The deeply religious 85-year-old mother of the late actress Anne Heche is nothing if not a survivor.
Nancy Heche is now survived by four of her five children, in addition to her secretly gay husband, Donald, who died of AIDS in 1983.
She admitted in her religiously-heavy 2006 memoir, “The Truth Comes Out: When Someone You Love Is In A Gay Relationship” to use amyl nitrate poppers with Donald to improve their sex life and to take married lovers.
Anne died on Fridaya week after driving his blue Mini Cooper at high speed down an LA street and breaking into a small house, setting it on fire with his car.
Before Anne was born, her sister, Cynthia, then only 2 months old, died of a heart defect. Anne’s 18-year-old brother Nathan died in a car accident three months after Don Heche’s death. Another sister, Susan Bergman, who wrote her own family memoir titled “Anonymitydied in 2006 of brain cancer.
Only one Heche brother, Abigail, still lives.
Chicago-based Nancy Heche, who is a Christian psychologist who uses the Bible in her counseling practice, was at first furious when Anne told her in 1997 that she had fallen in love with Ellen DeGeneres.
“I am immersed in disbelief and outrage,” she wrote. “I am stunned, in shock. Doesn’t Anne know what homosexuality has done to our family? »
“How can we ever bridge the gap, the confessed heterosexual mother and the confessed homosexual daughter?” she added.
After the publication of Heche’s memoirs in 2001, “Call Me Crazy”, Nancy Heche wrote that she found “no place among the lies and blasphemies in the pages of this book”. Anne Heche said her mother did not believe Anne’s claims that her father molested her from when she was a toddler until she was 12.
Her daughter’s revelations about her relationship with DeGeneres have evoked painful memories for Nancy, who said she didn’t know her husband was gay until he was dying at Bellevue Hospital in 1983 and a doctor told him he had AIDS.
She wrote that she had never heard of her husband’s double life because she was a “50s girl” who “grew up with Donna Reed, ‘Leave it to Beaver’ and Doris Day.”
When Heche learned of her husband’s AIDS diagnosis, it suddenly “clicked,” she wrote.
“The dots connect like a stick of dynamite – the wick sizzling towards the explosion. I realize that I have been lied to for my entire married life.