US actress Brittany Murphy dead

US actress Brittany Murphy dead

Brittany Murphy. File photo/Reuters

Murphy was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center about 10 a.m. PST (1800 GMT Sunday), two hours after her mother reportedly found her unconscious in the shower of the actress' Hollywood Hills home.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner said there were no suspicious circumstances, but that an autopsy would take place in the next few days.

Murphy starred in films opposite Michael Douglas, Ashton Kutcher, Eminem and Angelina Jolie, but failed to attain their level of success. In recent years, she worked mostly in low-budget movies, while her emaciated appearance sparked concerns about her health.

"(Today) the world lost a little piece of sunshine," Kutcher, a former boyfriend, wrote on his Twitter page. "(S)ee you on the other side kid."

Her publicist declined comment, saying the family wanted privacy.

Murphy was in the news earlier this month when she reportedly was fired from the Puerto Rico set of the indie thriller "The Caller." Her publicist said the split resulted from creative differences.

 In this Nov. 1, 2007 file photo, Actress Brittany Murphy, right, and husband, writer Simon Monjack, left, at the BAFTA/LA Cunard Britannia Awards in Los Angeles
  In this Nov. 1, 2007 file photo, Actress Brittany Murphy (R), right, and husband, writer Simon Monjack (L), at the BAFTA/LA Cunard Britannia Awards in Los Angeles. AP

When Murphy and her husband of two years, British screenwriter Simon Monjack, returned to Los Angeles, he lost consciousness on the plane and was rushed to hospital.

SMALL SCREEN SUCCESS

Murphy was last in theaters with the low-budget thriller "Across the Hall," which opened in one theater each in New York and Los Angeles two weeks ago. She recently finished work on the Sylvester Stallone action film "The Expendables."

In this Nov. 26, 2006 file photo, U.S. actress Brittany Murphy arrives in Leicester Square for the European premiere of her latest film In this May 5, 2002 file photo, Actress Brittany Murphy, winner of the
Left: US actress Brittany Murphy arrives in Leicester Square for the European premiere of her latest film "Happy Feet" in central London on Nov 26,  2006. Right: Brittany, winner of the "Standout Performance by a Young Actor" award for her performance in the film "Don't Say A Word," arrives at Movieline magazine's Annual Young Hollywood Awards in LA on May 5, 2002. AP

Murphy was born in Atlanta on Nov. 10, 1977, and raised in New Jersey. Accompanied by her mother, she moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s in hopes of stardom.

She made her breakthrough in the 1995 feature comedy "Clueless," playing a frumpy schoolgirl who gets a makeover from Alicia Silverstone's character.

"I always felt connected to her as we shared a very special experience in our lives together," Silverstone said in a statement to People magazine.

"I feel love in my heart for her -- and hope she is at peace. This is truly sad."

Murphy built on her momentum with a succession of TV roles and appeared in two films in 1999 -- "Drop Dead Gorgeous" and "Girl, Interrupted," for which Jolie received an Oscar.

Murphy worked with Douglas in the 2001 thriller "Don't Say a Word," and played Eminem's love interest in the 2002 hit "8 Mile."

The following year, she co-starred with Kutcher in the romantic comedy "Just Married," and played Dakota Fanning's babysitter in "Uptown Girls." But the movies failed to generate much commercial or critical heat. Her last major role was in the 2005 comic-book adaptation "Sin City."

Murphy enjoyed more enduring success on the small screen, providing the voice of the vacuous Texan Luanne Platter in the cartoon series "King of the Hill." She also voiced a penguin in the 2006 box office hit "Happy Feet."

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