Brittany Anne Murphy-Monjack was an American actress and singer. A native of Atlanta, Murphy moved to Los Angeles as a teenager and pursued a career in acting. Her breakthrough role was as Tai Frasier in “Clueless,” followed by supporting roles in independent films such as “Freeway” and “Bongwater.” Take a look below for 30 more interesting and fascinating facts about Brittany Anne Murphy-Monjack.
1. She made her stage debut in a Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge” in 1997, before appearing as Daisy Randone in “Girl, Interrupted” and as Lisa Swenson in “Drop Dead Gorgeous.”
2. Brittany Anne Bertolotti was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Sharon Kathleen Murphy and Angelo Joseph Bertolotti, who divorced when she was two years old.
3. Murphy was raised by her mother in Edison, New Jersey.
4. Bertolotti was not named as her father on Brittany’s first death certificate.
5. Prior to her enrolling at Edison High School, the family moved to Los Angeles in 1991 so that Murphy could pursue an acting career.
6. Murphy said her mother never tried to stifle her creativity, and she considered her mother a crucial factor in her later success: “When I asked my mom to move to California, she sold everything and moved out here for me. She always believed in me.”
7. Murphy’s mother is of Irish and Eastern European descent and her father is of Italian ancestry.
8. She was raised a Baptist and later became a non-denominational Christian.
9. She had two older half-brothers and a younger half-sister.
10. Murphy attended Verne Fowler School of Dance and Theater Arts in Colonia, New Jersey, in 1982.
11. From the age of four, she trained in singing, dancing, and acting until her move to California at thirteen.
12. Murphy made her Broadway debut in 1997, as Catherine, in a revival of Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge” opposite veteran actors Anthony LaPaglia and Allison Janney.
13. Murphy landed her first job in Hollywood when she was thirteen, starring as Brenda Drexell in the series “Drexell’s Class.”
14. Murphy’s career also included work as a singer. She commented: “My singing voice isn’t like my speaking voice…I’ve just always kept it a secret and never taken credit because I wanted to learn how to work behind the microphone in a recording studio, and some of the singers don’t even know it was me recording on their albums.”
15. She was in a band called Blessed Soul with fellow actor Eric Balfour in the early 1990s.
16. On June 6, 2006, Murphy and Paul Oakenfold released the single “Faster Kill Pussycat”, from the album “A Lively Mind.” The song became a club hit and hit number one on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart.
17. She dabbled in music again with the release of the film “Happy Feet,” in which she covered Queen’s “Somebody to Love” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland”.
18. In late 2002, Murphy began dating Ashton Kutcher, her co-star in “Just Married.”
19. Once engaged to talent manager Jeff Kwatinetz, Murphy became engaged to Joe Macaluso in December 2005, a production assistant she met while working on the film “Little Black Book.”
20. In August 2006, they ended their engagement.
21. In May 2007, Murphy married British screenwriter Simon Monjack in a private Jewish ceremony in Los Angeles.
22. For the last three-and-a-half years of her life, Murphy, her mother and Monjack lived together in the same house.
23. In the early 2000s, Murphy lost a large amount of weight, which led to rumors of a cocaine addiction.
24. In 2005, Murphy disputed such claims to Jane magazine, saying, “No, just for the record I have never tried it in my entire life.”
25. At this point, she had recently signed as the spokesmodel for Jordache jeans.
26. At 8:00AM on December 20, 2009, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to “a medical request” at the Los Angeles home Murphy and Monjack shared. She had apparently collapsed in a bathroom.
27. Firefighters attempted to resuscitate Murphy on the scene. She was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she died at 10:04 after going into cardiac arrest.
28. Shortly after her death, Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told the Associated Press: “It appears to be natural.” An autopsy was performed the day after she died. Her death certificate listed the cause of death as “deferred”.
29. On December 24, 2009, Murphy was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills.
30. In January 2010, Murphy’s mother, Sharon, and her widower, Simon Monjack, established the Brittany Murphy Foundation, a charitable fund for children’s arts education, as well as supporting the USO and cancer research.