On August 5, 2022, actress Anne Heche was involved in a serious car accident. After a week in a coma, she ultimately passed away when she was taken off life support. The crash also resulted in a bystander’s home being burnt completely down, and it truly was a tragedy for all involved. Unfortunately, this is far from the first tragedy to take place in Heche’s family.
Tragedy Surrounded Heche From An Early Age
Heche is the youngest of five children, and as she grew up, her family struggled to make ends meet. In addition to financial trouble, the family would soon suffer their first tragedy. Before Heche was born, her sister Cynthia passed away from a heart defect at the age of only 2 months.
When Heche was 13 years old, her father died of HIV/AIDS. Heche later said she believed the illness was caused by her father’s multiple affairs, which were chronicled in the 1994 memoir Anonymity, written by Heche’s sister Susan. In her own memoir Call Me Crazy, Heche also alleged that her father had sexually abused her as a young girl, which undoubtedly would lead to a flood of complicated emotions surrounding his death.
Just three months after the death of her father, Heche’s 18-year-old brother, Nathan, was killed in a car accident. The official report stated that he fell asleep at the wheel and struck a tree, but Heche maintains that it was a suicide. Heche has spoken openly about Nathan’s death and even appeared on an episode of Hollywood Medium in 2019.
“His death is the reason I moved from New Jersey to Chicago.” Heche began. “I do believe that it was the universe, that something extraordinary needed to happen to get me out of what would certainly be my death—if I continued to live with my mother.”
Heche Was Estranged From Her Mother
The above comment refers to Heche’s strained relationship with her mother Nancy, who reportedly was intolerant of Heche’s sexuality and later refused to speak to her after her high-profile relationship with Ellen Degeneres went public.
In a 2011 interview with The Daily Telegraph, Heche had the following to say about making peace with the situation:
“Love to me is an action, it’s the way you behave, and that’s how you show it. I cannot understand her idea of love, so it’s safer for me to not debate it. And that’s how I’ve found peace with her. I don’t know if that’s forgiveness or not.”
The Death Of Heche’s Sister And Her Relationship With Her Remaining Sibling
Unfortunately, Heche’s family’s tragedies did not end with the death of her brother. In 2006, Heche’s sister, Susan, died of brain cancer at the age of 48 after a year-long battle with the disease. Susan was described by her husband as “gentle, beautiful, fiercely intelligent and very brave. She was a risk-taker—she would always place it all on the line for whatever she was doing, whether it was writing, relationships, family or art.”
Heche’s only remaining sibling is her sister Abigail, who is a jewelry designer. The pair were estranged for almost 20 years, but in a 2011 interview with the Daily Telegraph, Heche revealed they had started to mend fences.
“She came out to visit last week, and we’re having a wonderful time in our friendship as we’ve gotten closer,” the actress shared. “We’ve both put our stuff behind us.”
While Heche’s own death is a devastating addition to the family’s long string of tragedies, we can only hope that she is now at peace. It’s good to know that she was close to at least one family member before her untimely passing.