The late actress had a career that spanned more than three decades.
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A week after Anne Heche's tragic car crash, the actress was pronounced legally dead at age 53. Heche's life and career were filled with ups and downs, but ultimately, she proved herself over and over again to be a star of resilience and determination.

Between her high-profile relationship with Ellen DeGeneres and her open struggles with mental health, Heche was a trailblazer who talked about sexuality and mental illness decades before it was acceptable to do so. Her many credits are as varied and unique as her life, spanning everything from horror to adventure, drama, and comedy. Below are some of Heche's most memorable roles in both film and television.

Anne Heche memorable roles
Credit: Everett Collection

Another World (1987-1991)

Nominated for three Emmys during her 35-year career, Heche's one win came for NBC's daytime drama Another World, in which she hit the soap opera jackpot playing twins Vicky Carson and Marley Love from 1987-1991. The two were separated at birth, adopted by different families, and lived in different cities — until Vicky discovered her doppelgänger, who happened to be an heiress, living in Bay City. In an eerie similarity to Heche's own life, Vicky was once in a coma for a couple months as a result of a car accident. Heche won the Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Emmy for her final year on the series, when Marley was raped. — Gerrad Hall

Anne Heche memorable roles
Credit: Everett Collection

If These Walls Could Talk (1996)

Seemingly half of '90s Hollywood's female power list — Cher! Demi! Jada! — united for If These Walls Could Talk, HBO's starry, sprawling examination of abortion rights, but Heche holds her own as a college student who is impregnated by her professor (Craig T. Nelson). When she chooses not to keep the baby, she ends up caught in the middle of a horrific shooting at a local clinic. — Leah Greenblatt

Anne Heche memorable roles
Credit: Everett Collection

Donnie Brasco (1997)

Al Pacino and Johnny Depp do shades of Goodfellas cosplay, while Heche seems to be acting in a completely different movie in Donnie Brasco, a deeper and rawer one. Her Maggie isn't the typical doormat of an undercover cop's neglected wife. The way she snaps at Depp's detective, smirking his way through couples' therapy, makes it clear that she was always the smarter half. ("Hear yourself?" she cracks at her husband's phony wiseguy accent. "The man I married was a college man.") In her sharpest moments onscreen — and Donnie Brasco definitely had them — Heche supplied hints of subversion and frustration, an interiority that existed outside of the plot. She deserved more work like this. — Joshua Rothkopf

Anne Heche memorable roles
Credit: Everett Collection

Volcano (1997)

The year 1997 could have been dubbed the year of Anne Heche with the actress on a sprint of high-profile projects (and going public with dating Ellen DeGeneres). Following Donnie Brasco came Volcano, a big-budget disaster film that enjoyed a Deep Impact-Armageddon rivalry with Dante's Peak, which was released just months earlier. Heche stars as seismologist Dr. Amy Barnes, who teams up with Los Angeles' head of emergency management (played by Tommy Lee Jones) to save the city from a volcanic threat that emerges from the La Brea Tar Pits. As ridiculous as its premise implies, the film has held up surprisingly well over the years, with Heche commanding and charming as the brains of the operation. — Patrick Gomez

Anne Heche memorable roles
Credit: Columbia Pictures

I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

Heche continued her '97 run with a small but memorable role in the teen slasher I Know What You Did Last Summer as Missy Egan, the sister of the man Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) believes she and her friends accidentally ran over the summer prior. Missy was in just two scenes, which required Heche to be on set for only two days, but her haunting presence as a sister in mourning (and a, spoiler alert, red herring) is almost as memorable as Hewitt screaming to the sky, "What are you waiting for?!" — P.G.

Anne Heche memorable roles
Credit: Everett Collection

Wag the Dog (1997)

Released just one month before the revelation of the Bill Clinton–Monica Lewinsky scandal, political satire Wag the Dog was eerily timely when it hit theaters in December 1997. Impressively mastering the rapid rhythm of a David Mamet-Hilary Henkin script, Heche stars as a presidential aide who brings in a spin doctor (played by Robert DeNiro) to produce a fake war as a distraction from an Oval Office sex scandal. Sometimes life really does imitate art. — P.G.

Anne Heche and Harrison Ford in 'Six Days Seven Nights'
Credit: Buena Vista/courtesy Everett Collection

Six Days Seven Nights (1998)

Six Days Seven Nights was Heche's first film with her name above the title. The movie follows a fashion magazine editor, Robin (Heche), on an engagement-moon of sorts with her new fiancé (played by David Schwimmer, at the height of his Friends fame). An unexpected work assignment leads Robin to hire a rakish pilot, Quinn (Harrison Ford), to fly her to Tahiti. A lightning strike downs their plane, opposites attract, pirates are involved… was this charming rom-com/action film the inspiration for The Lost City? — P.G.

Anne Heche memorable roles
Credit: Everett Collection

Return to Paradise (1998)

Just a few months before Heche delved into psychological horror with Vince Vaughn in a shot-by-shot remake of Pyscho, she and Vaughn entangled themselves in a different kind of thriller. In Return to Paradise, Heche starred as a determined lawyer who talks/manipulates two friends (Vaughn and David Conrad) into returning to Malaysia, where their imprisoned buddy (Joaquin Phoenix) is facing the death penalty for a bag of hash that the three of them bought on a vacation two years prior. Hidden motivations are revealed, romance heats up, and justice hangs in the balance as Heche presses all of the emotional buttons. — Daniel Snierson

Anne Heche memorable roles
Credit: Everett Collection

Psycho (1998)

Why mess with a classic? Well, technically director Gus Van Sant did everything he could not to mess with the magic of Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller, creating a shot-for-shot remake of Psycho. Originally, Van Sant had tapped Nicole Kidman to re-enact Janet Leigh's portrayal of ill-fated Marion Crane. But when Kidman had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts, Heche was brought in. While costars Vince Vaughn and Julianne Moore chose to interpret the script differently than Anthony Perkins and Vera Miles (the actors who'd previously played Norman Bates and Lila Crane, respectively), Heche stayed close to Leigh's performance. Her portrayal — and the film — garnered mixed reviews, landing her both a Razzie and a Saturn Award nomination. — P.G.

