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Anne Heche dead: Ellen DeGeneres reacts after being declared brain dead

Ellen DeGeneres posted a heartfelt message to her ex-girlfriend Anne Heche just before it was revealed that the actress has died aged 53. 

The former talk-show host’s message came just moments before it was confirmed Friday morning that Heche was declared legally dead, though her heart is being kept beating so that it can be harvested for donation.

‘This is a sad day,’ said DeGeneres, 64, who dated Heche from 1997 to 2000. ‘I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.’

The way they were: Ellen DeGeneres posted a heartfelt message to her ex-girlfriend Anne Heche just before it was revealed that the actress has died aged 53

'This is a sad day': DeGeneres, who who dated Heche from 1997 to 2000. 'I'm sending Anne's children, family and friends all of my love'

‘This is a sad day’: DeGeneres, who who dated Heche from 1997 to 2000. ‘I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love’

DeGeneres and Heche were serious enough that in 1999, they declared that if Vermont legalized same-sex marriage in a highly publicized case then before the state’s supreme court, they would tie the knot.

Heche’s team announced this Thursday that she was ‘not expected to survive’ the injuries she sustained from her fiery car crash on August 5, when she drove into a house at 90mph while under the influence of cocaine.

Heche’s ex James Tupper, with whom she had fought a protracted and bitter custody battle over their son Atlas, 13, put their differences aside and wrote simply: ‘love you forever,’ with a broken heart emoji.

Selma Blair wrote a heartfelt Instagram tribute to Blair, sharing: ‘Since I came to Hollywood, I met so many dear people who loved anne from way back. And continue to. I was always told how much I would love her and she remained a light to admire.’

Throwback to 1997: DeGeneres and Heche were serious enough that in 1999, they declared that if Vermont legalized same-sex marriage, they would tie the knot

Throwback to 1997: DeGeneres and Heche were serious enough that in 1999, they declared that if Vermont legalized same-sex marriage, they would tie the knot

Loving words: Celebrities ranging from Cruel Intentions actress Selma Blair to Gina Schock of The Go-Gos tweeted tributes to Heche

Loving words: Celebrities ranging from Cruel Intentions actress Selma Blair to Gina Schock of The Go-Gos tweeted tributes to Heche

Blair continued: ‘She clearly is one of the great actresses of our time and this tragedy is haunting. She was remarkable. And perhaps very complicated but seemed to fight like hell to do the best for everyone she loved. May her memory be a blessing. Love and support to all who knew and loved @anneheche. Comfort to her boys. Love.’

After Heche was declared dead this Friday, Gina Schock of The Go-Gos tweeted: ‘Not sure what’s going on in the world but 53 years young we say goodbye to @anneheche May you, your family, friends and fans find peace in this difficult time.’

Police revealed this week that their preliminary blood tests, using blood drawn while Heche was in the hospital, showed cocaine in her system.

The tests also turned up fentanyl, but because hospitals also use fentanyl for pain relief, it is currently unclear if it was in her bloodstream during the accident.

Throwback: After her team announced she was unlikely to survive, Ed Helms, her co-star in the 2011 movie Cedar Rapids (pictured), expressed his grief on Twitter

Throwback: After her team announced she was unlikely to survive, Ed Helms, her co-star in the 2011 movie Cedar Rapids (pictured), expressed his grief on Twitter

Heche first crashed into a garage, then sped away from the scene and barreled headlong into the two-story home of Lynne Mishele, who sustained serious enough injuries that the police opened a felony investigation.

She was hospitalized and spent days in a coma before she was declared braindead, though she remains on life support for the purposes of organ donation.

After her team announced she was unlikely to survive, Ed Helms, her co-star in the 2011 movie Cedar Rapids, expressed his grief on Twitter. 

‘Anne Heche news today is so heartbreaking. A truly epic, vibrant spirit and a profound talent,’ he wrote. Sending tremendous love and support to her family.’

Rosanna Arquette tweeted Thursday night: ‘I’m very upset and sad that Anne Heche is not expected to live.And yes she would have been arrested for driving under the influence and putting lives in danger .she still is a great artist and struggled with addiction it’s terribly sad for her children and for her friends.’ 

 

Real time: Rosanna Arquette tweeted Thursday: 'I’m very upset and sad that Anne Heche is not expected to live,' then after Heche was declared dead she wrote: 'Rest In Peace now Anne'

Real time: Rosanna Arquette tweeted Thursday: ‘I’m very upset and sad that Anne Heche is not expected to live,’ then after Heche was declared dead she wrote: ‘Rest In Peace now Anne’

Side by side: Her performance in Proof on Broadway in 2000 drew particular praise from her co-star Stephen Kunken and from Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn

Side by side: Her performance in Proof on Broadway in 2000 drew particular praise from her co-star Stephen Kunken and from Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn

Tributes poured in on social media this Friday after the actress was declared dead, including from Rosanna who tweeted simply: ‘Rest In Peace now Anne.’

Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn added his voice to the choir on Twitter: ‘Honest to God, I think maybe the best acting performance I’ve ever seen in my life was Anne Heche in PROOF on Broadway.’

Heche’s co-star in Proof, Stephen Kunken, had tweeted the previous night: ‘Some years ago I was Anne Heche’s quirky suitor in PROOF on Broadway. She was as kooky and utterly fabulous as I could have ever dreamed.’

He hailed her as ‘An immense talent I loved playing opposite & more importantly a truly decent human and friend. The news is just unendingly sad.’

Isiah Whitlock Jr., who appeared with Heche in Cedar Rapids, wrote: ‘RIP Anne Heche. My heart breaks. One of the kindest and most talented actors I’ve ever worked with. God bless you. You will be greatly missed.’ 

Carrie Ann Inaba, who was one of the judges on Dancing With The Stars when Anne competed on the show in 2020, shared her memories as well.

‘Rest In Peace. @Anne Heche May your soul be at peace. We will miss your beautiful, unique and free spirited energy,’ she wrote on Twitter. ‘I will always remember your performance on @officialdwts in that [rainbow] costume, dancing with all your heart. thank you for being you.’

Ariel Winter’s ex Levi Meaden, who played Anne’s son on a series called Aftermath, wrote: ‘I’m at a loss as I write this. Lord knows she had her struggles in life, but it led her to carry herself the way she did, led her to be the woman I met. She told me the only one holding me back was me, and that I needed to be my own hero.’

He recalled: ‘She gave me so much advice. She taught me how to carry myself in this industry. She is an icon. She was an immense talent. She was a lot of things but my most importantly she was loved.’

Meaden continued: ‘I’m heartbroken, and I know many, many other people are as well. I’ve been reading so many experiences similar to mine and that impact is a testament to who she is. Anne seemed to know a lot about what it is to be human, and the ferocious courage it takes to fully embrace that.’

He wrote that Anne ‘knew there was strength in vulnerability and she wouldn’t let anyone rob her of it. I hope she is at peace. My heart goes out to all of those that loved her but especially her family. I’ll miss you Anne, thanks for everything.’

The actress turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with the psychological effects of her traumatic childhood, during which she was sexually abused by her secretly gay father who went on to die of AIDS. 


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