Harrison Ford helped to secure Anne Heche her role in Six Days, Seven Nights after she was subjected to Hollywood prejudice in the wake of her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres.
The 51-year-old star said she was told she had not got the role after taking DeGeneres as her date to the premiere of Volcano in 1997.
Heche said while guest-hosting Entertainment Tonight that Ford was a “hero” and called her the day after the premiere to reassure her they would go ahead with the movie.
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She added: “[Ford] said: ‘Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn who you're sleeping with. We're gonna make the best romantic comedy there is and I'll see you on the set’.
“He's one of my heroes. He fought a battle for me and I would be on any desert island with him any day. He's an extraordinary human being.”
Heche said she lost out on a big money studio deal and numerous Hollywood projects after going public with her relationship with the TV host
“I took Ellen to the premiere and I was ushered out before the movie even ended and was told I was not allowed to go to my own after party for fear that they would get pictures of me with a woman,” she said.
Heche added: “I was in a relationship with Ellen DeGeneres for three-and-a-half years and the stigma attached to that relationship was so bad that I was fired from my multi-million dollar picture deal and I did not work in a studio picture for 10 years.”
The couple split in August 2000 and Heche married cameraman Coleman Laffoon the following year, before they were officially divorced in 2009.
In Six Days, Seven Nights, Heche played a magazine editor who is forced to join forces with a pilot in order to survive after they crash land on a deserted island.
The film was a box office success, scooping a total of $165m (£127m) worldwide, despite decidedly mixed reviews from critics.
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Heche’s career struggled in the wake of the controversy around her romantic life, though she secured strong reviews for her work in independent movies like Rampart and Catfight.
She has fared better on the stage and small screen, scoring both a Tony nomination and an Emmy nod in 2004.
Watch: Anne Heche opens up on impact of Ellen relationship