Anne Heche memorable roles
Credit: Everett Collection

Ally McBeal (2001)

In season 4 of Fox's legal comedy series Ally McBeal, Heche arrived as Melanie West, a young woman with Tourette syndrome who is accused of killing her boyfriend. Calista Flockhart's titular lawyer teamed up with Peter MacNicol's John Cage to defend her, launching a multiple-episode arc. Nearly 10 years after she exited Another World, her 2001 spot on Ally McBeal marked one of her first in a long string of TV roles, including those in Everwood, Nip/Tuck, Men in Trees, Hung, Save Me, The Brave, All Rise, and HBO's upcoming drama The Idol. — Ashley Boucher

Anne Heche memorable roles
Credit: Everett Collection

Everwood (2004-2005)

Heche joined the WB drama Everwood for a bittersweet arc as the devoted, quick-witted Amanda, who enlists Dr. Andy Brown (Treat Williams) to help her disabled husband. After a contentious first meeting, Andy and Amanda's relationship develops into friendship — and then, inevitably, a forbidden love. With her sly comedic timing and authentic vulnerability, Heche proved she was more than ready to lead her own network series — which she did, one year later, with ABC's quirky romcom Men in Trees. — Kristen Baldwin

Anne Heche memorable roles
Credit: Everett Collection

Men in Trees (2006-2008)

Marin Frist packed her bags to start a new life, and we loved watching her do it. In her first series lead role, Heche starred on Men in Trees about a relationship coach and author who moved to Alaska after catching her fiancé cheating on her. Comparisons were made to Sex and the City and Northern Exposure, but the truth was somewhere in the middle. The show offered a mix of romance and off-center vibes, following Marin's budding romance with biologist Jack Slattery (James Tupper), a woman who loves Marin's book so much that she follows the author to Alaska, and the characters who inhabit the town's bar. Marin's misadventures in love and the life of the eccentric people of Elmo, Alaska, made for wonderful viewing. — Alamin Yohannes

Anne Heche memorable roles
Credit: Everett Collection

Hung (2009-2011)

On Hung, Heche's Jessica could have easily been disregarded as an unlikeable character. As the ex-wife of main character Ray Drecker (Thomas Jane), who struggled to connect to her kids, the actress had her work cut out for her — and, she excelled. Heche was just the right amount of disagreeable as a woman who disliked both her ex-husband and her current husband, Ronnie Haxon (Eddie Jemison). Jessica tried too hard with her kids and often walked all over Ronnie, but it was always fun to watch her spar with Jane's Ray. Together they kept the dynamic interesting to watch. — A.Y.

Anne Heche memorable roles
Credit: Everett Collection

Cedar Rapids (2011)

Heche's performance as Joan Ostrowski-Fox in Miguel Arteta's breezy, boozy comedy, Cedar Rapids, arrived on the cusp of a career revival of sorts for the actress, who was earning acclaim at the time for her role in HBO's Hung. In Arteta's appealing Midwest-centered film, Ed Helms stars as insurance salesman Tim Lippe, who's lived a very sheltered life in his Wisconsin small town but is forced to come out of his shell a bit when he's chosen to rep his company at an insurance convention in, yes, Cedar Rapids. Soon, he encounters Heche as the flirty, adulterous "O-Fox" — along with fellow veteran convention attendees including John C. Reilly, Isaiah Whitlock Jr. and Sigourney Weaver — who challenge Lippe's wholesome nature as debaucherous, crude, yet hilarious R-rated hijinks follow. Among a stellar cast, it is Heche who perhaps stood out most prominently in a film about which EW's Lisa Scharzbaum said, "within the structure of a conventional, well-built comedy fable about an innocent among bigger-city sophisticates… is something truly original."  — Kiran Aditham

Anne Heche memorable roles
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The Brave (2017-2018)

The Brave's Patricia Campbell (Heche) knew how to take command of a room. In NBC's short-lived military procedural series, the star's deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency leads a team of intelligence analysts working with a group of soldiers carrying out dangerous missions. From the command center, Heche filled the room as Patricia by brilliantly getting the team out of danger, while helping her analysts with their issues on the job. She was certainly tough, but she cared. A personal storyline about the loss of her son fills out the character's story while providing opportunities for Heche to deliver powerful scenes when Patricia's work hits too close to home. — A.Y.

Anne Heche memorable roles
Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

Dancing With the Stars (2020)

While Heche and her pro partner, Keo Motsepe, were eliminated four weeks into Dancing With the Stars' season 29 competition, it didn't stop them from giving some fun performances. The duo — who were sent home after host Tyra Banks accidentally declared their opponents Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy safe before they were saved by the judges — served up a Cha Cha, Foxtrot, Quickstep, and Paso Doble before they exited the competition. Heche was sad to leave DWTS, especially on the same night she opened up about her three-year relationship with Ellen Degeneres. She told Page Six of the elimination, "The honest truth is that it took 20 years to process and share that story, so finally, telling it and being voted off on the same night was not the best feeling. It did feel good to tell my story to show that we have come a long way, and we see things with more acceptance now — even though we are not all the way there yet, it's important to recognize how far we have come." — A.B.

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