne Heche in PROOF on Broadway. #RIP
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) August 12, 2022
Heche was also notably in a relationship with Ellen DeGeneres in a period of time when LGBT representation was rare. DeGeneres’ coming out was a major milestone at the time.
Kids today don’t know what it was like, but I vividly recall when Anne Heche and Ellen Degeneres came out about their relationship back in 1997. I was in awe, and remember thinking, “This could really change things for people.” Thank you for so bravely taking that step, Anne. RIP pic.twitter.com/gmTxCPLlOx
— Ted Geoghegan (@tedgeoghegan) August 12, 2022
DeGeneres called Heche’s passing “a sad day.”
This is a sad day. I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 12, 2022
Heche’s next movie was to be the disaster film Supercell alongside Alec Baldwin, which currently does not have a release date.
Thumbnail image credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.