Anne Heche: Ellen DeGeneres leads tributes to actor – ‘This is a sad day’

Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche (Getty Images)

Tributes to Anne Heche have poured in, following her death on Friday (12 August).

The Another World star was involved in a car accident on Friday 5 August, which resulted in her being taken to hospital and treated for severe burns.

She later slipped into a coma and was in a “critical condition”, her representatives told the media.

Heche’s family told press earlier on 12 August that she had suffered a “severe anoxic brain injury” and was “not expected to survive” the accident.

Now, they have confirmed that she is legally dead, however, she is being kept on life support while a match can be found for organ donation.

“While Anne is legally dead according to California law, her heart is still beating, and she has not been taken off life support so that One Legacy can see if she is a match for organ donation,” a rep for Heche said, via Deadline.

Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) told the Associated Press that the car crash was being investigated as a felony driving-under-the-influence (DUI) traffic collision.

Detectives with a search warrant took a sample of Heche’s blood and found narcotics in her system, LAPD spokesman officer Jeff Lee told the news agency.

Shortly after news of Heche’s death broke, celebrities began paying tribute the late actor on Twitter.

Heche’s ex-partner Ellen DeGeneres wrote: “This is a sad day. I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.” The two dated between 1997 and 2000.

Cybil actor Dedee Pfeiffer tweeted: “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.”

“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,” filmmaker Ted Geoghegan commented.

“I was in awe, and remember thinking, ‘This could really change things for people.’ Thank you for so bravely taking that step, Anne. RIP.”

Author Evette Dionne shared: “If you have ever worried about losing someone to alcohol or substance abuse, then you know the pain Anne Heche’s family is feeling today. Please send a good thought or prayer their way today, if that’s your thing. They’re going to need it.”

Fringe actor Kirke Acevedo added: “My heart goes out to Anne Heche’s children. No child should lose their mother at such a young age.”

“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,” remembered filmmaker James Gunn.

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, you can seek confidential help and support 24-7 from Frank, by calling 0300 123 6600, texting 82111, sending an email or visiting their website here.

In the US, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP.