DONNIE Brasco star Anne Heche has died just days after being involved in a fiery car crash.
Heche’s close friend, Nancy Davis, announced her death on Friday in a touching Instagram tribute: “Heaven has a new Angel. My loving, kind, fun, endearing and beautiful friend @anneheche went to heaven.
“I will miss her terribly and cherish all the beautiful memories we have shared. Anne was always the kindest, most thoughtful person who always brought out the best in me.
“She was so supportive with anything she could do to help @racetoerasems and would always say yes when she knew she could contribute something with her time, talent and creative genius to help find a cure for MS.
“My heart is broken ???#heavenhasanewangel #heavenhasanotherangel?.” Heche was 53.
Heche’s ex, talk show legend Ellen DeGeneres, broke her silence on Friday, tweeting: “This is a sad day. I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.”
A rep for the actress told TMZ on Monday that Heche had slipped into a coma following the August 5 crash.
“Shortly after the accident, Anne Heche became unconscious, slipping into a coma and is in critical condition,” the rep said.
“She has a significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention.”
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The rep also told PEOPLE: “She is in a coma and has not regained consciousness since shortly after the accident.”
HECHE SQUIRMING IN AGONY
Dramatic photos of the wreckage show her mangled vehicle being towed after Heche was dragged out of the flaming car by firefighters.
The 53-year-old was seen squirming in agony on a stretcher before she was rushed to the hospital after the smash at around 11am.
She was reportedly driving at speeds of up to 90mph before the crash, which took place in the Mar Vista area of LA.
Video footage has shown Heche appearing to speed down a residential street in her blue Mini Cooper moments before the devastating smash.
A neighbor at the time claimed that he heard her plow into a garage of an apartment complex while numerous residents rushed to her aid.
But Heche instead ignored their attempts to help and put the car in reverse before zooming off again, onlookers claimed.
She then careered through a hedge and rammed into a nearby home before her wrecked Mini Cooper burst into flames.
The blaze engulfed the house and sent smoke billowing down the street.
Some 59 firefighters were left battling the “stubborn flames” for 65 minutes, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Before her death, reports surfaced that those closest to Heche were grappling with the decision to take her off life support.
Deadline reported that the actress was being kept alive until it was officially determined whether any organs undamaged in the crash could be donated.
“We want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers for Anne’s recovery and thank the dedicated staff and wonderful nurses that cared for Anne at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills hospital,” a rep for Heche’s family told Deadline.
“Unfortunately, due to her accident, Anne Heche suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and remains in a coma, in critical condition. She is not expected to survive.
“It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept on life support to determine if any are viable.
“Anne had a huge heart and touched everyone she met with her generous spirit.
“More than her extraordinary talent, she saw spreading kindness and joy as her life’s work –especially moving the needle for acceptance of who you love.
“She will be remembered for her courageous honesty and dearly missed for her light.”
LIFE AS A STAR
Out of Aurora, Ohio, Heche came to recognition after portraying twins Vicky Hudson and Marley Love in the late ’80s soap opera Another World.
The role earned her a Daytime Emmy Award and two Soap Opera Digest Awards.
Her career reached new heights in the late 1990s with roles in Donnie Brasco, the disaster film Volcano, the comedic film Six Days, Seven Nights, and the slasher-horror movie I Know What You Did Last Summer.
In 1997, her relationship with DeGeneres became the subject of widespread media interest.
Heche and Ellen were one of Hollywood’s first openly gay couples until their amicably split in 2000.
She is survived by her sons, Homer and Atlas, as well as her sister Abigail.