Brittany Murphy was a talented American actress who pursued an acting career as a teenager and starred in many blockbuster movies like Freeway, Clueless, Don’t Say a Word, 8 Mile alongside Eminem, Happy Feet Spun, Riding in Cars with Boys, Uptown Girls, Sin City, and many others.
Murphy was born in Atlanta Georgia on November 10, 1977, as Anne Bertolotti from Brittany. Her parents separated when she was just two years old and her mother had to move to Edison, New Jersey, where she eventually grew up. She had three half-brothers and sisters and was raised first as a Baptist and then as a non-denominational Christian.
Her mother is of Irish and Eastern European descent and her father is of Italian descent. She attended Edison High School and was also an alumnus of the Verne Fowler School of Dance and Theatre Arts, Colonia, NJ.
Brittany had shown an interest in acting from an early age, her mother never tried to stifle her creativity but encouraged her to develop and maximize her potential. As a child, Murphy was trained in dance, acting, and singing. In 1991 her family moved to L.A. so that she could pursue an acting career.
She made her Broadway debut in 1997 when she played the leading role of Catherine in A View from the Bridge alongside veteran actress Allison Janney. She made her television debut as Brenda Drexell in the series Drexell’s Class. Her breakthrough in Brittany came in 1995 after her role in the teen comedy Clueless. She then starred in several other films, including Girl, Interrupted, (in which she starred alongside Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder), Freeway, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Bongwater, and many others.
Her other television series include The Torkelsons, Boy Meets World, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, Murder One and Frasier, Sister, Sister, Sea Quest 2032, Blossom, and many more.
Brittany Murphy was also a singer. She was part of a band called Blessed Soul in the early 1990s together with her actor colleague Eric Balfour. In 2006, she released a single from the album A Lively Mind with Paul Oakenfold. The single, Faster Kill Pussycat, went so well that it became a club hit and climbed to #1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play Charts.
On December 20, 2009, the world awoke with the shocking news of the death of the talented actress and singer at the tender age of 32. What was the cause of her death? Below you will find the details and secrets surrounding her death.
Brittany Murphy’s Death Details and Mysteries Surrounding It
The young star had fainted in the bathroom of her home in the Hollywood Hills on that fateful day of December 20, 2009, after suffering from pneumonia-like symptoms for several days. According to reports, she had shouted to her mother from the bathroom that she could not breathe properly, her mother ran to her, but she fainted right in her arms, and all efforts to revive her immediately failed.
She was then taken to hospital where she died after a heart attack. Although it is common knowledge that multiple drug poisoning contributed to her death, an autopsy performed on her the same day also revealed that she died of pneumonia, aggravated by anemia (iron deficiency).
Despite the numerous bottles of pills found in her bedroom, Murphy’s husband Monjack refuted reports that she was addicted to prescription drugs. According to him, his wife did not abuse prescription drugs.
According to the coroner’s report, police closed the case and Brittany Murphy was buried on December 24, 2009, in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills.
Because of the mysterious manner in which she died and the many rumors, her estranged father Angelo Bertolotti filed a petition with the Superior Court of California in 2011 requesting that the L.A. County Coroner’s Office be asked to submit samples of Murphy’s hair for a private toxicological test to rule out the possibility of a crime.
The results showed that their hair contained high concentrations of toxic metals, including antimony and barium, which is used in some rat poisons. According to L.A. County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter, the heavy metals found on her hair were due to the Breton hair dye.
In an interview with the Examiner in 2014, Bertolotti clearly stated that he did not believe his daughter had died a natural death, but that she was murdered by his ex-wife, a claim that Sharon Murphy called libel.
Murphy was married to the British screenwriter Simon Monjack. The duo met in 2001 on the set of the film White Hotel. After they had been together for a few years, they tied the knot in May 2007 in a private Jewish ceremony in Los Angeles.
The couple lived together with Murphy’s mother in the same house. Only five months after Murphy’s death, Monjack was found dead in the same bedroom as his wife, and the cause of death was exactly the same as that of his wife – a case of acute pneumonia and severe anemia. Pretty mysterious, huh? We know what it is.
After Monjack’s death, the L.A. County Department of Health named the toxic mold found in her home as a possible cause of the couple’s death. Ed Winter, however, dismissed the lawsuits. He said there was no evidence to support such claims. Murphy’s mother also thought the allegations were absurd.
However, Sharon Murphy changed her mind in 2011 when she stated that toxic mold must indeed have killed her daughter and son-in-law.