Anne Celeste Heche (/ˈheɪʃ/ HAYSH; born May 25, 1969) is an American actress, a director, and a screenwriter. Her film credits include Six Days, Seven Nights, Return to Paradise, I Know What You Did Last Summer, John Q and Volcano. She also starred in the television series Men in Trees, Hung, Save Me, Dig, and guest-starred on ABC's hit series Quantico. As of autumn 2016, she plays the female lead in the Space (in Canada) and Syfy (in the U.S.) post-apocalyptic action drama Aftermath.
Anne Heche was born on May 25, 1969 in Aurora, Ohio, the youngest of five children of Nancy Heche (née Prickett) and Donald Joseph Heche. Heche's family moved a total of eleven times during her childhood; at one point, they lived in an Amish community. When asked in a 2001 interview on Larry King Live what her father's source of income was, Heche replied, "Well, he was a choir director. But I don't think he made much on that a week. He said that he was involved in a business of gas and oil. And he said that until the day he died. But he never was involved in the business of gas and oil ever." The family settled in Ocean City, New Jersey when Heche was twelve years old. Due to desperate finances, Anne went to work at a dinner theater in Swainton. "At the time we’d been kicked out of our house and my family was holed up living in a bedroom in the home of a generous family from our church," she said. "I got $100 a week, which was more than anyone else in my family. We all pooled our money in an envelope in a drawer and saved up enough to move out after a year."
On March 3, 1983, when Heche was thirteen, her 45-year-old father died of AIDS, although he never came out as a homosexual. "He was in complete denial until the day he died. We know he got it from his gay relationships. Absolutely. I don't think it was just one. He was a very promiscuous man, and we knew his lifestyle then," Heche said on Larry King Live. Despite her father being gay, Heche has claimed that he repeatedly raped her from the time she was an infant until she was twelve, giving her genital herpes. When asked "But why would a gay man rape a girl?", in a 2001 interview with The Advocate, Heche replied "I don't think he was just a gay man. I think he was sexually deviant. My belief was that my father was gay and he had to cover that up. I think he was sexually abusive. The more he couldn't be who he was, the more that came out of him in ways that it did."
Three months after her father's death, Heche's 18-year-old brother Nathan was killed in a car crash. The official determination was that he fell asleep at the wheel and struck a tree, though Heche claims he committed suicide. The remainder of Heche's family subsequently moved to Chicago, where Heche attended the progressive Francis W. Parker School. In 1985, when Heche was sixteen, an agent spotted her in a school play and secured her an audition for the daytime soap opera As the World Turns. Heche flew to New York City, auditioned, and was offered a job, but her mother insisted she finish high school first. Shortly before her high school graduation in 1987, Heche was offered a dual role on the daytime soap opera Another World. "Again I was told I couldn't go. My mother was very religious and maybe she thought it was a sinner’s world," Heche stated. "But I got on the phone and said, 'Send me the ticket. I’m getting on the plane.' I was like, 'Bye!' I did my time with my mom in a one-bedroom, skanky apartment and I was done."
For her work on Another World, Heche received a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series in 1991. In November 1991, Heche made her primetime television debut in an episode of Murphy Brown. She made her TV-movie debut the following year with a brief appearance in the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of O Pioneers! (1992). In 1993, Heche made her feature film debut in Disney's The Adventures of Huck Finn with Elijah Wood. Over the next two years, she had small supporting roles in made-for-TV movies such as Girls in Prison (1994) and Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long (1995). She also appeared in the straight-to-video erotic thriller Wild Side (1995) as Joan Chen's lesbian lover.
In 1996, Heche landed her first substantial role as a college student contemplating an abortion in a segment of the made-for-cable anthology film If These Walls Could Talk. That same year, she appeared in the independent film Walking and Talking, gaining positive notice from film critic Alison Macor of Austin Chronicle, who wrote in her review that Heche "is destined for larger film roles". For her performance as Johnny Depp's wife in the 1997 crime drama Donnie Brasco, critic Janet Maslin of the New York Times wrote "Anne Heche does well with what could have been the thankless role." Heche had supporting roles in three other 1997 releases, playing a seismologist in the disaster film Volcano, a backwoods loner in the horror hit I Know What You Did Last Summer, and a presidential advisor in the political satire Wag the Dog (a part that was originally written for a man).
Heche's first high-profile role came in the 1998 romantic adventure Six Days, Seven Nights, where she starred opposite Harrison Ford. She had been cast in the film one day before her same-sex relationship with Ellen DeGeneres went public. Although Heche was cast in a second starring role shortly thereafter as Vince Vaughn's love interest in the acclaimed drama Return to Paradise (1998), she felt that the romance with DeGeneres destroyed her prospects as a leading woman. According to Heche, "People said 'You're not getting a job because you're gay' ". She commented: "How could that destroy my career? I still can't wrap my head around it." Six Days, Seven Nights and Return to Paradise have remained the only theatrically released films in which Heche has had a leading role. She has never stopped working, but quickly fell under the Hollywood radar.
