A few days before Christmas in 2009, the world was rocked by the news of the tragic death of Brittany Murphy, a famous actress and singer. By the 10th of November 2022, she would have been 45 years old.
The Atlanta-born actress had breakout roles in Clueless (1995) and 8 Mile (2002) with Eminem, as well as supporting roles in Girl, Interrupted (1999) with Angelina Jolie and the lead in the romantic comedies Little Black Book (2004) and Just Married (2003) with her then-boyfriend Ashton Kutcher.
With DJ Paul Oakenfold, Murphy shot to fame with their 2006 track “Faster Kill Pussycat,” which topped the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.
Brittany Murphy Death Cause
Actress Brittany Murphy, 32, died unexpectedly on December 20th, 2009, after falling in the home she shared with her mother, Sharon, and husband, Simon Monjack, in the Hollywood Hills. The coroner determined that her death was accidental. Fans and loved ones have been troubled for nearly a decade by the mystery surrounding Murphy’s death.
People reported in 2009 that Coroner asst. Chief Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said Murphy died of pneumonia, anemia, and “multiple drug intoxication,” meaning that he took too many drugs, including both prescription and over-the-counter medicines. There was no evidence that she had ingested any illegal substances, though.
Alex Ben Block, a close friend of Murphy’s family, chronicled the bizarre events of Murphy’s final months in a story for the Hollywood Reporter in 2011. Simon Monjack told Block immediately after Murphy’s death that his wife had committed herself due to a broken heart.
A tweet by @buuuugggg about her death:
pretty sad knowing that a king of the hill remake is coming out but Brittany Murphy isn't alive anymore to voice Luanne 😢 also her death still seems so sketchy to this day
— 𝖍𝖔𝖑𝖑𝖞 🦋♀️ (@buuuugggg) January 31, 2023
Murphy’s career declined because of rumors about her drug usage and chronic tardiness. The tabloid press also speculated that she had to fight anorexia. But, in Monjack’s words, those stories were all made up. Reportedly, the actress suffered from a heart murmur, which medications in her blood would have significantly exacerbated. She had maintained a healthy weight up until her death.
According to what Block wrote, Murphy’s tragic end began with a vacation to San Juan. After coming home, Murphy acquired a cold that had previously struck Monjack and his mother.
Murphy took “the antibiotic Biaxin, migraine medications, cough medicine, and an over-the-counter nasal spray,” in addition to the prescription medication she was taking for pain from a previous automobile accident and for seizures induced by accident on the set of 8 Mile, Block said.
Could Her Passing Have Been Avoided?
Winter says that Murphy’s life might still be here if she had gone to the hospital sooner.
“This death could’ve been preventable,” he said. “Murphy was planning on seeing a doctor, but she, unfortunately, passed away before she did. This was a case of a person with pneumonia who was anemic and was taking medication when she should’ve been getting medical treatment.”
But her husband denied keeping Murphy from seeing a doctor. He told PEOPLE his wife “was being properly taken care of.” He claimed to think she was battling the flu: “I had no idea she had pneumonia. I took very good care of my wife, she was on an antibiotic and she was taking cough medicine and doing all the right things,” he said.
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Did The Same Thing Happen To Her Husband?
Sharon, Murphy’s mother, discovered Monjack, 40, dead in the same bedroom her daughter had died in just five months after her death and days after his last interview with PEOPLE. Both he and his wife shared the exact cause of death: pneumonia and anemia.
LAPD Commander Andrew Smith told PEOPLE, “It was just a terrible combination of circumstances” after Monjack’s death mirrored that of his wife—what a tragic, tragic situation.
Monjack told PEOPLE about his struggles to move on after Murphy’s death, just months before he passed away.
“I had a life I never dreamed of. I have seen the sunset on five continents. I’d trade it all for one more day with Brittany. I lost my life. She was my best friend, and she was a little girl who wanted her husband right there. What do I have left?” he said.
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