Since the devastating accident that claimed the life of Anne Heche, I’ve read a lot of comments along the lines of “Aw, she was great in [insert name of movie or series here].” And the blank is almost always filled in differently, owing to the fact that in her 35-year career, she’d done everything from blockbusters to indie films and enough television to fill a network’s schedule for a week. For me, the blank is filled in with Another World.
Back in 1987, a then-teenage Heche didn’t just make a good impression in her television debut on the much-missed NBC soap, she made a lasting one. Somewhat miraculously, too, considering that not only was she replacing a popular Emmy winner (Ellen Wheeler), but the newcomer was tackling two roles, those of naughty-’n’-nice twins Victoria and Marley Hudson.
Heche hit the ground running, though, bringing an electricity to the screen that more than made up for how green she was. The daytime rookie was unstoppable, undeniable, an exclamation point in a sea of periods. And oh, what a beautiful job she did distinguishing gentle Marley from brash sister Victoria. The same fire may have burned within the siblings, but their portrayer made them as unique as a string of pearls and a diamond in the rough.
Heche couldn’t have known as she earned a 1991 Emmy as she exited the soap that she’d go on to amass a string of credits long enough to fill a phone book. However, I — and I suspect many of us who thrilled to her first star turn — could see it coming. Her star just shined too brightly to be denied.