Between 1998 and 2002, Heche appeared in the critically lambasted remake of Psycho, the unreleased adaptation of Elizabeth Wurtzel's autobiography Prozac Nation with Christina Ricci, and the Denzel Washington thriller John Q. In 2001, she had a recurring role in the fourth season of the TV series Ally McBeal.
In 2002, Heche made her Broadway debut in a production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Proof. In 2004, Heche received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the Lifetime movie Gracie's Choice, and a Saturn Award nomination as Best Actress for her performance in the CBS television movie The Dead Will Tell (2004). In the same year, she was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in Broadway's Twentieth Century, and appeared in the well-received independent film Birth. She also had a recurring role on the WB drama Everwood during its 2004–05 season. She then took on a recurring role on Nip/Tuck in 2005 as an ex-mob wife and Witness Protection Program subject who requires plastic surgery. Heche continued to act in TV movies, playing a widow who doesn't celebrate Christmas in Silver Bells (2005), and a con woman who schemes a man she meets on a dating website in Fatal Desire (2006).
In 2006, Heche began work on her own series, Men in Trees. In the show, she starred as a New York author who, after finding out her fiancé is cheating on her, moves to a small town in Alaska, which happens to be abundant with single men and few women. Men in Trees was canceled in May 2008, after a season shortened by the writer’s strike. She then appeared in Spread, a sex comedy starring Ashton Kutcher released in 2009, which came out in a limited release and with negative reviews, however, Matthew Turney of View London wrote "There's also terrific support" from Heche. In 2008 she had the main role in Toxic Skies, directed by Andrew C. Erin. In 2009, Heche was cast in the HBO series Hung as the ex-wife of a financially struggling high school basketball/baseball coach (portrayed by Thomas Jane). The series was canceled in December 2011.
In early 2011, she appeared in Cedar Rapids, which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Heche's performance was well received; David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter stated that "while Heche shines brightest in more brittle mode, as in HBO's Hung, she strikes a sweet balance between Joan's mischievous and maternal sides".
Heche had a leading role in the independent comedy film That's What She Said, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. In 2013 she headlined the short-lived NBC sitcom Save Me, in which she starred as a Midwestern housewife who believes that she is channeling God. Heche played a waitress in the film Heat (2014), which stars Jason Statham. She had a recurring guest role on The Michael J. Fox Show before the series was cancelled.
In March 2014, the USA Network announced Heche was cast in its action adventure drama series, Dig. She portrayed the head of the FBI office in Jerusalem whose agents uncovers a 2,000-year-old conspiracy while investigating an archaeologist's murder. The six-episode series premiered late 2014.
In 2015, Heche guest starred in the ABC thriller series Quantico playing the role of criminal profiler, Dr. Susan Langdon.
On September 27, 2016, the post-apocalyptic action drama Aftermath debuted on the Space TV network in Canada and on Syfy in the U.S. Heche played the female lead, Karen Copeland, a U.S. Air Force pilot from Washington State who must navigate Armageddon, along with her university-professor husband Josh (played by James Tupper, who was a co-producer on the series) and their three nearly-adult children.
Throughout her career, she has appeared in several magazine covers including Entertainment Weekly, Mirabella and Observer Magazine. Heche was chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world in 1998. She became a significant subject of widespread media interest while dating comedian Ellen DeGeneres.
Heche's relationship with comedian Ellen DeGeneres and the events following their breakup became subjects of widespread media interest. The couple started dating in 1997, and at one point, said they would get a civil union if such became legal in Vermont. They broke up in August 2000. Heche has stated that all of her other romantic relationships have been with men.
On September 1, 2001, Heche married Coleman "Coley" Laffoon, a cameraman whom she met the previous year on DeGeneres' stand-up comedy tour. They have a son, Homer, born on March 2, 2002. Laffoon filed for divorce on February 2, 2007, after five and a half years of marriage. In court papers filed on May 2, 2007, Laffoon requested primary custody of their son, claiming that Heche was an unfit parent and exhibited "bizarre and delusional behavior for which she refuses to seek professional help". Heche countered by accusing Laffoon of "resorting to lies with the court" because she "would not cave in to his astronomical money demands". Heche lost custody of their son on June 11, 2007. On May 14, 2008, following the cancellation of her TV series Men in Trees, she submitted a financial declaration showing that she had less than $35,000 in her bank accounts and could no longer afford to pay child support. Heche and Laffoon's contentious divorce was finalized on March 4, 2009. A court order was issued which required them to hire a parenting coordinator to manage their relationships with son Homer; this arrangement remained in effect until May 1, 2011.
