Brittany Anne Murphy-Monjack, known professionally as Brittany Murphy (November 10, 1977 – December 20, 2009) was an American actress and singer. She starred in films such as Clueless, Girl, Interrupted, 8 Mile, Uptown Girls, Sin City
, Happy Feet, and Riding in Cars with Boys
. She voiced Luanne Platter on the animated TV series King of the Hill
. Her final film, Abandoned, is expected to be released in early 2010.
Brittany Anne Murphy was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 10, 1977. Her parents, Sharon Kathleen Murphy and Angelo Bertolotti, divorced when she was two years old, and Murphy was raised by her mother in Edison, New Jersey, and later in Los Angeles, where they moved so Murphy could pursue an acting career. Murphy said her mother never tried to stifle her creativity, and she considered her mother a crucial factor in her later success: "When I asked my mom to move to California, she sold everything and moved out here for me. … She always believed in me." Murphy's mother is of Irish and Eastern European descent and her father is Italian American. She was raised a Baptist and later became a non-denominational Christian.
Murphy has two older half-brothers, Jeff and Tony Bertolotti, and a younger half-sister, Pia Bertolotti.
Murphy landed her first job in Hollywood when she was age 14, starring as Brenda Drexell in the series Drexell's Class. She then went on to play Molly Morgan in the short-lived The Torkelsons spinoff Almost Home. Murphy also guest-starred on several television series, including Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Blossom
. She also had recurring roles on Sister, Sister; Party of Five and Boy Meets World.
Murphy starred in several films, including Clueless (1995); Girl, Interrupted (1999); Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999); Don't Say a Word (2001); the TV adaption of the novel The Devil's Arithmetic (2001); 8 Mile (2002) and Uptown Girls (2003) as well as many lesser-known films, such as Spun (2003). In 2004, she starred in the romantic comedy Little Black Book, and the critically acclaimed Sin City
(2005). She starred in two Edward Burns films: Sidewalks of New York (2001) and The Groomsmen (2006). Film critic Roger Ebert acclaimed her acting talent, giving good reviews to several of her films and comparing her to Lucille Ball. In 2009, she was cast in the Lifetime TV movie, Tribute, as the main character, Cilla. She was set to appear in the Sylvester Stallone
film, The Expendables, which will be released in 2010.
Murphy was also a voice actor. She voiced the character Luanne Platter on the FOX animated sitcom King of the Hill
for the entirety of the show's run beginning in 1997. She also provided the voice for Gloria the penguin in the 2006 feature Happy Feet. She was nominated for an Annie Award for voice acting in the King of the Hill episode "Movin' On Up."
Murphy completed her last film, the thriller/drama Abandoned, in June 2009. The film is scheduled for release in 2010.
In November 2009, Murphy left the production of the The Caller, which was being filmed in Puerto Rico, and was replaced by Rachelle Lefevre. Murphy denied media reports that she had been fired from the project after being difficult on set, and cited "creative differences".
Music and modeling
She was in a band called Blessed Soul with fellow actor Eric Balfour in the early 1990s. On June 6, 2006, Murphy and Paul Oakenfold released the single "Faster Kill Pussycat," from the album A Lively Mind. The song became a club hit, and hit number one on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart. It also hit number seven in the UK singles chart in June 2006.
She dabbled in music again with the release of the film Happy Feet, in which she covered Queen
's "Somebody to Love" and Earth, Wind & Fire's "Boogie Wonderland."
Murphy starred in Wheatus' video "A Little Respect" alongside actor Shawn Hatosy. She also appeared in the music video for Luscious Jackson's "Here" and Tears for Fears' "Closest Thing to Heaven."
In 2005, Murphy signed as the spokesmodel for Jordache jeans.
In late 2002, Murphy began dating Ashton Kutcher
, her co-star in Just Married. Once engaged to talent manager Jeff Kwatinetz, Murphy became engaged to Joe Macaluso in December 2005, a production assistant she met while working on the film Little Black Book. In August 2006, they ended their engagement. In May 2007, Murphy married British screenwriter Simon Monjack in a private Jewish ceremony in Los Angeles. For the last three and a half years of her life, Murphy, her mother and Monjack lived in the same house together.
At 08:00 (16:00 UTC) on December 20, 2009, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to "a medical request" at the Los Angeles home Murphy and Monjack shared. She apparently collapsed in a bathroom. Firefighters attempted to resuscitate Murphy on the scene. She was subsequently transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead on arrival at 10:04 after going into cardiac arrest.
The official cause of death is yet to be determined, but Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told the Associated Press: "It appears to be natural." An autopsy was performed on December 21, 2009. Her death certificate lists the cause of death as "deferred". Full results will not be available for several weeks; authorities are looking into her medical records and toxicology reports.
Murphy was buried at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills on December 24, 2009.
Bio courtesy of Wikipedia