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Susan Bergman, the older sister of actress Anne Heche and the author of an influential book chronicling her father's secret gay life, died on Sunday of brain cancer at her home in Barrington, Ill., according to her husband, Judson. She was 48.
Bergman's 1994 book Anonymity chronicled Don Heche's unsuccessful battle with AIDS and his clandestine relationships with men. The discovery of her father's sexuality in 1983--the year he died--led Bergman's family to a deeper understanding of each other, she acknowledged at one point.
Anne Heche, widely known for her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres, claimed in her memoir Call Me Crazy that her father was sexually abusive. Heche is now married to a man with whom she has a child. Nancy Heche, the sisters' mother and Don's widow, disputes these claims and now is actively involved with an "ex-gay" group, which claims it can "cure" homosexuality.
In addition to penning Anonymity, Bergman served as a contributing writer and editor for numerous publications. She also lectured and taught literature at Northwestern University, New York University, and the University of Notre Dame. (Advocate.com)