Heche reportedly left her husband for Men in Trees co-star James Tupper. The couple moved in together in August 2007. On December 5, 2008, it was confirmed by Heche's representative that the actress was pregnant with Tupper's child. Their son, Atlas Heche Tupper, was born on March 7, 2009. This is the second child for Heche and the first for Tupper.
Heche has four siblings, three of whom are deceased.
- Susan (May 5, 1957 – January 1, 2006) died of brain cancer. Heche was estranged from her.
- Cynthia (August 26, 1961 – October 26, 1961) died in infancy of a heart defect.
- Nathan (April 21, 1965 – June 4, 1983) died in a car crash shortly before his high school graduation. Heche has claimed his death was a suicide (see below;).
- Abigail (surviving; see below)
Heche and her mother, Nancy, have been estranged since Heche confronted her about sexual abuse she claims to have suffered at the hands of her father. In her 2001 memoir, Call Me Crazy, Heche wrote that when she contracted genital herpes as an infant, her mother insisted that it was a diaper rash and refused to take her to the doctor. Nancy was outraged by her daughter's allegations, responding, "I am trying to find a place for myself in this writing, a place where I as Anne's mother do not feel violated or scandalized." She added, "I find no place among the lies and blasphemies in the pages of this book."
Heche's sister, Abigail, added "It is my opinion that my sister Anne truly believes, at this moment, what she has asserted about our father's past behavior; however, at the same time, I would like to point out that Anne, in the past, has expressed doubts herself about the accuracy of such memories." She said, "Based on my experience and her own expressed doubts, I believe that her memories regarding our father are untrue. And I can state emphatically, regardless of Anne's beliefs, that the assertion that our mother knew about such behavior is absolutely false."
Nancy has denied Heche's allegation that her brother Nathan committed suicide: "I have talked to his youth pastor, and he said that Nathan was committed to the Lord, he loved Jesus, and I do not believe that that was suicide, but the death of his father from homosexuality three months earlier could certainly have stirred up a lot of confusion for him."
Since her husband's death from AIDS, Nancy has been a Christian therapist and motivational speaker who lectures on behalf of James Dobson's Focus on the Family about overcoming homosexuality. In 2009, Anne Heche told the New York Times:
My mother's had a very tragic life. Three of her five children are dead, and her husband is dead. That she is attempting to change gay people into straight people is, in my opinion, a way to keep the pain of the truth out. People wonder why I am so forthcoming with the truths that have happened in my life, and it's because the lies that I have been surrounded with and the denial that I was raised in, for better or worse, bore a child of truth and love. My mother preaches to this day the opposite of that core of my life. It is no mistake that she still stands up against love. And one wonders why I'm not rushing to have her meet my children.
In 2011, Heche told The Daily Telegraph that she doubts she will be able to ever repair relations with her mother.
On August 19, 2000, Heche drove from Los Angeles to Cantua Creek outside Fresno, California, and parked her Toyota SUV along a dusty roadside. Wearing only a bra and shorts, Heche walked 1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km) through the desert and knocked on the door of a stranger's ranch house. When the home's occupant, Araceli Campiz, opened the door, she immediately recognized Heche from the film Six Days, Seven Nights. Campiz recalled: "I was thinking, 'Oh my God, we're in the middle of nowhere', and she walks in." Campiz said that Heche gulped down glass upon glass of water, and then "took off her Nikes and said she needed to take a shower", at which point Campiz obliged, offering Heche a towel. As far as Campiz could tell, Heche was not drunk, drugged, or ill; however, Heche later admitted that she had taken ecstasy. After Heche had a shower, she got settled in the living room, requested a pair of slippers, and suggested that Campiz do the same. "She wanted to watch a movie, but the VCR was broken," according to Campiz. Bemused at first, Campiz grew uneasy when Heche showed no sign of leaving—calling neither friends nor a garage—after half an hour had passed. Campiz has stated: "I didn't know what to do. So I called the [Fresno County] sheriff's department." According to a police report that was aired on KSEE-TV, when deputies arrived, Heche told them that she was "God, and was going to take everyone back to heaven in a spaceship". The deputies summoned an ambulance, which ferried Heche the 50 miles (80 km) to Fresno's University Medical Center, where she was admitted to the psychiatric unit, from which she was released after a few hours.
