Who Is Brittany Murphy?
No, she isn’t related to Eddie Murphy! On November 10, 1977, Brittany was born to Sharon Murphy and Angelo Bertolotti, who divorced only two years after her birth. She has three half-siblings from her dad’s side, but she had lots of time to develop her skills and hobbies as an only child in their household. A young Brittany discovered her love for musicals, movies, and ballet during her childhood years.
Rise To Fame
Formally trained in acting, singing, and dancing, Brittany was more than ready to take on the world! Her mum recognised the potential in her, moving the family to Los Angeles in support of her daughter’s dreams to become a star. In an interview with The New York Times, Brittany talked about how supportive her mum was. “When I asked my mom to move to California, she sold everything and moved out here for me. She always believed in me.”
When she was only 13, Brittany booked her first role ever for Drexell’s Class, which helped her get supporting roles in other shows. But it wasn’t until 1995 that she would get her big break in Clueless!
Brittany loved working on all movies, big or small. She enjoyed indie roles just as much as starring in blockbusters, and she would play every character with true dedication, not worried about looking silly on camera. Here’s a list of our favourite performances and scenes of all time!
- Girl Interrupted (1993)
- Clueless (1995)
- Freeway (1996)
- Bongwater (1998)
- Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)
- Don’t Say A Word (2001)
- Riding In Cars With Boys (2001)
- 8 Mile (2002)
- Uptown Girls (2003)
- Just Married (2003)
- Little Black Book (2004)
- Sin City (2005)
- Happy Feet (2006)
- Ramen Girl (2008)
- Tribute (2009)
Brittany dreamt of starring in a full-feature film, but it took a while before she could break away from her ‘best friend’ roles. She worked hard on her movies until she had other opportunities to work on music videos, animations, musicals, video games, and award shows.
Hearing Brittany’s singing voice will blow you away! In 2006, she collaborated with Paul Oakenfield on a track called ‘Faster Kill Pussycat’ that became a massive club banger hit in the UK. That same year, she voiced Gloria for the animated movie Happy Feet.
Brittany lost a lot of weight and became a tabloid target when rumours started that she had an eating disorder and a drug addiction. In 2004, she spoke up in an interview with Cosmopolitan. “I’d rather not perpetuate something that isn’t true. But no, I’ve never had an eating disorder. And I don’t do drugs. I have a glass of champagne now and then. I’m generally the person dancing at a party who everybody always thinks is the intoxicated one, but I’m really not.”
Who Did She Date?
Everyone fell head over heels for the brunette-turned-blonde bombshell, and she never stayed single for long. She was linked to several high profile men:
Their on-set romance in Just Married turned into reality when the cameras stopped rolling. Ashton and Brittany briefly dated for a few months in 2002, and though it didn’t last, they were such a cute couple! We spotted them side-by-side at NBA games and promoting their movie together on MTV’s TRL.
In 2003, Brittany had a brief engagement with her talent manager Jeff, but their relationship was short-lived. They were spotted at a few red carpet events together but the romance petered out quickly.
Brittany met production assistant Joe while filming for Little Black Book in 2004. They were engaged for eight months, but they called it quits in 2006.
In 2007, Murphy met Simon Monjack – and he would be the last man she’ll ever get to date. Needless to say, the British “filmmaker” had a very shady reputation, earning him the nickname ‘Simon Conjack’. Before he met Brittany, he was fresh out of a divorce and dealt with a lot of legal issues like fraud, eviction, and deportation.
When Did Brittany Murphy Die?
Brittany’s mum found her daughter unconscious in the bathroom on December 20, 2009. Her frantic 911 call was released to the media, and you can hear the hysteria over the phone as Simon desperately tried to revive his wife.
How Did Brittany Murphy Die?
When paramedics arrived, they pronounced Brittany Murphy dead at the scene. Her mum suggested it could have been toxic mould from their home that killed her, but examinations showed no traces of mould in Brittany’s system. The toxicology reports revealed that these were the factors that contributed to her death:
- Pneumonia - she had flu-like symptoms and booked a doctor’s appointment, but never made it.
- Anemia - she had a severe iron-deficiency that compromised her immune system.
- Prescription drug overdose - she had multiple counts of drug intoxications from over-the-counter medicines.
She died at the young age of 32, and the news of her passing shocked everyone around the world. Months after, her husband gave cameras exclusive access to their home without much explanation. The tragic string of events left us with many questions, but her husband’s odd behaviour raised even more suspicions.
Brittany was buried on Christmas Eve in a private ceremony with friends and family. Christmas was always her favourite holiday, and it was a bittersweet way to say goodbye to our favourite actress. Her family gave touching eulogies, including a statement about who she was. “Brittany was an incredibly loving and passionate person and an artist to her core - she loved acting, singing, dancing and performing. A bright light that lit the world is forever dimmed, but will live on in the hearts of those that Brittany touched.”
Her Husband’s Death
Was it just a coincidence? Only five months after Brittany was laid to rest, Sharon found Simon dead in his bedroom on May 23, 2010. He was buried next to his wife’s grave in a Hollywood Hill cemetery. Further investigation showed that his cause of death was eerily similar to Brittany’s: pneumonia and anemia.
Murder She Wrote
Was Brittany murdered? Her estranged father seemed to think so, claiming that she was poisoned and killed. He sponsored an independent investigation with reports revealing her hair samples were exposed to different types of heavy metals.
He shared his evidence of foul play with the press: “Vicious rumors spread by tabloids unfairly smeared Brittany’s reputation. My daughter was neither anorexic nor a drug junkie, as they repeatedly implied...I will not rest until the truth about these tragic events is told. There will be justice for Brittany.” However, the theory was debunked by coroners who blamed the faulty findings on Brittany’s chemically-dyed hair.
The mystery of Brittany Murphy’s death has never been solved, but fans continue to speculate on the many conspiracies that the case reopened. Celebrities expressed their grief on Twitter upon hearing the news of Brittany’s death. Eminem shared his thoughts about her with Vibe Magazine: “It’s crazy because at one point we were very close and she was a really good person.” Dakota Fanning posted a tribute for her Uptown Girls co-star with a touching post on Instagram, calling her “a ray of sunshine”.
Ashton Kutcher told Nightline that he’d like to celebrate Brittany for who she was. “You know when you go to a party and everybody is standing around, and the music is going – and you know sooner or later everyone is going to dance. She was always the first person to dance. And I just try to connect to that and celebrate who she was and how she was, and not make sense of it, ‘cause there is no sense of making sense of it.”
A Shining Star
For years, Brittany delighted us with her vibrant energy and memorable characters. Hollywood lost a bright star the day Brittany Murphy died, but her legacy will shine on forever.