The Touching Way Dancing With The Stars Remembered Former Contestant Anne Heche

Season 31 of "Dancing with the Stars" has kicked off on Disney+ and the latest round of celebrity contestants are all smiles on the dance floor. With a cast including Charli D'Amelio, Jordin Sparks, and Selma Blair, it's one of the more stacked seasons of the iconic ballroom show. But despite the dazzling current lineup, a recent tragedy also has fans looking back at one of the series' former contestants. Two years after participating in "DWTS" Season 29, Anne Heche died in August 2022 following complications from a car accident.

After the accident, Heche's professional "DWTS" partner Keo Motsepe released an exclusive statement to ET. The pro dancer recalled they "became close friends and my heart breaks for her and her family . . . In working with her, I can say she has a strong spirit and is a fighter." After Heche's death, Motsepe posted photos of the pair laughing together with the caption "I love you @anneheche." Longtime "DWTS" judge Carrie Ann Inaba replied, "she was such a pure human." Motsepe also posted about Heche several times during their season together, once saying, "@anneheche you are such an inspiration to me and everyone around you. I'm so proud of you for sharing your story and always staying true to who you are. Love you partner!"

Following Monday's season premiere, fans might have noticed a touching tribute to the beloved former contestant. Although Heche is no longer with us, the recent move proves she'll always be a star.

Anne Heche has a spot on the 'DWTS' memorial star

After over a month of speculation, the "Dancing With the Stars" family has unveiled their tribute to Anne Heche. For those who didn't spot it during Monday night's episode, "DWTS" producer Adam Raia posted an up-close look on his Instagram story — a spot on the dance floor's memorial star, shared with the four other late contestants (via E! Online). Previous names added to the star include "The Brady Bunch" actor Florence Henderson, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" actors Valerie Harper and Cloris Leachman, and founding member of The Supremes, Mary Wilson.

Raia captioned the photo, "some of the greats that have passed away." According to People, the memorial star was first revealed in 2017 after Henderson's death, since receiving updates with each deceased cast member. The official "DWTS" Twitter account previously tweeted after Heche's death saying that they "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 was open about her personal struggles on the show, and also spoke about her experience dating Ellen DeGeneres in the late 1990s. Now immortalized on the "DWTS" stage's memorial star, her legacy and time as a contestant will always be remembered.