Obit: Brittany Murphy Dead at 32

Actress fired from recent movie, presumed use of drugs had been subject of SNL parody

Last Updated: December 20, 2009 @ 8:45 PM

Actress Brittany Murphy has died, according to the Los Angeles coroner’s office.

The 32-year-old actress, who starred in “Clueless” and with Eminem in “8 Mile,” was declared dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, according to Selena Barrows, an investigator with the coroner’s office.

"We have a preliminary death report of someone with the name of Brittany Murphy," Barrows told TheWrap. The report came from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at 11 a.m. on Sunday.  (See accompanying article: "Murphy ‘Barely There’ on Recent Movie.’")

The news was first reported by TMZ.com.

TMZ said multiple sources reported that the actress had gone into cardiac arrest and could not be revived on Sunday morning. She reportedly was found unconscious in the shower by her mother.

Barrows said cardiac arrest could mean any number of things, and was not an indication of the cause of death.

Murphy’s family on Sunday night put out this statement: "The sudden loss of our beloved Brittany is a terrible tragedy. She was our daughter, our wife, our love, and a shinning star. We ask you to respect our privacy at this difficult time."

Murphy had recently been fired from the movie "The Caller," which had been shooting in Puerto Rico. No reason was given for the change, but Murphy was replaced by Rachelle Victoria Lefevre of "Twilight," according to a fan site.

Murphy’s suspected excessive use of drugs had been the subject of widespread speculation, and  was even the subject of a parody sketch on a recent "Saturday Night Live" Weekend Update.

 

The Los Angeles City Fire Department said a 911 call was made at 8 a.m. from the Los Angeles home of Murphy’s husband, Simon Monjack. She was pronounced dead on arrival at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Born in Atlanta, Murphy started acting in regional theater at age 9; by age 13, she had signed with a manager and began appearing in television commercials. Her first roles were on TV series such as “Murphy Brown” and “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose,” which led to her breakthrough film, 1995’s “Clueless.”

She had five movies currently in production, including "Poor Things," with Rosario Dawson; "Shrinking Charlotte," with Kathleen Turner; and Sylvester Stallone’s "The Expendables," with Stallone, Jet Li and Jason Statham.

In 2005, she signed on as the spokesmodel for Jordache Jeans. She has been named to both FHM’S 10 Sexiest Women List, and Maxim’s Hot 100.

In 2006, she released the single "Faster Kill Pussycat," which became a club hit on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart. She also covered Queen’s "Somebody to Love" and Earth, Wind & Fire’s "Boogie Wonderland" for the film "Happy Feet."

She married screenwriter Monjack (pictured with Murphy at last year’s Sony Ericsson Open) in 2007; before that, she was engaged to talent manager Jeff Kwatinetz, and production assistant Joe Macaluso. In late 2002, she dated Ashton Kutcher, with whom she co-starred in the film "Just Married."

Kutcher late Sunday morning Twittered about Murphy’s death: "2day the world lost a little piece of sunshine. My deepest condolences go out 2 Brittany’s family, her husband, & her amazing mother Sharon."