Heche was born in Aurora, Ohio to Donald Heche, a Baptist minister and choir director, and Nancy. In her book, Call Me Crazy, Anne claimed that her father molested her during her childhood, giving her herpes. Her father later disclosed his homosexuality to his family, before dying of AIDS in 1983. In that same year, Anne's older brother Nate, who was also an actor, was killed in a car accident just a few months before his graduation from high school. Heche was a noted actress even at Francis W. Parker School, and the soap opera As the World Turns offered her a contract in 1985, when she was 16. However, both she and her mother felt it best that she finish high school first.
Immediately after her high school graduation, she accepted another soap offer and left for New York City. Heche first became famous by playing the dual roles of "Vicky Hudson" and "Marley Love Hudson" on the American soap opera Another World from 1987 to 1991, for which she won a Daytime Emmy Award; her acclaimed work as Vicky and Marley can currently be seen on Soapnet. Heche has starred in a number of high-profile films, including Donnie Brasco, Volcano, Wag the Dog, Six Days Seven Nights, and Psycho. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in the 2004 Broadway revival of Twentieth Century, and also appeared in the play Proof. She presently is starring in the ABC television drama Men in Trees as a New York City Author and relationships expert who relocates to Elmo, Alaska when she discovers her fiance is having an affair. Before coming out as lesbian, she starred in Wild Side with Joan Chen as her lesbian lover.
Heche is also known because of her relationship with comedian Ellen DeGeneres and the events following their breakup. The couple started dating in 1997 shortly after the famous "Puppy Episode" of DeGeneres' eponymous sitcom. At one point, the two said they would get a civil union if they became legal in Vermont. They also worked on film and TV projects together. However, the couple split up in August 2000 and Heche soon began dating cameraman Coley Laffoon, whom she met while he was filming a comedy special for DeGeneres. They married in September 2001 and have a son, Homer Heche Laffoon, born March 2, 2002. On January 24, 2007, it was confirmed that Heche has split from her husband of five years. Lafoon filed for divorce on February 2, 2007.
A year after her split with DeGeneres, Heche made claims in television interviews and in her autobiography, Call Me Crazy, that she was mentally ill for the first 31 years of her life after being sexually abused by her father (who died of AIDS in 1983). She also claimed to have an alter ego that was the daughter of God and half-sibling of Jesus named "Celestia," who had contacts with extraterrestrial life forms. In her book, she explained that before her split with DeGeneres, she was contacted by "God" and told He would walk with her for seven days.
Her mother, Nancy, is a Christian and psychotherapist, who says that she does not believe her late husband sexually abused Anne. Nancy tours the nation speaking with ex-gay groups claiming her prayers cured Anne of her homosexuality. Anne has denounced her mother for speaking at these events and said her split with DeGeneres was not because of a change in her own sexual orientation. In an interview with The Advocate following the split, Anne said she does not give a label to her own sexual orientation and said "I have been very clear to everybody that just because I'm getting married does not mean I call myself a straight."
Before dating DeGeneres, Heche dated comedian Steve Martin for two years (she is rumored to be the basis for the Heather Graham character in Bowfinger, although Martin denies it). She also dated musician Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac for a year in the early 1990s. She is the subject of Buckingham's barbed song "Come", where he took a number of shots at her lesbianism and delusions, and he wrote the unreleased "Down on Rodeo" with a much softer reflection on the relationship where he can be heard saying "Do you hear me, Annie?" at the end.
In 1998, Heche's sister, Susan Bergman, wrote a book about the family and their relationship with their father. Susan, like Anne, was estranged from her mother. Heche and Bergman were reportedly estranged after the release of Bergman's book; Bergman died in January 2006 after a lengthy battle with brain cancer.
Selected acting filmography
- O Pioneers! (1992)
- If These Walls Could Talk (1996)
- The Juror (1996)
- Wild Side (1996)
- Walking and Talking (1996)
- Donnie Brasco (1997)
- Volcano (1997)
- I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
- Wag the Dog (1997)
- Psycho (a 1998 remake of the 1960 Hitchcock classic)
- Return to Paradise (1998)
- Six Days Seven Nights (1998)
- Prozac Nation (2001)
- John Q. (2002)
- Birth (2004)
- Everwood (2004/2005) (television series)
- Nip/Tuck (2005) (television series)
- Fatal Desire (2006) (TV movie)
- Suffering Man's Charity (2006)
- Men In Trees (television series)
- Reaching Normal (2001) (TV)
- On the Edge (2001) (TV)
- Ellen De Generes: American Summer Documentary (2001) (TV)
- If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000) (TV)
- etonline.com Anne Heche Leaves Hubby for Co-Star
- Anne Heche at the Internet Movie Database
- 1998 Anne Heche Article
- The Anne Heche Interview Summary of an interview with Heche on September 5, 2001 on ABC News.
- Anne Heche interview
- Performance Working in the Theatre seminar video at American Theatre Wing.org, April 2004
- Template:Tvtome person
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