US actress Anne Heche has been announced “legally dead”, however, she will continue to remain on life support to allow possible organ donation, her representative told media.
The 53-year-old cult-horror “Psycho” remake actor was in coma for a week after crashing her car into a house here.
“Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul,” her family said in a statement on Friday.
Heche appeared in films including “Volcano”, “Donnie Brasco” and the 1998 remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s cult-thriller.
Mother-of-two, Heche also appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2020.
According to the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), Heche’s vehicle “erupted in heavy fire”, which took 59 firefighters more than an hour to fully extinguish. The two-storey home which she crashed into was left “uninhabitable”.
Apart from suffering burns, the actress was left with “a severe anoxic brain injury” – deprived of oxygen – the BBC quoted her family as saying.
A representative said the late actress is “legally dead,” but added that her life-support treatment will continue temporarily to check if she may be a match for a potential organ donation.
“Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy”, her family’s statement said.
“Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact.”
Heche was born in 1969 in Ohio. When she was 13 years old, her father died of HIV/Aids, and she later said in her 2001 memoir “Call Me Crazy” that he had repeatedly raped her as a child.
In interviews promoting the book, she said the abuse caused her to be “insane” for the first 31 years of her life and that she had created a fantasy world called the “Fourth Dimension” to make herself feel safe.
Three months after her father’s death, her brother was killed in a car crash, which she believed was suicide. Her mother disputed both the suicide and the abuse claims and the pair became estranged, as per media reports.