More than a decade later, fans are still looking for answers to the untimely death of actress Brittany Murphy, who was only 32 when she was found dead in her West Hollywood home.
Her life and the “mysterious circumstances surrounding [her] tragic death” will be explored in a two-part documentary that will air on HBO Max, according to the streaming service. The series “will go beyond the conspiracy theories and headlines, featuring new interviews by those closest to Brittany and new archival footage.”
The actress, who was beloved for her bubbly roles in films like “Clueless” and “Uptown Girls,” shocked the world when she was found collapsed on the shower floor of her West Hollywood home on Dec. 20, 2009. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office ruled her death as an accident, citing “community-acquired pneumonia,” with complications from chronic anemia and multiple uses of over-the-counter medications and antibiotics as the reason.
At the time, the “8 Mile” star’s family stated that she would be utterly missed, adding that “a bright light that lit the world is forever dimmed, but will live on in the hearts of those that Brittany touched.”
Meanwhile, some friends questioned her death and had feared something like this would happen. “Brittany has been living life on the edge. She definitely had a drug problem and we have all begged her to seek help,” one friend told the Sun at the time.
However, the unusual circumstances took an even stranger turn when her husband, screenwriter Simon Monjack, died five months later in the same house from similar causes.
Murphy’s half-brother, Tony Bertolotti, has said he believes Monjack was allegedly responsible for her death. “I spent years looking at this, suppressing my own anger. I think Brittany was taken out,” he claimed in 2019. “Who killed Brittany? She didn’t die of natural causes.”
Director Cynthia Hill said the purpose of the film is to shed light on Murphy’s incredible talent and upbeat personality rather than the theories surrounding her death.
“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,” Hill said in a statement. “I think it’s important to celebrate Brittany’s talent as we struggle to explain the tragic circumstances of her and Simon’s deaths.”
Murphy was previously the subject of the Lifetime movie “The Brittany Murphy Story” starring Amanda Fuller that received poor reviews from critics.
However, the purpose of the two-part documentary is to “cut through the tabloid noise with an elevated, nuanced depiction of a sensational story,” HBO Max executive vice president Jennifer O’Connell added.
The new docu-series will leave viewers with a sense of understanding, according to Blumhouse Television executive vice president Mary Lisio, as it promises to “warrant a deeper exploration . . . into the environment that allowed [Murphy] to become a victim of success.”