Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Wiki Commons
The LGBTQ+ trailblazer and adored actor Anne Heche has been "peacefully taken off life support" after passing away at 53 years old.
The Emmy winner was a groundbreaking queer figure after her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres who she dated from 1997 to 2000, with both enduring career setbacks as a result of being public with their sexuality.
Following the heartbreaking news, Ellen DeGeneres tweeted: "This is a sad day. I'm sending Anne's children, family and friends all of my love."
This is a sad day. I'm sending Anne's children, family and friends all of my love.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 12, 2022
The Men in Trees actor was involved in a car crash in Los Angeles on 5 August and suffered a severe brain injury.
Heche’s son, Homer Laffoon, confirmed her death in a statement to the LA Times on Friday (12 August) but it was understood life support was maintained to facilitate organ donation.
"My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom. After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep, wordless sadness," he wrote. "Hopefully my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom."
It has since been confirmed that the actress has been "peacefully taken off life support," with "multiple organs" being transplanted, according to Sky News.
Heche rose to fame in the 90s in films such as Donnie Brasco, Volcano, I Know What You Did Last Summer and Wag the Dog.
Following Heche's death, filmmaker Ted Geoghegan tweeted about the influence Heche and DeGeneres had when they publicly announced their relationship in 1997.
"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," Geoghegan wrote.
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. RIP pic.twitter.com/gmTxCPLlOx— Ted Geoghegan (@tedgeoghegan) August 12, 2022
"I was in awe, and remember thinking, 'This could really change things for people.' Thank you for so bravely taking that step, Anne. RIP," he continued.
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