LOOK: DWTS Honors Late Contestant Anne Heche

ABC Anne Heche on 'Dancing With the Stars'

The “Dancing With the Stars” family has lost several members over the years, the most recent of which is actress Anne Heche, who died on August 14 after a car crash a week earlier that left her in a coma. During the season 31 premiere, the dancing competition series honored Heche, who competed on season 29 just two years ago with pro dancer Keo Motsepe.

Here’s how the show honored the late star:

Heche Has Been Added to the ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Memorial Star


In the “Dancing With the Stars” ballroom, there is a permanent star that lists the names of the “Dancing With the Stars” cast members who have died. Heche’s name has now been added to that, producer Adam Raia revealed in his Instagram stories (via E! Online) after the show.

“Some of the greats that have passed away,” wrote Raia on the photo.

The other names listed are Florence Henderson from season 11, who died in 2016; season 17 contestant Valerie Harper, who died in 2019; Cloris Leachman from season seven, who died in 2021; and season 28 contestant Mary Wilson, who also died in 2021.

In case you are curious where the memorial star is located, it is in the front left-hand corner if you are looking at the stage, just down from the judges’ table. Here it is during the season 31 premiere:

Disney Plus

‘Dancing With the Stars’ & Its Cast Honored Heche When She Died

When Heche died in mid-August, the official Twitter account for the show posted a photo of her and wrote, “We are incredibly sad to lose one of our beloved DWTS family members, Anne Heche, whose smile and vibrant personality lit up the ballroom. We send our condolences to her loved ones.”

Heche’s partner Motsepe told “Entertainment Tonight” at the time that his heart was broken over her accident (the interview happened before she died).

“Anne was my partner on DWTS for Season 29. We became close friends and my heart breaks for her and her family over this terrible accident,” said the dancer. “I am praying she makes a full recovery and I know the entire DWTS family is sending her healing thoughts. In working with her, I can say she has a strong spirit and is a fighter, and I know she will be doing all she can to heal.”

After her death, Motsepe wrote a simple message on Instagram: “I love you, @anneheche.”

Judge Carrie Ann Inaba also wrote a heartfelt tribute on her own Instagram page:

Anne was one of the stars on @dancingwiththestars that truly touched my heart. Her personal story was one that reached into my heart and squeezed it. I could feel the pain she felt, and I could also feel her resilient and courageous soul. And it was touching.

I had no idea all that she had gone through in this lifetime and I felt a connection to her and the struggles she faced in life. Despite her trials and tribulations, she had a bright light when she came out on that stage to dance.

Every time she performed, there was a sense of complete joy and a celebration of life. It was pure. And it was special.

In her final interview, which was recorded several months before her death for the podcast “Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef” but was released after she died, Heche spoke about her time on “Dancing With the Stars,” which she called a “huge moment” in her life.

“[Going on ‘Dancing With the Stars’] was a great move, I thought. That was a huge moment for me. I was very thrilled to do ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ … I’m a dancer, I love to dance. I don’t know how to do things right, so I thought that would be a blast to be able to show,” said Heche.

She continued, “We were given an opportunity in this moment to reintroduce me to an audience that I had not been reaching and never had the opportunity to reach. It was fun on very many levels.”

“Dancing With the Stars” airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific time on Disney Plus.

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