Anne Heche has died at the age of 53 after suffering serious injuries in a fiery car accident in Los Angeles, her family says. 

Heche suffered “severe anoxic brain injury” and was in a coma in critical condition due to the incident, which took place last Friday.

The 53-year-old was taken to hospital following the crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles.

“We have lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend,” Heche’s family and friends said in a statement.

“Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy. Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact.”

Her oldest son also released a statement, writing: “My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom.

“After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep, wordless sadness. Hopefully my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom.

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“Rest In Peace Mom, I love you.”

Heche is the former partner of US talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres – the pair began dating in 1997 before separating in 2000 – and is known for films including Donnie Brasco, Cedar Rapids and the 1998 Psycho remake.

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