'This is a sad day': Ellen DeGeneres, more mourn Anne Heche following her death

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Celebrities and friends of Anne Heche are remembering the actress, who died Sunday evening more than a week after a fiery car crash. Heche, 53, was removed from life support after being assessed as an organ donor.

Ellen DeGeneres, who dated Heche from 1997 to 2000, called it "a sad day."

"I'm sending Anne's children, family and friends all of my love," DeGeneres wrote Friday on Twitter after news broke that Heche had been declared brain dead.

Heche was pulled from a burning car in Los Angeles after crashing her vehicle into a home on Aug. 5. The actress suffered a "severe anoxic brain injury" as a result of the accident and fell into a coma, according to a statement provided to USA TODAY.

Anne Heche dies at 53: Actress taken off life support after week-long hospitalization

Anne Heche, seen here at the premiere of "The Tender Bar" on Dec. 12, 2021, has died at 53.
Anne Heche, seen here at the premiere of "The Tender Bar" on Dec. 12, 2021, has died at 53.

Anne Heche's life before her car crash: Actress dated Ellen DeGeneres and struggled with mental health

Heche's friend Nancy Davis, chairwoman of the Race to Erase MS, called her "loving, kind, fun, endearing and beautiful" and said she would "miss her terribly."

Heche had attended Race to Erase MS gala events in the past to support the organization's efforts to find a treatment for multiple sclerosis.

"Anne was always the kindest, most thoughtful person who always brought out the best in me," Davis wrote on Instagram. "She was so supportive with anything she could do to help @racetoerasems 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."

Anne Heche was in a coma before taken off life support. What to know about comas.

"Dancing With the Stars" judge Carrie Ann Inaba paid tribute to Heche, who competed on the show's 29th season, and thanked her for being herself.

"We will miss your beautiful, unique and free spirited energy," Inaba wrote. "I will always remember your performance on @officialdwts in that costume, dancing with all your heart."

"Minions" writer Brian Lynch honored Heche and said "she was so great in so many things."

"I was lucky enough to direct her in a pilot presentation for an animated show a long while back," Lynch wrote. "I was nervous, and she couldn't have been lovelier. Such fun. So funny. My thoughts go out to her family and friends."

Previously: Anne Heche hospitalized in critical condition after fiery car crash

"Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn praised Heche's performance in Broadway play "Proof."

"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," Gunn wrote on Twitter.

Ted Geoghegan recalled Heche's relationship with DeGeneres in a tweet Friday: "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."

Ryan Tillotson, co-founder and CEO of Straw Hut Media, which produced Heche's podcast "Better Together," remembered the actress as a "friend, collaborator, and a damn good actress."

"It’s surreal to think I’ll no longer be seeing her every week," he wrote on Instagram. "Los Angeles is a quieter and sadder place without her; I can feel it. My heart hurts. I love you, Anne. Please send all your love and support to her two boys, Atlas and Homer, and the rest of her chosen family."

"Big Sky" star and sober recovery advocate Dedee Pfeiffer said in a statement to USA TODAY that her 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." Pfeiffer wrote. "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. Out of respect for her family, it’s important to remember that addiction is a disease, not a choice.”

Earlier: Anne Heche was 'not expected to survive' following fiery car crash that left her in a coma

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Anne Heche death: Ellen DeGeneres, more celebrities honor actress