Anne Heche obituary | Movies

Anne Heche began acting as a teenager, but despite her success in television, film and on stage, her career was overshadowed by a life of tragedy and controversy. Heche, who died at the age of 53 after a car accident, rose to tabloid prominence in the late 1990s as the girlfriend of Ellen DeGeneres, who was then the star of a television series to success.

Heche later blamed the publicity around their relationship for hampering her career, saying Hollywood was not ready for a lesbian star in romance roles. That was exactly what her first starring role was; in Six Days, Seven Nights (1998), stranded on a desert island with Harrison Ford. After a string of roles the previous year, including in Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, and critical success in such films as Donnie Brasco and Wag the Dog, Heche had been cast in the film shortly before his relationship with DeGeneres is not made public.

They separated in 2000, and a year later, after marrying Coleman Laffoon, a cameraman who worked on DeGeneres’ stand-up tour, Heche released a memoir, Call Me Crazy, in which she detailed being abused. by his father from infancy to old age. 12 years old. She said the abuse left her “crazy for 31 years”.

Anne was born in Aurora, Ohio, the youngest of five children to Donald Heche, a choir director at fundamentalist churches, and his wife, Nancy (née Prickett), whom Anne described as “strangely docile”. . The firstborn, Cynthia, died in infancy. The family moved 11 times during Anne’s childhood, often living on the charity of church members. At age 12, Anne began working at a supper theater in Ocean City, New Jersey; she was for a time the main breadwinner of the family.

Anne Heche with Tommy Lee Jones in Volcano, 1997.
Anne Heche with Tommy Lee Jones in Volcano, 1997. Photography: 20th Century Fox/Allstar

When she was 13, her father died of AIDS; Heche believed that his hidden homosexuality was part of his life as a sexual predator. Three months after Donald’s death, Heche’s brother Nathan died when he hit a tree with his car. Although his death was ruled an accident, Heche believed that Nathan committed suicide, unable to bear his father’s legacy.

Nancy Heche moved the family to Chicago, where she became a Christian therapist and motivational speaker, advocating to “overcome” the sin of homosexuality. Anne studied at the progressive Francis Parker School in Chicago and, at age 16, was scouted by an agent in a play. After an audition, she was offered a role on the long-running soap opera As the World Turns; but she refused as her mother insisted that she finish school first.

Shortly before graduation, Heche was offered a dual role on the soap opera Another World. Her mother again said no, but Heche, now 18, left for New York, later writing, “I spent my time with my mother in a one-bedroom apartment and I was done. “

For the rest of her adult life, she would be separated from her mother and older sister Susan, who died in 2006 of brain cancer. Heche reconciled with her remaining sister, Abigail.

Anne Heche in a scene from Donnie Brasco, 1997.
Anne Heche in a scene from Donnie Brasco, 1997. Photography: Mandalay/Baltimore/Kobal/Shutterstock

Heche’s performance by Vicky Hudson and Marley Love in Another World won him an Emmy in 1991; she moved on to guest roles on TV shows and TV movies. Her feature debut was The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993) and in 1995 she played Joan Chen’s lover in Wild Side, whose writer-director Donald Cammell killed himself shortly after seeing the final edited version. by the producers. Heche earned good reviews for a co-starring role in the independent film Walking and Talking (1996), starring Catherine Keener, and, in 1997, playing Johnny Depp’s wife in Donnie Brasco.

The same year as Six Days, Seven Nights, she starred with Vince Vaughn in Return to Paradise and took the Janet Leigh role of Marion Crane in the shot-by-shot remake of Hitchcock by Gus Van Sant psychology, with Vaughn as Norman Bates, who kills her in the shower. Heche was a potential saint alongside Ed Harris in The Third Miracle of Agnieszka Holland (1999).

Anne Heche as Marion Crane in the Gus Van Sant remake of Psycho, 1998.
Anne Heche as Marion Crane in the Gus Van Sant remake of Psycho, 1998. Photograph: Reuters

Feeling stuck after her split from DeGeneres, Heche appeared on the hit TV show Ally McBeal in 2001, then left Hollywood to Broadway. In 2002, she starred in David Auburn’s Pulitzer-winning play Proof as the daughter of a mathematical genius who fears she has inherited both her father’s talent and his mental instability. But despite her nice remarks, during the filming of the play in 2005, the main role went to Gwyneth Paltrow.

In 2004, she was nominated for a Tony Award opposite Alec Baldwin in a Twentieth Century revival, nominated for an Emmy for the TV movie Gracie’s Choice, and won a Saturn Award as Best Actress in the science fiction TV movie The Dead Will Tell.

She’s kept busy, playing lead roles in TV movies and roles in theatrical films that have garnered good reviews, including as one of two sisters, both ex-wives of a cop (Woody Harrelson) in the otherwise disappointing film. Rampart (2011), written by James Ellroy, a film for Colin Firth and Emily Blunt in Arthur Newman (2012), alongside Sandra Oh in the underrated cat fight (2016), which follows an ongoing rivalry between two classmates, and excels in My friend Dahmer (2017), as the mother of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

Anne Heche with Ellen DeGeneres in 1999;  the couple separated the following year.
Anne Heche with Ellen DeGeneres in 1999; the couple separated the following year. Photography: Graham Whitby-Boot/Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar

In the meantime, she starred in a series of television series. In Men in Trees (2006-08), she was a relationship coach in New York who ends up in Elmo, Alaska. A mix of familiar tropes, it was notable because Heche began a relationship with her co-star James Tupper; their son, Atlas, was born in 2009, the same year his divorce from Laffoon was finalized. She and Tupper separated in 2018.

In Suspended (2009-11), Heche plays the ex-wife of an oppressed basketball coach who becomes a gigolo. Save Me (2013) ran for seven episodes; she was a woman whose near-death experience turned her into a pipeline of God. In 2016 she starred in Aftermath, as part of a family struggling for post-apocalyptic survival, and in 2017 she served as Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in The Brave, in which she and her control team manipulate agents in the field.

His most recent film, Wildfire, is due out later this year, based on Michael Martin Murphy’s hit song, as the mother of the girl who, in the song, is lost searching for her pony in the snow. She also starred in the TV movie Girl in Room 13, which is set to premiere next month.

After an accident in Los Angeles on August 5, in which her car caught fire, Heche was hospitalized and spent nearly a week in a coma before being declared legally dead under California law on August 12. Life support was withdrawn two days later.

Heche is survived by his sons, Homer, from his marriage to Laffoon, and Atlas.

Anne Celeste Heche, actress, born May 25, 1969; passed away on August 14, 2022

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