Anne Heche’s mother Nancy Heche has now outlived four of her five children, as well as her husband, who died of AIDS.
Anne’s deeply religious mother, Nancy, 85, and her late husband Donald Heche shared five children, with all but one of them dying tragic deaths at an early age.
The baby of the family, Anne – who grew up to become a Hollywood star – was declared legally dead on Friday after spending days in a coma following a car crash one week earlier. She was 53.
The eldest, Susan, also wrote a memoir about growing up with a closed gay father, “Anonymity,” published in 1994 under her married name, Susan Bergman. She died of brain cancer in 2006. The second daughter, Cynthia, died in infancy, from a heart defect.
The only son, Nathan, a target for much of his father’s non-sexual abuse, died three months after his father did, in a car accident that some surmised might have been suicide, the New York Times reports.
Abigail, now a jewelry designer living in Michigan, was the other child.
Anne’s troubled relationship with her family first became public knowledge following the release of her 2001 memoir call me crazyin which the US actress revealed she was estranged from her mother over her lesbian romance with Ellen Degeneres and childhood trauma.
The Chicago-based Nancy Heche famously lectured against the “evils” of homosexuality after her secretly gay husband, Donald, died of AIDS in 1983.
Nancy, a Christian psychologist who uses the Bible in her counseling practice, disapproved when Anne told her in 1997 that she’d fallen in love with DeGeneres.
“I am plummeted into disbelief and outrage,” she wrote.
“I am dumbfounded, in a state of shock. Doesn’t Anne know what homosexuality has done to our family?”
“How will we ever be able to close the gap, the avowed heterosexual mother and the avowed homosexual daughter?” she added.
After the publication of Anne’s memoir, Nancy wrote that she found “no place among the lies and blasphemies in the pages of this book”. the Six Days Seven Nights star said her mother did not believe Anne’s claims that her father molested her from the time she was a toddler until she was 12, the NY Post reports.
In 1998, Anne Told The Tampa Bay Times that her mother believed that her lesbian relationship with DeGeneres was a “sin”.
Nancy told the Christian Broadcasting Network that she felt her daughter’s relationship with a woman was “a betrayal of an unspoken vow”.
“We will never have anything to do with homosexuals,” she added.
In a separate interview, Nancy told AL.com in a 2009 that she didn’t handle her daughter coming out in 1997 well.
She said: “I’m sorry I didn’t know how to deal with it well. God was giving me an opportunity. We had good moments of trying to connect. All of us were learning how to handle it. We loved each other; how do you live out that when you disagree?”
In a 2011 interview with The Daily Telegraph Anne she had started to rebuild her relationship with her sister following a 20-year feud.
the I Know What You Did Last Summer star said of Abigail: “She came out to visit last week, and we’re having a wonderful time in our friendship as we’ve gotten closer. We’ve both put our stuff behind us.”
In that interview, Anne said that she was still estranged from her mother. She also recalled a time when she had phoned her mother de ella to confront her about allegedly turning a blind eye to the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father de ella. According to Anne, she hung up after Nancy said: “Jesus loves you, Anne.”
Anne added: “Forgiveness is a funny word for me. I’m OK with my mother living her life the way she wants to live it, and I’m OK with her not participating in my life the way I want to live it.
In 2015, Nancy conceded: “(Anne has) stopped talking to me. She made the decision to cut off communication.”
Anne went on to have two children of her own. She shared Homer, now 20, with her
ex-husband Coleman “Coley” Laffoon, and Atlas, 13, with her ex-partner and Men in Trees co-star James Tupper.
The fathers of her children, and her eldest son, paid tribute to Anne following her tragic death.
“In the wake of Anne’s passing, I just want to say a few things. One, I loved her and I miss her, and I’m always going to,” Laffoon said in a selfie video on Instagram.
“Two, Homer is OK. He’s grieving, of course, and it’s rough, it’s really rough, as probably anybody can imagine. But he’s surrounded by his family and he’s strong and he’s going to be OK. ”
In a recent statement to E! News, Homer said: “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. He added, “Over those six days, thousands of friends, family, and fans made their hearts known to me. I am grateful for their love, as I am for the support of my Dad, Coley, and my stepmom Alexi who continue to be my rock during this time. Rest In Peace Mom, I love you, Homer.”
Tupper also posted a tribute to Anne on Instagram, which simply read: “Love you forever” along with a photo of his ex and the mother of his child.
Tupper initially posted a message to Anne following the car crash that ultimately led to her death, sharing a photo of her with their son and the caption, “Thoughts and prayers for this lovely woman, actress, and mother tonight, Anne Heche. We love you.”