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, Just Married, 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, was released direct-to-DVD on August 24, 2010.
Brittany Murphy attended Verne Fowler School of Dance and Theatre Arts in Colonia, New Jersey, in 1982. At the age of four, she continued to train in singing, dancing, and acting until her move to California at 13.Murphy made her Broadway debut in 1997, as Catherine, in a revival of Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge opposite veteran actors Anthony LaPaglia and Allison Janney.
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 2003, she starred in the romantic comedies Just Married and Little Black Book (2004) 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 was released in August 2010.
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 said about her character Gloria, "Oddly enough, of all the characters I've played, Gloria is the most like me. And she's a penguin! George Miller always wanted one person to do both [the speaking and the singing]. I said, 'I can sing,' and I asked him to give me a shot. I don't think he took me very seriously because most actors say they can do most things."
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 together in the same house.
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."