20 December 2009

Breaking News: Sin City's BRITTANY MURPHY (1977-2009)

Comics fans are among the great many people today mourning the death of actress Brittany Murphy, who suffered full cardiac arrest in her home last night and was declared dead at 10:04am PST upon her arrival to Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center early this morning, Sunday. She had just turned 32 year old on November 10th.
Aside from her role as 'Shellie' in Sin City, most of us, including myself, were probably first introduced to her in Clueless. But Murphy's list of credits, which included acting, writing, and production, are extensive. A few of her other notable works include four films still in post-production and scheduled for 2010 release, as well as 8 Mile, Spun, and the cult-fave, Freeway. She also appeared in television sci-fi series, SeaQuest DSV and one of my old personal favorites, Parker Lewis Can't Lose.
Murphy was an actress well-known by my generation, X, but clearly had fans and admirers both young and old. And the news of her death has been received my most of her fans not as just a shock, but a disturbing shock. While celebrities like her ex-boyfriend Ashton Kutcher, Lindsay Lohan, and former Buffy The Vampire Slayer and current Dollhouse star Eliza Dushku have been tweeting their condolences and memories of Brittany Murphy throughout the day, The San Francisco Examiner reported not two hours ago that the Los Angeles has launched a full-scale investigation into the cause of her death.
Immediately -- and I'm sure I'm not alone in this -- thoughts of Heath Ledger as well as Michael Jackson's investigation spring to mind, and I'm just as sure they've crossed the minds of LAPD's medical examiners, too. It's an odd fact that Murphy's husband, screenwriter Simon Monjack, has stated he doesn't want an autopsy performed, but the LAPD Coroner's Office is moving ahead despite his wishes. Apparently, the latest news is her autopsy will happen by Tuesday.
Rumors of alleged drug use have been circulating all day, and they're likely at least part of the motivation behind the LAPD's moves this afternoon. I recall Murphy was thought to have an eating disorder several years ago. That bit of gossip came to a head in 2005, when she accused of cocaine abuse. Regarding that, Radar Online quoted Murphy as saying: "I have never tried it in my entire life. I've never even seen it...I am also way too high-strung. I can't even take a Sudafed. Can you imagine? My God. I think my heart would explode."
It's disturbing to think that might be exactly what happened. But news and answers of any kind will be coming fast and furious all night, it seems. Right now, for example, the newsfeeds are gushing all kinds of updates, from foul play not being suspected and Murphy's death being attributed to natural causes, to revelations that she had a history of Type I diabetes, to her heart attack being the result of a diabetic condition made severe by the use of drugs.
Meanwhile, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, the working title of the 2005 Sin City sequel, has been moving steadily but slowly toward production. MTV reported last March that creator Frank Miller and director Robert Rodriguez had already completed the film's script, and that the cast was all set to reprise their comic book characters. Brittany Murphy's 'Shellie' didn't survive the first Sin City, but it seemed likely that she, along with co-stars Jessica Alba and Michael Clark Duncan, would return nevertheless for the sequel.
By the time the next Sin City arrives - if it does - the speculation surrounding Brittany Murphy's death will be over, no matter the cause. Instead, only fond remembrances will remain. In the words of Sin City's John Hartigan, "Sometimes the truth doesn't matter like it ought. But you'll always remember things right."

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