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Anne Heche is dead at 53 following a car crash

AYESHA RASCOE, HOST:

Emmy Award-winning actor Anne Heche has died following a car crash that left her in a coma. Her family is waiting to find out if she is a match for organ donation before taking her off life support at a Los Angeles hospital. She was 53. NPR's Chloe Veltman reports.

CHLOE VELTMAN, BYLINE: Anne Heche was best known for her roles in 1990s movies like "Donnie Brasco," "Psycho" and the action adventure comedy "Six Days Seven Nights," in which she starred opposite Harrison Ford.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SIX DAYS SEVEN NIGHTS")

ANNE HECHE: (as Robin Monroe) Hey, Quinn?

HARRISON FORD: (As Quinn Harris) Huh? What? What?

HECHE: (As Robin Monroe) I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I'm having a bit of a problem.

FORD: (As Quinn Harris) What's the problem?

HECHE: (As Robin Monroe) Some sort of creature has just swum up my pants.

VELTMAN: She launched her career playing a pair of good and evil twins on the long-running daytime soap opera "Another World," for which she earned a Daytime Emmy Award.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "ANOTHER WORLD")

HECHE: (As Vicky Hudson) Stacey, get the hell out of my sight.

TERRY DAVIS: (As Stacey Winthrop) Oh, with pleasure. I'll see you in court.

VELTMAN: The actress also became a lesbian icon in the late '90s during her 3 1/2-year relationship with TV host Ellen DeGeneres. Heche, who also had relationships with men, came out at a time when it was much harder to be gay in the public spotlight, says Los Angeles-based New York Times columnist Trish Bendix.

TRISH BENDIX: With so few role models and representations of lesbians in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the relationship ultimately validated lesbian love for both straight and queer people.

VELTMAN: Though starring roles in big films dwindled for Heche in the early 2000s, she went on to earn acclaim for her work in indie movies, on TV and on Broadway. She is survived by two sons. Chloe Veltman, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Corrected: August 13, 2022 at 10:00 PM MDT
A previous version of the online introduction to this story said Anne Heche had been taken off of life support. In fact, she had not been taken off of life support.
Chloe Veltman
Chloe Veltman is a correspondent on NPR's Culture Desk.