Murphy at the Australian premiere of Happy Feet, December 10, 2006
|Born||Brittany Anne Bertolotti
November 10, 1977
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
|Died||December 20, 2009 (aged 32)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, singer, voice artist|
|Spouse(s)||Simon Monjack (2007–2009)|
Brittany Anne Murphy-Monjack (November 10, 1977 – December 20, 2009), known professionally as Brittany Murphy, was an American actress and singer. She starred in films such as Clueless, Girl, Interrupted, Spun, 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, where she attended Edison High School, the same high school actress Susan Sarandon attended. She and her family would later live 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 had 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 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 and Frasier. 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 adaptation 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 (2002). 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, and Joseph Gribble until season 5. 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."
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".
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.
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 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 together in the same house.
At 08:00 (16:00 GMT) on December 20, 2009, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to "a medical request" at the Los Angeles home Murphy and Monjack shared. She had 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.
Shortly after her death, 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 listed the cause of death as "deferred". On February 4, 2010, the Los Angeles County coroner stated that the primary cause of Murphy's death was pneumonia, with secondary factors of iron-deficiency anemia and multiple drug intoxication. On February 25, 2010, the coroner released a report stating that Murphy had been taking a range of over the counter and prescription medications, with the most likely reason being to treat a cold or respiratory infection. These included "elevated levels" of hydrocodone, acetaminophen, L-methamphetamine and chlorpheniramine. All of the drugs were legal and the death was ruled to be an accident, but the report observed: "the possible adverse physiological effects of elevated levels of these medications cannot be discounted, especially in her weakened state".
In January 2010, Sharon Murphy, Murphy's mother, and husband Simon Monjack established the Brittany Murphy Foundation, a charitable fund aimed at raising funds for children's arts education, as well as supporting the USO and cancer research.
The Foundation was officially launched on February 4, 2010 at an event at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills where Monjack requested donations of $1,000 per person and $10,000 per corporation to attend, although records search revealed that the foundation's not-for-profit status had not been filed. Soon thereafter, the foundation announced it would refund any donations received and issued an official letter on the Foundation's website. They stated that In an effort to get the foundation setup as quickly as possible, they had established it as a private foundation with plans to apply for nonprofit status down the road. However, they said that they had decided to wait until the foundation's non-profit status was approved before going any further in order to truly honor Brittany and the foundation's charitable goals.
|1993||Family Prayers||Elsie||Alternative title: A Family Divided|
|1998||Falling Sky||Emily Nicholson|
|The Prophecy II||Izzy||Direct-to-video release|
|Zack and Reba||Reba Simpson|
|1999||Drop Dead Gorgeous||Lisa Swenson|
|Girl, Interrupted||Daisy Randone|
|Cherry Falls||Jody Marken|
|The Audition||Daniella||Short subject|
|2001||Sidewalks of New York||Ashley|
|Summer Catch||Dede Mulligan|
|Don't Say a Word||Elisabeth Burrows|
|Riding in Cars with Boys||Fay Forrester|
|Something in Between||Sky||Short subject|
|8 Mile||Alex Latourno|
|Uptown Girls||Molly Gunn|
|2004||Little Black Book||Stacy Holt|
|Love and Other Disasters||Emily "Jacks" Jackson|
|The Dead Girl||Krista Kutcher|
|2008||The Ramen Girl||Abby|
|Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs||Colleen (voice)||Direct-to-DVD release|
|2009||Across the Hall||June|
|1991||Murphy Brown||Frank's sister||1 episode|
|1991–1992||Drexell's Class||Brenda Drexell||18 episodes|
|1992||Kids Incorporated||Celeste||1 episode|
|Parker Lewis Can't Lose||Angie||1 episode|
|1993||Almost Home||Molly Morgan||13 episodes|
|Party of Five||Abby||2 episodes|
|1994–1995||Sister, Sister||Sarah||6 episodes|
|1995||Boy Meets World||Trini||2 episodes|
|The Marshal||Lizzie Roth||1 episode|
|seaQuest DSV||Christine VanCamp||1 episode|
|Murder One||Diane "Dee-Dee" Carson||1 episode|
|1996||Double Jeopardy||Julia||Television movie|
|Nash Bridges||Carrie||1 episode|
|1997–2009||King of the Hill||Luanne Platter (voice)
Various characters (voice)
|1998||David and Lisa||Lisa||Television movie|
|1999||The Devil's Arithmetic||Rivkah||Television movie|
|1999–2000||Pepper Ann||Tank the 8th grader (voice)||3 episodes|
|2000||Common Ground||Dorothy Nelson||Television movie|
|2009||Tribute||Cilla McGowan||Television movie|
|Megafault||Dr. Amy Lane||Television movie|