Heche stated she was "insane" for the first 31 years of her life, and that this was triggered by being sexually abused by her father during her infancy and childhood. In a series of interviews with Barbara Walters, Matt Lauer, and Larry King to promote Call Me Crazy in 2001, Heche stated on national television that she created a fantasy world called the "Fourth Dimension" to make herself feel safe, and had an alter ego who was the daughter of God and half-sister of Jesus Christ named "Celestia", who had contacts with extraterrestrial life forms. Heche said she recovered from her mental health concerns following the incident in Cantua Creek and has put her alter ego behind her.
|1993||An Ambush of Ghosts||Denise|
|1993||The Adventures of Huck Finn||Mary Jane Wilks|
|1994||I'll Do Anything||Claire|
|1995||Wild Side||Alex Lee|
|1996||Pie in the Sky||Amy|
|1996||Walking and Talking||Laura|
|1997||Donnie Brasco||Maggie Pistone|
|1997||Volcano||Dr. Amy Barnes|
|1997||I Know What You Did Last Summer||Melissa "Missy" Egan|
|1997||Wag the Dog||Winifred Ames|
|1998||Six Days, Seven Nights||Robin Monroe|
|1998||Return to Paradise||Beth McBride|
|1999||The Third Miracle||Roxane|
|2000||Auggie Rose||Lucy Brown||Also known as Beyond Suspicion|
|2001||Prozac Nation||Dr. Sterling|
|2002||John Q.||Rebecca Payne|
|2007||Suffering Man's Charity||Helen Jacobsen|
|2007||What Love Is||Laura|
|2007||Superman: Doomsday||Lois Lane||Voice|
|2008||Toxic Skies||Dr. Tess Martin|
|2010||The Other Guys||Pamela Boardman||Uncredited|
|2011||Cedar Rapids||Joan Ostrowski-Fox|
|2012||That's What She Said||Dee Dee|
|2012||Arthur Newman||Mina Crawley|
|2013||Nothing Left to Fear||Wendy|
|2013||Life at These Speeds||Coach Rowan|
|2014||One Christmas Eve||Nell|
|2017||My Friend Dahmer||Joyce Dahmer||Filming|
|1987–1991||Another World||Vicky Hudson/Marley Love||Cast member|
|1991||Murphy Brown||Nica||1 episode|
|1992||O Pioneers!||Marie||TV film|
|1993||The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles||Kate||1 episode|
|1994||Against the Wall||Sharon||TV film|
|1994||Girls in Prison||Jennifer||TV film|
|1995||Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long||Aileen Dumont||TV film|
|1996||If These Walls Could Talk||Christine Cullen||TV film; Segment: "1996"|
|1997||Subway Stories||Pregnant Girl||TV film; Segment: "Manhattan Miracle"|
|2000||One Kill||Captain Mary Jane O'Malley||TV film|
|2001||Ally McBeal||Melanie West||7 episodes|
|2004||Gracie's Choice||Rowena Lawson||TV film|
|2004||The Dead Will Tell||Emily Parker||TV film|
|2004–2005||Everwood||Amanda Hayes||10 episodes|
|2005||True||Rosie True||Unaired pilot|
|2005||Nip/Tuck||Nicole Morretti||3 episodes|
|2005||Silver Bells||Catherine O'Mara||TV film|
|2005–2006||Higglytown Heroes||Gloria the Waitress (voice)||3 episodes|
|2006||Fatal Desire||Tanya Sullivan||TV film|
|2007||Masters of Science Fiction||Martha Van Vogel||1 episode|
|2006–2008||Men in Trees||Marin Frist||Lead role; 36 episodes|
|2008||Toxic Skies||Lead role|
|2009–2011||Hung||Jessica Haxon||30 episodes|
|2011||Girl Fight||Melissa||TV film|
|2011||Silent Witness||Kate Robb||TV film|
|2012||Blackout||Dr. Debra Westen||Miniseries|
|2013||Save Me||Beth Harper||Lead role, 7 episodes|
|2013–2014||The Michael J. Fox Show||Susan Rodriguez-Jones||4 episodes|
|2013–2015||Adventure Time||Cherry Cream Soda (voice)||2 episodes|
|2014||The Legend of Korra||Suyin Beifong (voice)||Recurring role, seasons 3 and 4|
|2015||Quantico||Dr. Susan Langdon||1 episode|
|2016||Aftermath||Karen Copeland||Lead role|
|1996||9: The Last Resort||Miss G-String||Voice|
|2000||If These Walls Could Talk 2||Segment: "2000"|
|2001||Ellen DeGeneres: American Summer Documentary|
|2001||On the Edge||Segment: Reaching Normal|
Awards and nominations
|2004||Gracie's Choice||Nominated||Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie|
|2004||The Dead Will Tell||Nominated||Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television|
|1997||Wag the Dog||Nominated||Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture|
|1992||Another World||Won||Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Daytime Drama|
|1991||Won||Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series|
|1989||Nominated||Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series|
|Won||Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Female Newcomer – Daytime|