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Anne Heche's FINAL MOMENTS revealed: Wigs, vodka and a fatal drive

A detailed account of the day of actress Anne Heche's accident and a peak into her past life
UPDATED AUG 13, 2022
Actress Anne Heche dies at 53 (Anne Heche/Instagram)
Actress Anne Heche dies at 53 (Anne Heche/Instagram)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: A week after her automobile crashed into a house on August 5, actress Anne Heche has died. She was suspected of being drunk while driving but was later found to be under the influence of drugs. After being severely burned and injured, the actress was declared brain dead on August 12. According to her agent, who spoke to TMZ, the 53-year-old star's heartbeat was being maintained to preserve her body organs for donation. According to the rep, under Californian law, a person is considered dead if he or she is incapable of using their brain, as is the case with Heche.
Heche, who is renowned for her performances in 'Psycho' and 'I Know What You Did Last Summer', was spotted driving through the Mar Vista area last Friday, August 5, and nearly collided with a person on the pavement. She then drove into the carport of another property and struck a second car, but was unhurt. She then proceeded to drive away and soon crashed into a two-story residence, causing her vehicle to instantly catch fire.


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August 2, Tuesday: Heche recorded a podcast while consuming wine chasers and vodka


According to reports, Heche had produced a now-deleted edition of the podcast 'Better Together' on the day of the accident, in which she allegedly consumed wine and vodka live on air. However, the producer, Ryan Tillotson, went on to claim that the program had been documented two days prior to the incident. In a slurred speech during the broadcast, Heche revealed that she had had a particularly bad day. She also started joking about drinking with co-host Heather Duffy. She added that they had received a free drink from Refined, a vodka company that funded one of their programs.
"Today's been a very unique day. I don't know what happened, sometimes days just suck and I don't know if you ever have them [but] some days, those no good, very bad days, and some days just end up like this," said Anne. "Sometimes days just suck and I don't know if you ever have them, but you know some days, Mama says just gonna be like this. Some days there's those no good, very bad days. And I don't know why some days just end up like this, and things don't really rock me like that."

10 am on August 5: Heche was spotted at a wig store where she bought a red-colored wig


In Venice, California, Heche visited the Glass Hair Design salon and bought a red wig on the day of the accident. In a subsequent interview with Entertainment Tonight, the owner of the shop, Richard Glass, said he had not observed anything unusual about the actress' conduct. "She wasn’t speaking in cursive, I say that when people are impaired. They speak in cursive like slurring your words. But she wasn’t," he said. "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."

10:30 am on August 5: Heche was caught driving at  high speed along Mar Vista, almost striking a person and wrecking a garage


Heche began driving at high speed through Mar Vista after departing the wig shop. Around 10:30 am, she made her first collision with the parking structure of an apartment building. Residents of the complex tried to get Heche out of the vehicle after the collision. However, the actress refused to shift the gear into reverse and sped off. After the first collision, a doorbell camera captured Heche's blue Mini Cooper speeding past a house on South Walgrove Avenue in the Mar Vista area at more than 90 mph. She nearly struck a pedestrian on the footpath before crashing into a Jaguar, according to TMZ. The Jaguar's driver was unharmed, and she quickly sped off again.

11 am on August 5: Heche crashes into a two-story home, causing a huge fire

(David Pearlman/Daily Mail)
(David Pearlman/Daily Mail)

Moments later, Heche hit a two-story building located on the same block, igniting both the building and her vehicle. The Los Angeles Fire Department claims that the accident resulted in the structural deterioration of the house after being subjected to intense flames. The LAFD said in a statement that it required 59 firemen to extinguish the flames. It took the firemen 65 minutes in total, and the house is no longer liveable. The building's occupants were unhurt since they were in the backyard when Heche crashed into the house's entrance.


Neighbor David Manpearl's door camera captured the whole incident. David's home office has a view of his front lawn and is located on a street five homes away from the place where Heche collided. In an exclusive interview conducted by the Daily Mail, David said, "At about 10:50 am, I heard a car go speeding by and looked out my window where I saw the car going about 90 miles an hour. Within seconds, I heard a loud crash, at which point I ran outside in my flip-flops because I knew someone was hurt and boy was I right "
David claimed that he sprinted in the direction where Heche's car had struck the house. "Before I approached the car, I saw the resident of the home standing barefoot in the debris. She was in shock and frantically asked me to help get her pets out of the house. I was able to get the leashes for her two small dogs and escorted her out of the side of her house. She had her two dogs with her and a tortoise," he said. Heche was trapped between the airbag and the seat, according to David, when he rushed to the vehicle to assist her. "I tried speaking with her a few times, asking if she was OK, but she wasn't responding, so I had to get closer. I was able to open the back door of the car and crawled halfway inside. This time, when I asked her if she was OK, she said no," said the neighbor.
David claimed that when he told Heche to lift her hand to check whether she was alright, she refused and grunted. When David felt water pouring on him, he realized that another resident was spraying water from a pump at the car that was on fire."I tried to talk to her again and noticed it was getting smokey and the flames were now on my right and my left, so I quickly made my way out of the car." David then entered the house from the entrance and tried to extinguish the fire with a different hose, but he soon recognized that his efforts were ineffective since the entire building was on fire. Around 10 firefighter vehicles arrived at the scene soon. David further added, "I was positive that the driver was dead. That she had burned up. It took at least 30 minutes for the fire department to douse the flames, extract the car, and pull her out of the car. I was surprised to find out that it was Anne Heche. I think I knew she had had problems in the past."
A crane was used to remove Heche from her car, a source told NBC Los Angeles. Footage showed Heche sitting on the stretcher and appearing to argue with the firemen as she attempted to flee. Although she was photographed with a vodka bottle in her car's cupholder, officials ultimately found that Heche was under the influence of cocaine and didn't have any alcohol in her system at the time of the crash. Heche was taken urgently to West Hills Hospital's Grossman Burn Center. Although she was awake during her rescue, it has been said that she went comatose soon afterward and never awoke. Her agent told ET, "She has a significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention."

August 12: Heche announced to be brain dead

The actress' physicians formally deemed her brain dead and decided that her organs would be donated. After her organs are preserved, her family will switch off life support. "It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept on life support to determine if any are viable," the family said. Her family stated that Heche 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."

Early Life

Heche's death concluded a devastating journey marked by trauma, mental disorder, substance abuse problems, and sexual violence by her father, who transmitted her genital herpes when she was only an infant. Heche's father was a devout Christian and choir director by day, and he used to abandon his family to wander around in gay bars. From the time Heche was a newborn until she turned 12 years old, he assaulted her. He also forced her to have sex with him while standing "on all fours," Anne revealed in an interview.
After a talent agent spotted Heche in a small school production in 1987, she was offered a role in the TV drama 'Another World.' This was Heche's debut role. Even though Heche had a successful career in the 1990s, she found herself in distress following a highly publicized separation from comedian Ellen DeGeneres. While Heche had never been involved in a relationship with a woman before, she quickly fell for the TV presenter. The pair began seeing each other in 1997. However, the couple split up in 2000 after three years of dating, and Heche began to experience a number of mental health problems.
When Heche subsequently thought back on that period, she believed she possessed another identity which was the avatar of God and referred to herself as "insane." She once showed up on a random person's doorstep while sporting a bra and pleaded with them to let her use their bathroom. In return, she promised to fly them to paradise in a spaceship. She did so under the heavy influence of the ecstasy. Later in life, Heche recovered with the help of treatments and resumed her acting career.