Brittany Murphy died at 32 of pneumonia and combined drug intoxication

By Ale Russian
March 18, 2021 03:18 PM
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Brittany Murphy's life and death will be the subject of a new HBO documentary.

The young star was only 32 when she collapsed in the bathroom of her Hollywood Hills home on Dec. 20, 2009 after battling flu-like symptoms for a few days. She cried, "Mommy, I can't catch my breath. Help me," before passing out in the arms of her mother, Sharon, and husband, Simon Monjack, her mother recalled, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The coroner ruled Murphy's death an accident and the police closed the case. Yet its circumstances cast a spotlight on Monjack just months before his own death in similar circumstances. 

Now, HBO will release a two-part documentary that "presents an in-depth, intimate character portrait exploring the life and career and mysterious circumstances surrounding the tragic death" of Murphy, a press release read on Thursday. "The series will go beyond the conspiracy theories and headlines, featuring new interviews by those closest to Brittany and new archival footage."

Director Cynthia Hill said the purpose of her film is to put the spotlight back on Murphy's talents.

"I agreed to do this film because I think it's a shame that Brittany's promising life and career has been eclipsed by the circumstances of her death. I think it's important to celebrate Brittany's talent as we struggle to explain the tragic circumstances of her and Simon's deaths."

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As news of her death broke, her fans, friends and costars shared tribute messages to the late star. One of the most heartfelt came from her ex-boyfriend and Just Married costar Ashton Kutcher.

"[Today] the world lost a little piece of sunshine. My deepest condolences go out [to] Brittany's family, her husband, & her amazing mother Sharon. See you on the other side kid," he wrote on Twitter.

Her Clueless costar Alicia Silverstone also remembered her, sharing her feelings about the connection the two had shared.

"I'm so saddened to hear this news. I loved working with Brittany. She was so talented, so warm and so sweet. I always felt connected to her as we shared a very special experience in our lives together. I feel love in my heart for her and hope she is at peace."