Anne Heche has died at age 53, one week after her car slammed into a house in Los Angeles, California, while she was driving under the influence of cocaine.
Her bizarre final moments before the crash included a strange shopping trip at a wig store as well as an attempt to flee from firefighters after they rescued her from the fiery ruble.
Richard Glass, the owner of Glass Hair Design salon in Venice, where Anne stopped to purchase a red wig just hours before her death, later said that he didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary with her behaviour, describing her as “personable and very polite”.
"She wasn’t speaking in cursive, I say that when people are impaired," he explained. "They speak in cursive like slurring your words. But she wasn’t.
"She was very, very cordial. Very personable and very polite. The whole encounter was maybe 10 minutes, it wasn’t huge, but it was strange all the same and random. It was an amazing, kind interaction."
After leaving the wig store, Anne was seen speeding through the neighbourhood of Mar Vista in Los Angeles in her blue Mini Cooper. She crashed into the garage of a home and hit another car but was initially unharmed. Residents of the apartment building attempted to free Anne from the car, but she resisted, putting her car in reverse and speeding off.
Thirty minutes later, Anne crashed into a two-story home along the same street causing the house and the actress' car to become engulfed in flames. According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, the home's resident managed to escape unharmed but the crash caused "structural compromise and erupted in heavy fire".
According to a witness, a crane was used to extract Anne from her car. Anne was conscious, and in video footage of the crash she could be seen sitting up on the stretcher and seemingly arguing with firefighters while trying to escape.
Blood tests later revealed that Anne was not under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, but tested positive for traces of cocaine and fentanyl, a potent opioid used as a pain medication.
The Emmy-winning star’s death is a tragic end to a lifetime marred by mental illness; drug abuse; and sexual assault at the hands of her devout Baptist father, who molested her from when she was an infant until she was 12 years old.
Anne said in November 2001 interview: "My father was a schizophrenic. He lived two complete lives - one as a heterosexual man who directed the choir and had a family and one who went away. We didn't know what he did until years later."
Anne's father was one of the first people in the US to succumb to AIDS at the age of 45, in March 1983. His death, when Anne was 13, left the family destitute and homeless. Around that time, they resettled in New Jersey and it was there that she began acting.
In 1987, at 17 years old, she landed a role in soap opera, Another World, after a high school play performance and kick-started a successful acting career which spanned more than three decades.
Anne's rocky love life
According to those close to her, the horrific car crash that caused Anne’s death came at the end of a downward spiral that started when she split from actor Thomas Jane (53), whom she dated from 2019 through 2020.
"She was crazy in love with him," one friend told sources. "After so many failed relationships she thought she finally found her person – the guy who would be in her life forever.
"Anne has always had demons and in the end, when they couldn’t make it work, she started falling apart and she turned to the things that took her out of her funk before – bad things."
This followed a pattern for the actress whose previous break-ups have preceded bizarre behaviour, according to insiders.
The day after she split from Ellen DeGeneres (64), Anne turned up at a stranger’s home in the tiny town of Cantua Creek, California, wearing nothing but shorts and a bra, asking if she could take a shower. It was later revealed she was high on ecstasy.
Ellen and Anne started dating in 1997 and quickly became tabloid fodder much to the detriment of the budding actress. After three years together they went their separate ways with Anne later slamming Ellen for being money-hungry.
"I broke up with her because her goal was to have a lot of money. Mine was to find love, and hers was, 'I want $60 billion'...Good, good luck; our forks are never going to meet."
Anne later blamed the same-sex romance for derailing her once-promising career.
“The stigma attached to that relationship was so bad...I didn’t do a studio picture for 10 years. I was fired from a $10-million picture deal,” Anne said.
Anne's boys bid her farewell
Anne is survived by her two sons, Atlas Heche Tupper (13) and Homer Laffoon (20).
Homer paid tribute to his mother in an emotional statement.
“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.”
Homer – Anne’s son with her ex-husband, cameraman Coleman Laffoon (48) – went on to thank everyone who sent love and words of kindness to the late actress’ family following the tragedy.
Anne and Coleman called it quits in 2007, after six years of marriage, and finalised their divorce in 2009. Atlas’ dad is Big Little Lies actor James Tupper (57), whom Anne dated from 2007 until 2018.
SOURCES: PAGESIX.COM, DAILYMAIL.CO.UK, PEOPLE.COM, USMAGAZINE.COM, TMZ.COM