Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sin City Star Dies: Brittany Murphy At 32

Brittany Murphy has died.

The 32-year-old actress went into full cardiac arrest early Sunday morning, December 20, 2009, following a 911 call from her husband, Simon Monjack, Variety reports. Around 8 a.m. local time, her mother found her unconscious in the shower in her home in the hills of West Hollywood. The star was pronounced dead upon arrival at 10:04 am on Sunday, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles County Department of Coroner confirms to E! News, "We do have a preliminary death report of a Brittany Murphy" coming from Cedars-Sinai.

Popular Movie Celebrity

Murphy starred in such films as 8 Mile, Uptown Girls, Sin City, Clueless and Don't Say a Word.

She also starred in the ironically named Drop Dead Gorgeous. Murphy's Drop Dead Gorgeous co-star Denise Richards lamented: "Brittany Murphy was in Drop Dead Gorgeous with me and was the sweetest and most adorable. Tragic, sad and devastating. Her poor family."

Murphy was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 10, 1977. Her parents divorced when she was two and she was raised by her mother, Sharon Murphy (Irish and Eastern European descent), in Edison, New Jersey, and later Los Angeles. Her father, Angelo Bertolotti (Italian American), is, allegedly, a convicted mobster, found guilty of racketeering.

Other Notable Deaths

In West Hollywood, other tragic deaths have included those of John Belushi and River Phoenix.

In 1982, John Belushi died of a drug overdose at the elegant Chateau Marmont hotel. On the night of his death, he was visited separately by friends Robin Williams (at the height of his own drug exploits) and Robert De Niro, each of whom left the premises, leaving Belushi in the company of assorted others, including Cathy Smith. This is just one of many notable sordid events at the location. A 1930s movie executive reportedly said, "If you must get into trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont."

Actor River Phoenix died of a drug overdose on Halloween morning in 1993 at the Viper Room, a club that was opened that year and was partly owned by actor Johnny Depp until 2004.

Howard Hughes

West Hollywood, then called Sherman, formerly was an important retreat for Howard Hughes. In 1930, Howard Hughes purchased the building at 7000 Romaine Street, which was then used for an experimental film process company for a short time. Hughes eventually used the location as the communication nerve center for his empire. Employees called this location The Fortress.

The area around Fountain Avenue, Harper Avenue and Havenhurst Drive contains a high concentration of landmark 1920s Spanish Revival and Art Deco apartment buildings by such noted architects as Leland Bryant. This historic district has been home to many celebrities and at one time the Sunset Tower at 8358 Sunset Boulevard was home to Frank Sinatra, Errol Flynn, the Gabor Sisters, John Wayne and Howard Hughes.


Joe O said...

Here is a recent picture of her from her last movie, showing her lying lifeless in a bathtub.

Mark said...

About ten years ago when it seems all young actresses were doing mindless "Scream" ripoffs, Brittany Murphy made a remarkable movie that completely disappeared but should be remembered called, "Cherry Falls." It was about a pscyho killer who targeted teens who WERE virgins rather than teens who had sex. The whole film was pretty thoughtful for a slasher movie, and Brittany Murphy was amazing as a young girl in a complex relationship with her boyfriend and her English teacher. Great stuff from a great actress. This Hollywood death breaks my heart.

leoabetas said...

So sad to hear it. Loved her film in Love and Other Disasters.

cryptidsrus said...

I personally loved her from CLUELESS and 8 MILE. Also her memerable role in "Don't Say A Word."
"I'll never teeeellllll...." :)
Sleep well, lady. RIP.

purrlgurrl said...

Clearly this young woman was struggling with an eating disorder. Just comparing her image in earlier and later films makes it painfully obvious. Karen Carpenter (anyone here old enough to remember her?) died of cardiac arrest in similar circumstances around the same age, the result of years of anorexia. Her pitifully starved body (and heart) just gave out.

It's sad because both women were talented and left us way too soon. Murphy was a gifted character actress trying to be another Julia Roberts (a charming, but one-note performer) which led her and her career astray.

I doubt there is much more to this than another fragile soul caught up in the movie industry meat grinder.