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
Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said Murphy
apparently collapsed in the bathroom, and authorities were looking into her
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.
TMZ.com first reported Murphy's death Sunday morning.
father, Angelo Bertolotti, said he learned of her death from his son, the
actress's brother, and was stunned.
"She was just an absolute doll since
she was born," Bertolotti said from his Branford, Fla., home. "Her personality
was always outward. Everybody loved her — people that made movies with her,
people on a cruise — they all loved her. She was just a regular gal."
said he hadn't heard much about the circumstances of Murphy's death. Bertolotti
divorced her mother when Murphy was young and hadn't seen Murphy in the past few
years. He said he used to be in the mob and served prison time on federal drug
"She was just talented," Bertolotti said. "And I loved her very
Meanwhile, Murphy's publicist, Nicole Perna, said in a statement:
"In this time of sadness, the family thanks you for your love and support. It is
their wish that you respect their privacy."
Born Nov. 10, 1977, in
Atlanta, Murphy grew up in New Jersey and later moved with her mother to Los
Angeles to pursue acting.
Her career started in the early 1990s with
small roles in television series, commercials and movies. She is best known for
parts in "Girl, Interrupted," "Clueless" and "8 Mile."
work had lessened of late, but Murphy's voice gave life to numerous animated
characters, including Luanne Platter on more than 200 episodes of Fox's "King of
the Hill" and Gloria the penguin in the 2006 feature "Happy Feet."
is due to appear in Sylvester Stallone's upcoming film, "The Expendables," set
for release next year.
Her role in "8 Mile" led to more recognition,
Murphy told AP in 2003. "That changed a lot," she said. "That was the difference
between people knowing my first and last name as opposed to not."
credited her mother, Sharon, with being a key to her success.
asked my mom to move to California, she sold everything and moved out here for
me," Murphy said. "I was really grateful to have grown up in an environment that
was conducive to creating and didn't stifle any of that. She always believed in
She dated Ashton Kutcher, who costarred with Murphy in 2003's
romantic comedy "Just Married."
Kutcher sent a message on Twitter Sunday
morning about Murphy's death: "2day the world lost a little piece of sunshine,"
Kutcher wrote. "My deepest condolences go out 2 Brittany's family, her husband,
& her amazing mother Sharon."
Original article from OMG
22 hours ago