Actor Anne Heche was “stable” in hospital amid a wave of support from fans and fellow stars following an accident in which she drove her car into a Los Angeles home, causing severe burn injuries to herself as well as damaging the house which has become “uninhabitable”.
As of Saturday, the Los Angeles police department (LAPD) said it was investigating the incident but had not determined its cause. The Los Angeles fire department (LAFD) said in a statement it took 59 firefighters to extinguish the fire.
In a statement Heather Duffy Boylston, Heche’s friend and podcast partner, said: “Anne is currently in stable condition. Her family and friends ask for your thoughts and prayers and to respect her privacy during this difficult time.”
Ohio native Heche emerged on the NBC soap opera Another World from 1987 to 1991 where she snagged a Daytime Emmy. In the 1990s she became one of the hottest actors in Hollywood and co-starred with Johnny Depp in 1997’s Donnie Brasco, with Tommy Lee Jones in 1997’s Volcano and with Harrison Ford in 1998’s Six Days, Seven Nights.
Many people expressed their sympathy on Twitter as news unfolded of the fire through the weekend.
Actor Alix Wilton Regan called Heche “brilliant and complicated”, and applauded her for her kindness during the time they worked together. “Wishing her a quick recovery from these horrible crashes and safer, more solid, times ahead,” Regan said.
Actor Alec Baldwin said that Heche was an “amazingly talented woman”. In a video posted to Instagram he added: “I love you and I think you are such a talented person. I hope everything is OK, I hope you come through this. My heart goes out to you.”
Rosanna Arquette tweeted: ‘‘This is really tragic. Pray for her.”
Meanwhile, Heche’s ex-partner, Big Little Lies star James Tupper, who shares a 13-year-old son with Heche, said they were both hoping for a quick recovery. “Thoughts and prayers for this lovely woman, actress and mother tonight.”
Fans also expressed support. “There cannot be anything worse than suffering from burns over any part of one’s body,” wrote one Twitter user, expressing sympathy for her sons.
Heche’s long career has had its ups and downs after a traumatic childhood, which she has documented in a memoir and spoken about in many interviews. She is a survivor of years of sexual abuse from her father, and said it took 31 years for her to come out of that trauma.
In 2020, she claimed that her same-sex relationship with the comedian Ellen DeGeneres in the late 1990s caused significant harm to her career at a time when an anti-LGBTQ prejudice was rife in the entertainment industry.
She said 20th Century Fox told her if she invited DeGeneres as her partner to a premiere, they would “cancel” her contract. She was “ushered out” of the premiere when she took DeGeneres.
DeGeneres has not yet made any statement regarding Heche’s accident.
A CBS Los Angeles reporter said in a tweet the resident of the house, which was engulfed in fire, is “a mess”.
“I’m a mess. We’re alive, but that’s about as far as it goes,” the woman was quoted as saying.
A GoFundMe created for the victim, identified as Lynne Mishele, has raised more than $5,000 in a little over 12 hours. The Guardian could not independently confirm whether the fundraiser belongs to her.