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Brittany Murphy Dies of Heart Attack at 32

by Anne Thompson
December 20, 2009 7:54 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

Actress Brittany Murphy has died of a heart attack. She was 32. TMZ broke the news, per usual, reporting that her husband made the 911 call. LA firefighters responded, performing CPR after she collapsed in the shower at her West Hollywood home. She was pronounced dead of cardiac arrest at Cedar Sinai Medical Center.

Murphy had suffered a string of career setbacks. In late November, she was replaced by Rachelle Lefevre on the set of her most recent movie, The Caller, which was shooting her Puerto Rico. She was described as disruptive, while her rep cited "creative differences." And after Murphy was cast in Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables, her role was later written out. UPDATE: The Wrap reports that the actress was "barely there" during filming of Something Wicked, citing excessive drug use.

Most recently the actress starred in the noirish thriller Across the Hall, which opened in limited release December 4. In her last successful outing, she voiced Gloria in 2006's animated film Happy Feet. She appeared in Robert Rodriguez's Sin City and will be best remembered for her turns in 8 Mile, Clueless, Riding in Cars with Boys and her breakout performance in Girl, Interrupted in 1999. According to Flickchart, her best-liked films were Sin City, Clueless and Girl, Interrupted.

Many of those attending the Independent Spirit Awards in 2003 remember her spectacularly inept reading of her cards as a presenter. While Roger Ebert was enchanted, thinking she had improvised brilliantly, most of us were aghast at a glimpse of an actress not entirely in control.

Several upcoming indie prods starring Murphy are in the can: Abandoned opposite Dean Cain, and Darin Scott's Something Wicked. Neither lists a distributor at this time.

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More: Obit


  • Laura Clifford | December 21, 2009 9:41 AMReply

    How come no obits on Murphy are mentioning her thoroughly endearing voice performance as Luanne on "King of the Hill?"

  • mary | December 21, 2009 2:08 AMReply

    Correction: Brittany Murphy’s death IS a sad tragedy, not was.

  • mary | December 21, 2009 2:07 AMReply

    No. I think Anne wrote the article as objectively as she can.

    Anyway, Brittany Murphy's die was a sad tragedy.

  • taptup | December 20, 2009 11:03 AMReply

    God, Anne, those are the kind of things that you post a day after her dead. I'm sorry but it's really bad taste.

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