Stars pay tribute to Anne Heche after her death at age 53

·5 min read
Celebrities are expressing their condolences in the wake of actress Anne Heche's death at age 53.  (Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Celebrities are expressing their condolences in the wake of actress Anne Heche's death at age 53. (Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Celebrities, friends and fans are paying tribute to Anne Heche, who died on Friday at age 53. The actress, who was known for films like Six Days Seven Nights and the TV series Men in Trees, was declared "brain-dead" following a car accident in Los Angeles last week.

After conflicting reports regarding whether the actress has died, Heche's publicist clarified in a statement that Heche was declared legally dead under California law late Thursday, and she only remained on life support while doctors worked with the OneLegacy Foundation for organ transplantation. In a statement to the Associated Press, the publicist shared that the process, where specialists determine which organs are viable and then identifying appropriate recipients, could take up to several days.

"Anne had a huge heart and touched everyone she met with her generous spirit," Heche's family said in a statement to Yahoo Entertainment. "More than her extraordinary talent, she saw spreading kindness and joy as her life’s work — especially moving the needle for acceptance of who you love. She will be remembered for her courageous honesty and dearly missed for her light."

Among the many remembrances for Heche was a lengthy video tribute from Alec Baldwin, who referred to Heche as "a very special comet shooting across the sky."

"I wanted to take a moment to say how sad I am about Anne Heche," Baldwin shared in an Instagram video, which showed him sitting outside in his backyard with his dog. "She was a pal." He shared that he had a wonderful experience working with Heche on Broadway in the Hecht and Macarthur play Twentieth Century.

"She could do anything. She was funny, she was dramatic. She was many things on film, and onstage," he said.

Baldwin also shared a message about sobriety, in the wake of statements from police that Heche was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of her accident.

"We all have friends, family, loved ones, colleagues, people who have perished as a result of drugs and alcohol. Whether you're whether you're drunk and driving and you get killed or kill someone else or seriously injure your life is altered in some way. Drugs, overdoses, opioids, all of it," he wrote. "For Anne, what a horrible way to go."

He added, "let's all pray for everybody who is a victim of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction."

He concluded by sharing "if you think of someone you know and you care about who needs help, help them get help. Anyway I love you, Anne."

Ellen Degeneres, who dated Heche for several years, also shared a message on Twitter about Heche's death.

"This is a sad day," wrote Degeneres. "I'm sending Anne's children, family and friends all of my life."

Priyanka Chopra also shared a message in her Instagram Stories, sharing that her "heart goes out to Anne Heche's children, family, friends and everyone who grieves." She shared how lucky she feels to have worked with Heche, calling her a "lovely person and an incredible actress."

Lauren Tom, who co-starred with Heche on the series Men in Trees from 2006 to 2008, also expressed her condolences, noting the star's "talent, light, kindness & professionalism."

Keo Motsepe, Heche’s dance partner on Dancing With The Stars, simply wrote "I love you @anneheche" on Instagram, along with a series of photos of the duo joking around behind the scenes of the show.

Carrie Ann Inaba, who also worked with Heche on Dancing with the Stars, shared that the actress "touched my heart."

"Her personal story was one that reached into my heart and squeezed it," said Inaba. "I could feel the pain she felt, and I could also feel her resilient and courageous soul. And it was touching."

Orange is the New Black star Taryn Manning called Heche "a renegade in Hollywood and that’s pretty rad to maintain in this business."

"You were a freakin wild child and I wanted to bottle your energy," Manning continued, sharing that Heche was "truly authentic and sincere."

Rosanna Arquette took to Twitter to write, "Rest In Peace now Anne."

Deedee Pfeiffer, an actress and sober recovery advocate, shared a message about the complexity of addiction.

"My heart breaks for Anne Heche and for all involved in this tragic story. Addiction is extremely complicated and layered. This is such a sad day and yet not an unfamiliar day for many who have known or loved somebody with an addiction. It’s important to remember that this woman who was sadly active in her disease was also a mother. Her children have lost their mother to her disease, like so many," wrote Pfeiffer. "Out of respect for her family, it’s important to remember that addiction is a disease, not a choice."