Anne Heche: Actress taken off life support after match for organ donation found

LOS ANGELES — After a devastating car accident in Los Angeles that left her in a coma, Anne Heche was taken off life support on Sunday, her family confirmed.

The actress was declared brain dead a few days ago but was being kept alive until a suitable recipient could be found for an organ donation of her liking.

Heche was seriously injured in a car accident in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles on August 5.

Her Mini Cooper was traveling at high speed when she appeared to lose control, crashing into a house, crashing through the walls and narrowly missing a woman and her pets.

Heche was hospitalized in critical condition with a severe brain injury and fell into a coma after the accident. Days later, a representative of her family confirmed that survival was not expected. On Friday, the family announced that 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 said Friday it would drop the criminal investigation into the accident after she was declared brain dead.

Heche first came to prominence on the soap opera Another World, winning a Daytime Emmy for her role from 1987 to 1991. She became a popular choice for Hollywood in the 1990s, starring in films such as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and Return to Paradise.

Her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres in the late 1990s increased her fame, though she lamented that the publicity seemed to be damaging her career.

In the fall of 2000, shortly after the two broke up, Heche was hospitalized after knocking on a stranger’s door near Fresno. Authorities said she appeared shaken and disoriented and spoke incoherently to residents.

In a memoir, Call Me Crazy, published the following year, Heche spoke about her lifelong struggles with mental health and an abusive childhood.

She was married to cinematographer Coleman Laffoon from 2001 to 2009. The two had a son together, Homer. She had another son during a relationship with actor James Tupper, her co-star on the television series Men In Trees.

On Friday, Laffoon released a video tribute to Heche:

“After Ann’s death, I just want to say a few things. First, I loved her and I miss her. And I always will. Second, Homer is fine. Of course he’s sad. And it’s tough. It’s really tough, as everyone can probably imagine. But he’s surrounded by his family and he’s strong and he’ll be fine. So for all the people who are reaching out, thank you very much. You sign up, show us your heart, offer prayers and… everything. So beautiful. Thanks.

“It’s hard for me, it’s hard for my family, it’s really hard for Homer, but we have each other and we have a lot of support and we’re going to be okay,” he said. “I think Anne probably is, I’d like to think that she’s free, free from pain and enjoying or experiencing what’s next in her journey. She came in hot and she had a lot to say she was brave and fearless really loved . And has never been afraid to let us know what she thinks and what she believes in, and it’s always been love. It was all about love. So, goodbye, Anne, love you. Thanks.”

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