Right before Anne Heche crashed her car into a Mar Vista home a little before 11 a.m. Friday, she was acting like “a sweet little girl” as she bought a bright red wig at Glass Hair Design in Venice, salon owner Richard Glass said Monday.
About an hour after the crash into the house, nearly 60 firefighters rescued Heche from the wreckage of her small blue car in Mar Vista, a neighborhood on L.A.’s westside, just two miles from the salon. They also extinguished flames that enveloped the vehicle and left the house uninhabitable.
Videos taken before the crash show Heche speeding in the neighborhood, slamming into an apartment building’s garage, narrowly missing a pedestrian and hitting a Jaguar before winding up at the house in the 1700 block of South Walgrove Avenue.
Heche was in critical condition Monday, on a ventilator and in a coma, after suffering serious burns because of the crash, her representative told The Times in a statement. The burns require “surgical intervention,” the statement said, and the actor has “a significant pulmonary injury.”
Heche is now under investigation by the LAPD, and authorities have obtained a search warrant for the actor’s blood drawn at the hospital to see whether she was intoxicated.
However, according to celebrity hair and makeup artist Glass, Heche “wasn’t speaking in cursive” when she stopped at his salon around 10:35 a.m. Friday, according to time stamps on several photos he took with the actor after ringing up her purchase.
“Speaking in cursive” is how Glass describes a person who is under the influence, be it alcohol or drugs. Heche did not appear altered to him, he said in an exclusive interview with The Times on Monday.
The Daytime Emmy winner was “very pleasant,” Glass said, when she popped into his Main Street salon through the back door wearing a strappy top, comfy pants and fluffy, plush house shoes.
When he first caught her out of the corner of his eye, walking into the shop by herself from the parking lot, Glass said he thought she was one of his clients, “Orange Is the New Black” actor Lori Petty. Then he realized her hair was too long.
Heche immediately eyed some wigs arranged on a shelf over his shampoo area — in colors ranging from natural shades to shocking pink and solid white — and asked about a blue one. When Glass said that that one was spoken for, Heche said she would buy a bright red wig instead.
The salon owner said he told Heche that the red wig hadn’t been cut or styled or even washed yet, but that the 53-year-old didn’t care. By the time he went to ring her up, he had recognized who she was and they proceeded to take a number of selfies together. He posted one showing the two of them — and the wig — on his Instagram account.
“So I met @anneheche today and she purchased a #redwig so random,” Glass captioned the selfie for his 3,000 followers. “I love #venicebeach #actress #director #mom #celebrity #lifestyle.”
In the photo, Heche is wearing no makeup and her hair is a bit rumpled as she smiles for the camera.
The “Six Days Seven Nights” actor “grabbed my face” and cuddled it, said Glass, a Venice native, and she asked him if they had worked together before. Glass told her no, but said he was definitely available in the future.
“In one of the images TMZ posted, you can see the wig on the console,” the stylist said. And indeed, the photo that many believe allegedly shows a bottle of alcohol in the car’s cupholder also shows a bit of red fringe where the wig sits on the passenger side of the center console.
After Heche left, Glass returned to the client whose hair he had been working on, and they discussed their unexpected visitor. “We mentioned that she had gone out with Ellen [DeGeneres],” Glass said. “We looked her up. I IMDb’d her!”
The whole encounter was “so strange,” he said. “Very, very random.”
Mar Vista neighbor David Manpearl told The Times on Monday that he saw a car speed by his window, then heard a loud thud. It took him a few seconds to figure out that there had been a crash, he said, but when he arrived, he found the front wall of the house was missing and debris was everywhere.
Heche’s Mini Cooper had gone through the house and was lodged in a wall in the back, he said. He said he found the home’s tenant standing barefoot with her tortoise and two dogs in the middle of what was left of her kitchen, surrounded by debris.
Times staff writers Richard Winton, Nicole Kagan and Christian Martinez contributed to this report.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.