Tags: US | Obit | Brittany | Murphy

Family: Brittany Murphy Was Ill Days Before Death

Monday, 21 Dec 2009 07:42 PM

 

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Authorities said Monday it appeared actress Brittany Murphy died of natural causes after becoming ill with flulike symptoms in the days before she collapsed in the bathroom of her Hollywood Hills home.

Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said an autopsy had been conducted and officials were awaiting the results of toxicology and tissue testing before determining an official cause of death.

They also interviewed Murphy's personnel physician and examined prescription drugs taken from her home.

The autopsy found no signs of trauma to the body of the 32-year-old star of "Clueless" and "8 Mile." Police did not suspect foul play.

"We went to the scene to see if there was anything that suggests foul play, and there wasn't," Los Angeles police Detective Wendi Berndt said.

It could take up to six weeks before a determination is made public on her cause of death.

Winter said Murphy's family reported she had been ill and that could have contributed to her death. He said he had no further details about the medication taken from the home Murphy shared with her screenwriter husband Simon Monjack.

Paramedics tried to revive Murphy early Sunday, but she was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The hospital said she died of cardiac arrest.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

"The sudden loss of our beloved Brittany is a terrible tragedy," Monjack and her family wrote in a statement. "She was our daughter, our wife, our love, and a shining star."

Murphy's death put "Saturday Night Live" in an awkward spot.

Two weeks ago, the NBC show aired a sketch during "Weekend Update" in which cast member Abby Elliott did an impression of Murphy, who had recently been fired from a film project. The impression portrayed Murphy as spacey and living in the past.

After Murphy's death, the sketch disappeared from Hulu.com, an online video repository co-owned by NBC Universal. Sharon Pannozzo, a publicist for "Saturday Night Live," didn't respond to requests for comment.

Murphy moved to Los Angeles with her mother, Sharon, in the early 1990s. Her career started with small roles in television series, commercials and movies. Her part in "Clueless" led to larger projects.

She is also known for her role in "Girl, Interrupted" and voiced the character Luanne Platter for more than 200 episodes of Fox's animated series "King of the Hill."

Her role in "8 Mile" led to wide recognition.

"That was the difference between people knowing my first and last name as opposed to not," she told AP in 2003.

——

AP Writers Matt Sedensky in Miami and Thomas Watkins in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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