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Anne Heche declared “legally dead”

Anne Heche declared “legally dead”
Actress Anne Heche. (Reuters)

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US actress Anne Heche is legally dead but will remain on life support to allow for a possible organ donation, her representative has said.

The 53-year-old had been in a coma for a week after crashing her car into a house in Los Angeles.

“Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul”, her family said in a statement on Friday.

Heche appeared in films including Volcano, Donnie Brasco and the 1998 remake of Psycho.

The mother-of-two also appeared on Dancing with the Stars, the US equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing, in 2020.

According to the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), Heche’s vehicle “erupted in heavy fire”, which took 59 firefighters more than an hour to fully extinguish. The two-storey home she crashed into was left “uninhabitable”.

As well as suffering burns, the actress was left with “a severe anoxic brain injury” – when the brain is deprived of oxygen – her family said.

A representative said the late actress is “legally dead,” but added that her life-support treatment will continue temporarily to check if she may be a match for a potential organ donation.

“Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy”, her family’s statement said.

“Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact.” (BBC)