Monday, 21 December 2009


What a tragic year this has been for some of the world's movie heart throbs.  Yours truly was absolutely devasted to learn of the death of Brittany Murphy in the early hours of Monday morning.

Yet another of our favourite stars has passed away, leaving hundreds of thousands stunned at the passing of the young actress who made her telvision breakthrough in the now classic movie 'Clueless'.

Her former husband Ashton Kutcher had this to say, upon learning of her death:

'Today, the world lost a little piece of sunshine'. 

I totally agree! There are those people in life whose smile and presence bring warmth and evoke merriment at the thought; an effect the actress had from a young age, and never lost. 

She will be missed ... R.I.P. Brittany Murphy.  Black Film Society Founder - Elle xx

American actress Brittany Murphy's shock death at the age of 32 was not caused by drugs, the LA coroner said yesterday.

Miss Murphy, who had a wild reputation and was allegedly hooked on tranquilisers, died of a heart attack yesterday. She was found unconscious at 8am in the shower by her mother at the home she shares with her husband, the British screenwriter Simon Monjack who arrived home on Sunday upon hearing the news of her death.

When medics arrived she was in full cardiac arrest and they continued giving her CPR until she got to Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, near Beverly Hills. But she was unresponsive and pronounced dead on arrival at 10.03am.

Demi Moore's husband Ashton Kutcher, who split from Miss Murphy in 2003 after seven months together, said: ‘My deepest condolences go out to Brittany’s family, her husband, and her amazing mother Sharon.’

He added three minutes later: ‘2day the world lost a little piece of sunhsine. See you on the other side kid.’

On and off-screen love:
Brittany seen here, with her Just Married co-star Ashton Kutcher

Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton paid tribute to the star but said he had seen her death coming.  He wrote: 'Absolutely devastating. Especially because this comes as no surprise! We, and those who knew Brittany personally, saw this coming.'

The Clueless, 8 Mile and Sin City star was fired from an upcoming film for being difficult on set.
Friends were also quoted as saying: 'Brittany's bee living life on the edge. She definitely had a drug problem and we have begged her to seek help.'

An unconfirmed report suggested she had become addicted to prescription drugs since taking painkillers after cosmetic surgery.

However, Ed Winter, Assistant Chief Coroner for Los Angeles County, tried to kill off speculation by saying there was no evidence that foul play or drugs played a part in her death.

'It appears to be natural,' he told a crowd of reporters yesterday afternoon.

Winter, who also conducted the investigation into Michael Jackson's death, addressed a crowd of reporters outside Miss Murphy's Hollywood Hills home and said an post mortem would be carried out within the next two days. 'We are involved in an investigation in Brittany Murphy's death,' he said.

'We'll probably be doing an autopsy tomorrow [Monday] or Tuesday. The final result will be pending toxicology tests.' Winter said the actress 'had a little bit of medical history' but would not explain what he meant.

Many celebrities posted tributes on the Twitter soon after the news broke.

Rock star Fred Durst wrote: ‘RIP Brittany Murphy. What a sweet human being. My prayers are with her friends and family.’

And actress Jessica Simpson, wrote: ‘Brittany Murphy was an incredible ray of Light to so many people. Her smile was contagious.’

Murphy's Clueless co-star, Alicia Silverstone, said: 'I always felt connected to her as we shared a very special experience in our lives together.

Brittany Murphy's neighbour, Clare Staples, tells how paramedics performed CPR on the actress in the street before taking her to hospital. 'I feel love in my heart for her - and hope she is at peace. This is truly sad.'

Paris Hilton tweeted: 'So sad to hear about Brittany Murphy, such a tragedy. She was such a beautiful, funny and sweet girl. My heart goes out to her family.'

And Lindsay Lohan wrote: 'My deepest condolences go out to all of Brittany Murphy's loved ones and may she rest in peace.

'She was a great talent with a beautiful soul.'

Her last film was Sin City in 2005 before she put out a record, Faster Kill Pussycat, that reached number seven in the British charts three years ago.

But she had been making headlines for the wrong reasons in recent months.

An arial view of Murphy's home in the hills of West Hollywood

She was reportedly fired from her comeback film being shot in Puerto Rico for being difficult on the set. Twilight and New Moon star Rachel Lefevre was brought in to replace her.

There were also reports that Miss Murphy’s husband got into a fight with some locals in Los Angeles.

Mr Monjack, 39, whom she married in a private Jewish ceremony in 2007, is believed to have called an ambulance yesterday morning saying his wife was ‘sick.’
Today there were reports that he is objecting to a post mortem examination.

Murphy with her husband Simon Monjack and their pet dog as they got ready to fly out of Los Angeles

In 2005 Miss Murphy was forced to deny allegations she had a cocaine habit, saying: ‘Just for the record I have never tried it in my entire life, I’ve never even seen it, and I don’t leave the house too much, except to go to work. ‘My worst vice is caffeine. The rumour is really pretty darn far-fetched.’

Her mother also reportedly told paramedics her daughter suffered from diabetes.
Her spokeswoman, Nicole Perna, said in a statement last night: 'In this time of sadness, the family thanks you for your love and support. It is their wish that you respect their privacy.'

Stars took to Twitter to tweet their condolences yesterday. Grief-stricken Lindsay Lohan expresses her feelings on Murphy's death

Murphy's father, Angelo Bertolotti, said: 'She was just an absolute doll since she was born. Her personality was always outward. Everybody loved her - people that made movies with her, people on a cruise - they all loved her. She was just a regular gal.

Bertolotti is a convicted mobster and Miss Murphy was raised by her mother first in Edison, New Jersey, and later in Los Angeles.

She appeared in regional productions at the age of nine and landed her first job in Hollywood when she was just 14, playing a starring role as Brenda Drexell in Drexell’s Class. 

But as spoiled brat Alicia Silverstone's friend in the delightfully anti-LA Clueless, in 1995, that she made the breakthrough into Hollywood.

Big break: Brittany Murphy, centre, with Alicia Silverstone and Stacey Dash in Clueless from 1995

The success of Eminem's 8 Mile, in which she shared a brief but passionate relationship with the rapper, cemented her vampish reputation.

Murphy was the voice of Luanne Platter in the cartoon King Of The Hill for 231 episodes.

In June 2006, she sang on Paul Oakenfold's hit single 'Faster Kill Pussycat' which got ot number seven on the UK singles charts. She dabbled in music again that same year when she covered Queen's Somebody To Love and Earth, Wind & Fire's Boogie Wonderland for the animated film Happy Feet, in which she played the voice of Gloria the penguin.

Only a couple of weeks ago, Brittany spoke about her hopes for the coming year, which included plans to start a family.  Speaking to Access Hollywood at the Tt Collection Pop-Up Party in Los Angeles on December 3, she said: 'As far as having a New Year’s resolution, I’d love to have a child next year.

'But that’s kind of a large one! I’ve been very blessed to have a really great loving husband. I spend more time with my family than anyone else in the world.'

She had five films in production at the time of her death, including Something Wicked, Shrinking Charlotte and Sylvester Stallone's upcoming film, The Expendables, due for release next year.

By Georgina Littlejohn and Scott Warren

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