title iconAfter Anne Heche's death at 53: A resilient and courageous soul 

After she died in a fiery car wreck in Los Angeles at age 53, Hollywood is remembering Anne Heche.

A representative for Heche's family and friends confirmed her death to PEOPLE on Friday, stating, "Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend.

Annie will be greatly missed but her legacy will live on through her beautiful sons, her iconic work, and her passionate advocacy. She stood up for what she believed and spread a message of love and acceptance that will continue to have an impact."While according to California law, Heche is legally dead, her heart is still beating and she hasn't been removed from life support so that OneLegacy Foundation can find recipients who will match her.

Likewise, her eldest son, Homer, told PEOPLE, "After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep, wordless sadness. Hopefully, my mom is free and exploring what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom."Homer Heche's Eldest Son Speaks Out After Her Death: 'I Am Left with Wordless Sadness'A Los Angeles home caught fire after the Emmy Award winner crashed her blue Mini Cooper into it on Aug5.

She was hospitalized and has been confirmed to be in a coma. She has not regained consciousness since the crash, her rep said. Celebrities from across Hollywood remembered Heche in touching tributes in statements to PEOPLE and on social media in the wake of the tragedy.

Upon hearing the news, DeNiro said: "I am very saddened to hear of Anne Heche's tragic passing. She was a wonderful actress and I enjoyed working with her tremendously on Wag the Dog. Sad! Sad! Sad!"Keo Motsepe, Heche's former partner on Dancing with the Stars, shared a parting message with her on Instagram. He wrote: "I love you @anneheche" alongside an emoji of a broken heart.

On his Instagram Story, he also shared videos from their time in the ABC dance competition. One of the photos showed them together in yellow uniforms with him writing, "Love you, lady. The 53-year-old star of 'Another World' and 'Men in Trees' has passed awayHeche's death brought grief to PEOPLE's Instagram page from Catfish host Kamie Crawford. She wrote, "This is so sad.".In response to the Instagram post, Garcelle Beauvais wrote, "So sad.

Carrie Ann Inaba commented on the Instagram post: "Heartbreaking....she was such a special person. She was such a pure, vulnerable, free spirit. She danced on #DWTS in the rainbow costume and told her story so honestly. That's why she was such an excellent actress. She could not help but be honest and open. I hope she rests and plays in peace and joy.."On her own Instagram page, Inaba, 54, also posted a longer post.

Inaba shared a photo of Heche leaning against a window, writing, "I remember seeing this post by @AnneHeche a while back. She looks at peace with herself and the world around her. She seems hopeful and free."Since her accident last week, I've been thinking about her and, like many of you, my heart is heavy." "Anne's personal story touched my heart. I could feel her pain, and I could also feel her resilient and courageous soul. It was heartwarming.

I had no idea what she had endured in her lifetime, but I felt a connection to her and her struggles. Despite her trials and tribulations, she had a bright light when she danced," she continued. "Watching her dance was like experiencing pure joy and celebrating life. It was wonderful." I tried contacting Heche a few times" to appear on my podcast, but it never happened," Inaba said. As she wrote, "It is a tragedy in every sense of the word, not just for the woman, but for those who lost things and were injured. People's lives are changed forever in an instant.

As I remember her burning car and wonder what happened before it caught fire, I suppress the tears that keep coming. It's true... none of us does. It seems that there was some emotional distress involved. It hurts. Anxiety. I am afraid. Feelings of frustration. Uncertainty. I am sad. I have no idea... no one knows.

I hope that she feels the outpouring of love. And I wish her the best outcome." she added. "Anne, it was a pleasure to see you. You were a great inspiration to many not only with your talent but also with your free spirit. Thank you for being so unique. I'm praying for you. And so are many others. I hope you can feel it."The film director James Gunn wrote of Heche on Twitter: "Honest to God, I think Anne Heche in PROOF on Broadway was the best acting performance I've ever seen. 

Heche's impact was further highlighted by Ted Geoghegan: "Kids today don't know what it was like when Anne Heche and Ellen Degeneres made their relationship public back in 1997. Thank you for taking that courageous step, Anne. RIP." I was in awe, and remember thinking, This could change things for people.

She added, in part, that "She still is a great artist and struggled with addiction, which is sad for her children and friends."In a tweet, Tyler Henry, known for his series Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry, also paid tribute. He wrote, "Deeply saddened to hear of Anne Heche's passing." Her actions were no less deserving of compassion because she went through extraordinary struggles and shared her vulnerability. Check on your loved ones who struggle with addiction."A photo of Heche was shared by her ex, James Tupper, just hours before she passed away. A broken heart emoji accompanied the caption, which reads, "Love you forever.". Heche shares a son with Tupper, Atlas.

Penny David, a star of the Food Network, later commented on his photo. In her letter to Tupper, she wrote, "Jonathan and I are sending our prayers and love to you and your son. It was here that you could find anything you needed."Another RHOBH star, Kyle Richards, expressed her condolences as well. " My thoughts are with you and both of her boys," Richards remarked.

A photo of Heche and Love from when she appeared on The Real was tweeted by host Loni Love, with the caption "Rest in Peace Anne Heche..." Anne Heche never ever contrived or copied anyone on the silver screen, wrote Louis Virtel. Her perturbed, spiky intensity -- unforgettable and unmistakable. Many rich performances, but if you want to start with an underrated one, check out BIRTH. This news is heartbreaking.

She spoke about working with Heche on Men in Trees for two years in a lengthy tribute on Facebook."No other famous person I have ever worked with evoked as much curiosity as Heche," Bergl said, describing her work as "impressive, arresting, and dazzling."Anne was not only a genius but one of the most astoundingly focused and prepared actors I've ever worked with.

I don't think I ever saw her miss stepping on her mark once," Bergl wrote, in part. "Despite a sometimes harrowing life, she was so much fun to be around. She was insouciant, joyous, and insightful. It's a cliche but she did light up a room."She was a true genius, and I miss her," Bergl added. An hour before Heche died, another one of her exes, Ellen DeGeneres, shared her condolences via social media. "This is a sad day," DeGeneres tweeted. "I'm sending Anne's children, family, and friends all of my love. The pair dated from 1997 to 2000.

Heche's death tragically comes as she was working on several projects. In June, she wrapped on Lifetime's Girl in Room 13, set to premiere this fall. She was also expected to star opposite Dermot Mulroney in the upcoming horror-thriller Full Ride, had a recurring role in All Rise on OWN, and was premiered in Sam Levinson and The Weeknd's HBO show Idol.

Heche recently starred in the Peter Facinelli-directed psychological thriller The Vanished for Netflix and Quiver's tornado thriller 13 Minutes. Additionally, the actress was working on her podcast, Better Together with Anne & Heather, and writing her second book. Heche leaves behind two kids: her 13-year-old son Atlas, whom she shares with Tupper, and son Homer, 20, from her marriage to Coley Laffoon.