Brittany Murphy Dies at the Age of 32

In a year that has been just packed with high profile celebrity deaths, one more comes before year’s end. Brittany Murphy, the young actress who starred in such films as Clueless, 8 Mile, Just Married, and Sin City, passed away today at the age of 32. As per usual with celebrity deaths, rumors and scandals are being carelessly thrown around, but as of now it appears to be due to natural causes.

I had no strong artistic connection to any of Brittany Murphy’s roles, but I thought she was an excellent actress and anytime anybody passes away around the Holidays it is especially tragic. My personal favorite role of hers was the limited time she spent kicking ass in Sin City. Her recent trend of leaning more towards independent films means that she could have had a breakout, Oscar worthy type role in her future.

View the Press Release from the AP after the break.

LOS ANGELES – Brittany Murphy, the actress who got her start in the sleeper hit “Clueless” and rose to stardom in “8 Mile” before her movie roles declined in recent years, died Sunday in Los Angeles of what appeared to be natural causes, a Los Angeles County coroner’s official said. She was 32.

Murphy was pronounced dead at 10:04 a.m. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Sally Stewart said.

Murphy was transported to the hospital after the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a call at 8 a.m. at the home she shared with her husband, British screenwriter Simon Monjack, in the Hollywood Hills.

Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said Murphy apparently collapsed in the bathroom, and authorities were looking into her medical history.

An official cause of death may not be determined for some time, since toxicology tests will be required, but “it appears to be natural,” Winter said. He said an autopsy was planned for Monday or Tuesday.

Winter said Murphy’s family was cooperating with the coroner’s investigation. Funeral arrangements have not been announced, he said.

Los Angeles police have opened an investigation into Murphy’s death, Officer Norma Eisenman said. Detectives and coroner’s officials were at Murphy and Monjack’s home Sunday afternoon but did not talk to reporters. Paparazzi were camped outside the multistory home, located above the Sunset Strip.

Messages left for Murphy’s manager and agent by The Associated Press were not immediately returned.

Neighbor Clare Staples said she saw firefighters working to resuscitate the actress Sunday morning. She said Murphy was on a stretcher and “looked as though she was dead at the scene.”

Murphy’s husband, wearing pajama bottoms and no shoes, appeared “dazed” as firefighters tried to save her, Staples said. “It’s just tragic,” she added.

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  • Owen

    I’m not going to speculate as to the cause, but I am going to say that it is extremely, extremely rare for a healthy 32-year-old to die of cardiac arrest. Obviously they note in the story that it “appears to be natural,” but again, it would be extremely rare for her heart to have just failed her 32 years into her life.

  • It happened to Mitch Hedberg, who was 37.

    It might be drug related or something else, but its still careless and premature for people to speculate at this point.

  • Owen

    Except that Mitch Hedberg was also a heavy drug user for most of his adult life, so the strain of over a decade of drug use ultimately contributed to the early stoppage of his heart. It would be surprising to me to find out that drugs weren’t involved in some way (either a history of them or a direct result).

    It is careless that people are speculating, but history has shown healthy 30-year-olds don’t just drop dead. Something had to be up, whether it be drugs or an unknown medical ailment.

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