Brittany Murphy was a talented American actress who pursued a career in acting 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 more.
Murphy was born on November 10, 1977, in Atlanta Georgia as Brittany Anne Bertolotti. Her parents separated when she was just two years old and her mother had to move to Edison, New Jersey, where she was eventually raised. She had three half-siblings and was raised a Baptist and then, as a non-denominational Christian.
Her mother is of Irish and Eastern European descent and her father of Italian ancestry. She attended Edison High School and was as well an alumnus of Verne Fowler School of Dance and Theatre Arts, Colonia, NJ.
Brittany had shown interest in acting at quite an early age, according to her, her mother never tried to stifle her creativity, but encouraged her to fully explore and maximize her potentials. As a child, Murphy was trained in dancing, acting, and singing. In 1991, her family moved to L.A. so she could pursue an acting career.
She made her Broadway debut in 1997 when she starred as Catherine in A View from the Bridge alongside veteran actor Allison Janney. Her TV debut was as Brenda Drexell in the series Drexell’s Class. Brittany’s breakthrough came in 1995, following her role in teen comedy Clueless. After that, she appeared in several other movies which include Girl, Interrupted, (in which she starred alongside Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder), Freeway Drop Dead Gorgeous, Bongwater, and many more.
Her other TV series include The Torkelsons, Boy Meets World, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, Murder One and Frasier, Sister, Sister, Sea Quest 2032, Blossom, and lots more.
Brittany Murphy was also a singer. She was part of an early 1990s band named Blessed Soul alongside fellow actor Eric Balfour. In 2006, she alongside Paul Oakenfold released a single from the album A Lively Mind. The single, Faster Kill Pussycat, did so well that it became a club hit and peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart.
The world woke up on December 20, 2009, to 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 are the details and mysteries surrounding her death.
Brittany Murphy’s Death Details and Mysteries Surrounding It
The young star had passed out in the bathroom of her Hollywood Hills home on that fateful day of December 20, 2009, after suffering from pneumonia-like symptoms for a few days. According to reports, she had called out to her mom from the bathroom that she couldn’t breathe properly, her mom ran off to her but she passed out right in her arms and all effort to revive her immediately proved abortive.
She was then rushed to the hospital where she died after suffering a heart attack. While it is common knowledge that multiple drug intoxication contributed to her death, an autopsy carried out on her that same day also revealed that she died of pneumonia which was complicated by anemia (iron deficiency)
Despite the numerous pill bottles found in their bedroom, Murphy’s husband Monjack refuted reports that she was addicted to prescription drugs. According to him, his wife was not abusing prescription drugs.
Following the report from the coroner, the police closed the case and Brittany Murphy was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills on December 24, 2009.
Following the mysterious manner in which she died and the many rumors, her estranged father Angelo Bertolotti in 2011, applied to the Superior Court of California requesting that the LA’s County Coroner’s Office be required to hand over samples of his Murphy’s hair for a private toxicology test to rule out the possibility of any foul play.
The results revealed there were high levels of toxic metals present in her hair, including antimony and barium, which is used in some rat poisons. According to the L.A. County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter, the heavy metals found on her hair was due to Brittany’s coloring of her hair.
Speaking in an interview with the Examiner in 2014, Bertolotti stated clearly that he doesn’t believe his daughter died a natural death but that she was murdered by his ex-wife, a claim Sharon Murphy described as a smear.
Murphy was married to British screenwriter Simon Monjack. The duo met in 2001 on the set of the film White Hotel. After being together for a couple of years, they tied the knots on May 2007, in a private Jewish ceremony in Los Angeles.
The couple lived together in the same house with Murphy’s mother. Just five months after Murphy’s death, Monjack was found dead in the same bedroom as his wife and the cause of death read exactly the same as his wife’s – a case of acute pneumonia and severe anemia. Really mysterious huh? We know.
After Monjack’s death, L.A County Department of Health gave toxic mold found in their home as a possible cause of the death of the couple. Ed Winter, however, dismissed the claims. According to him, there was no evidence to back up such claims. Murphy’s mother also thought the claims as absurd.
Sharon Murphy, however, changed her opinion in 2011 when she stated that toxic mold must have indeed killed her daughter and son-in-law.