Celebrated in film, television and music, entertainer Brittany Murphy passed away this morning in her West Hollywood home. The 32 year-old Georgia-born actress was best known for her roles in films such as "Clueless," "Girl, Interrupted," "8 Mile," and "Sin City."
Her family has released the following statement: "In this time of sadness, the family thanks you for your love and support. It is their wish that you respect their privacy."
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a 911 call at 8 a.m. from the home Murphy shared with her mother, Sharon, and husband, British screenwriter and director Simon Monjack, the Associated Press reported. The actress' mother discovered her daughter unconscious in the shower and called for assistance. Paramedics administered CPR but failed to revive Murphy, she was pronounced dead on arrival at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.Â A Cedars-Sinai spokesperson confirmed that the actress passed away at 10:04 a.m.
TMZ has learned that MonjackÂ told hospital staff that he did not want an autopsy performed. However,Â Â the L.A. County Coroner's office will perform an autopsy on Murphy and it is reported that authorities have launched an investigation into her death.
Monjack suffered his own strange health scare less than a month ago. He was rushed to the hospital after reportedly having an asthma attack on a return flight to Los Angeles. "EMTs revealed that it was more serious condition", Â though not specified, according to rightcelebrity.com.
That same weekend, celebrity blogger Perez Hilton reported that the actress had been fired from the leading role as Mary Kee in the upcoming film, "The Caller," as a result of "being difficult on set." Hilton is among many who have began speculating as to whether drugs played a role in Murphy's sudden death.
Los Angeles' Examiner.com is also entertaining rumors of cardiac trauma due to an eating disorder, "Her extremely thin appearance at the premiere of "Across the Hall" earlier this month set off another round of rumors that the actress was suffering from an eating disorder."
Examiner.com also noted that cardiac arrest was the official cause of death for Michael Jackson as well, a chilling comparison.
It has been said that Murphy's mother told the paramedics that her daughter was diabetic, but there has been no confirmation of a history yet.
According to IMDB, "In 1991, at the age of 13, Brittany and her mother moved from Edison, New Jersey to Burbank, California," where she landed her first television role on the NBC sitcom "Blossom." Interviews with star claimedthat her mother gave up everything to make the journey and that the actress credited her success to Sharon Murphy's vast sacrifices.
Brittney Murphy starred in films such as "Uptown Girls," "Don't Say a Word," and "Just Married," but was best known for her supporting roles in "Clueless," "Girl Interrupted, "8 Mile," and "Sin City." Her career encompassed over 60 appearances in movies and television.
Her signature coquettish manner of speaking was key to many of her roles. She voiced raspy redneck Luanne Platter in over 200 episodes of Fox's animated series, â€œKing of the Hill.â€ Murphy also showcased her singing chops tackling tricky songs by both Earth, Wind & Fire and Queen as Gloria the penguin, in the animated film "Happy Feet" opposite Elijah Wood.
Her short-lived band, Blessed Soul, never achieved mainstream status in the nineties. But she garnered critical acclaim for appearing solo on UK DJ Paul Oakenfold's 2006 single "Faster Pussycat," from the Grammy-nominated album A Lively Mind. The track reached number one on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart.
Murphy married Simon Monjack in 2007. She and Monjack, best known for directing the film "Factory Girl," told People magazineÂ in 2008 that they wanted to begin a family in "about a year." Â She had beenÂ previously linked romantically to co-stars such asÂ Eminem andÂ Ashton Kutcher.
Ashton KutcherÂ tweeted upon hearing of Murphy's death: "Today the world lost a little piece of sunshine. My deepest condolences go out 2 Brittany's family, her husband, & her amazing mother Sharon.Â See you on the other side, kid." Many other celebrities have also taken to Twitter to share their condolences.
Update 12/23/09: NY Daily News reports that the cause of death "is deferred pending toxicology and tissue tests that could take four to six weeks." Â A length list of prescription drugs have been reported as documented at the scene, according to a source which leaked the information to TMZ.
Brittany's husband, Simon Monjack, has denied reports that his young wife may have overdosed or suffered from an eating disorder, Â "My wife did not take anything on the morning of her death that would have caused her to be sick or ill, let alone die. It's beyond even the sickest speculation."
The actress is to be laid to rest on Christmas Eve in Los Angeles' famous Forest Lawn Cemetery, in a private service.
Curt Smith, half of the famous pop duo Tears for Fears,Â which Murphy was rumored to be a devoted fan of, tweeted today that he was "Saddened by the Brittany Murphy news." Tears for Fears' videoÂ "Closest Thing To Heaven," from theirÂ 2005 release Everybody Loves a Happy Ending,Â features her.