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Actress Anne Heche passed away a week after she crashed into a Los Angeles home. She was 53 years old. Earlier this morning doctors reported the actress was “brain dead.” Under California law, this is the definition of death. She was taken off of life support and later succumbed to her injuries.
She was born in Aurora, Ohio on May 25, 1969. She was the youngest of five children, however, three of her siblings passed away years prior to her death. She attended City High School in Ocean City, New Jersey, and graduated from the Francis W. Parker School in Chicago, Illinois.
In 1983, Heche’s father passed away from AIDS. Her mother who she was estranged from remarried in 2008.
Heche dated producer Neal H Mortiz, comedic actor Steve Martin, Richard Burgi, and Bill Cusack, before saying: “I would never limit myself to saying I would be with a man or a woman.”
For three years she dated Ellen Degeneres. After they broke up, Heche admitted that she had never been with a woman before. She stated Degeneres was the best lover she had ever had before meeting her ex-husband Coleman “Coley” Laffoon.
She and Laffoon met while working on a documentary about DeGeneres. He was one of the cameramen. Heche insisted that he had nothing to do with her and DeGeneres breaking up. She told ABC News that Laffoon was “an extraordinary guy.”
She went on to add that her then-husband and she shared the same belief about sexuality: “which is that you love who you love. You fall in love with a person, not a sex.”
Heche was extremely open about her other personality who went by the name Celestia. This personality helped her escape to a “fantasy world.” The need to escape developed from being sexually abused by her father.
Heche described the horrendous things her father would do to her when she was a little girl. She admitted that the abuse started around her toddler years, even though the memories are not very clear. Which is common for childhood trauma.
It is hard for children to talk about what happened to them for various reasons. They could think that it was their fault or the perpetrator said they would do something to their family or told the child that no one would believe them over someone who is older and mature. Some situations are so traumatic that their brains just lock (suppress) the memories away.
Heche stated that for a while she had turned to alcohol, drugs, and promiscuity to get away from her painful upbringing. Later she used acting to help her escape from reality for a bit.
From 1988 to 1992 she played twins on the NBC soap opera “Another World.” She won a Daytime Emmy Award and two Soap Opera Digest Awards for her acting skill in the TV drama.
She also performed in the films “Donnie Braco,” “Volcano,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” “Six Days, Seven Nights,” “Wag the Dog,” and “Return to Paradise.”
Heche was a regular guest star on the TV show “Everwood” and starred in ABC’s 2006 TV show “Men in Trees.”
A representative for Heche’s family and friends released a statement on their behalf:
Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend.
She is survived by her sons, family, and friends. The actress “will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy.” May she rest in peace.
Written by Sheena Robertson
People: Anne Heche, Star of ‘Another World’ and ‘Men in Trees’, Dies at 53
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The Guardian: Actor Anne Heche dies a week after car crash
Northwestern Medicine: How the Brain Hides Memories