Anne Heche’s best friend leads tributes to ‘fun, endearing and beautiful’ actor

LGBTQ

Actor Anne Heche arrives for the premiere of Netflix’s The Unforgivable in Los Angeles, 2021. (AFP via Getty/ VALERIE MACON)

Anne Heche’s best friend has lead tributes to the “endearing and beautiful” actor, after she died from severe brain injuries following a car crash.

Heche, 53, was taken to hospital on 5 August after her car crashed into a home in Los Angeles and set on fire, and on Friday (12 August), her life support was turned off.

Her best friend, jewellery designer and philanthropist Nancy Davis, wrote on Instagram: “Heaven has a new angel. My loving, kind, fun, endearing and beautiful friend Anne Heche went to heaven.

“I will miss her terribly and cherish all the beautiful memories we have shared. Anne was always the kindest, most thoughtful person who always brought out the best in me.

“She was so supportive with anything she could do to help [Davis’s charity] Race to Erase MS and would always say ‘yes’ when she knew she could contribute something with her time, talent and creative genius to help find a cure for MS. My heart is broken.”

Actor Levi Meaden also paid tribute Heche, who played his mother in the apocalyptic 2016 TV series Aftermath, writing on Instagram: “I’m at a loss as I write this. Lord knows she had her struggles in life, but it led her to carry herself the way she did, led her to be the woman I met.

“She told me the only one holding me back was me, and that I needed to be my own hero. She gave me so much advice. She taught me how to carry myself in this industry. She is an icon.

“She was an immense talent. She was a lot of things but my most importantly she was loved. I’m heartbroken, and I know many, many other people are as well. I’ve been reading so many experiences similar to mine and that impact is a testament to who she is.

“Anne seemed to know a lot about what it is to be human, and the ferocious courage it takes to fully embrace that. She knew there was strength in vulnerability and she wouldn’t let anyone rob her of it. I hope she is at peace.”

Heche famously dated Ellen DeGeneres for three-and-a-half years between 1997 and 2000, and the pair are considered to have been the first ‘lesbian power couple’ in Hollywood.

But the actor was also open about the level of discrimination and stigma she faced for being an openly queer woman in the 1990s.

Actor and director Ted Geoghegan shared on Twitter: “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.”

After news broke of Heche’s death, DeGeneres shared on her Instagram story: “This is a sad day. I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.”

The Los Angeles Police Department has launched an investigation to possible drug use involved in the tragic incident. Heche is survived by her two children, Homer Lafoon and Atlas Heche Tupper.

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