Brittany Murphy tragically passed away more than a decade ago at the young age of 32. Murphy’s meteoritic rise to stardom after her picture-perfect role in Clueless happened as quickly as her terrible end. A new two-part documentary for the HBO Max streaming service attempted to get to the truth.
In a statement to Deadline promoting the upcoming release, HBO Max EVP of Non-Fiction and Live-Action Family Programming Jennifer O’Connell described the upcoming docuseries. It will paint a picture of a tragedy that nobody fully understands.
“Crafting a grounded account of Brittany Murphy’s life struggles and sudden passing comes with great responsibility and we’ve partnered with a masterful creative team to produce a thoughtful examination of a tragedy that has long been cause for speculation.”
The documentary series released October 14th on the Warner-owned streaming service. The details of Murphy’s final days are as devastating and terrifying as they are sad.
Brittany was caring for her mother Sharon around the time of her death. Sharon Murphy had survived breast cancer. Now, she was dealing with crippling neuropathy. Brittany’s husband, screenwriter Simon Monjack, suffered from seizures and was recovering from a recent heart attack. Murphy barely had time to take care of herself.
On the night of Brittany Murphy’s death, her mother recounted a horrible scene to The Hollywood Reporter. She remembered some of Brittany’s last moments. Reading about them would send a chill down any spine.
“She was lying on the patio trying to catch her breath. “I said, ‘Baby, get up.’ She said: ‘Mommy, I can’t catch my breath. Help me. Help me.’”
Monjack also shared his memories of that awful night. Simon thought Brittany was hamming it up and playing the whole scene for drama. At the time, it probably made sense to think that was the case.
The dark situation becomes even harder to deal with when you think about the fact that the people with her on the night of her death were those closest to Murphy.
“I said, ‘Baby, get up.’ She said: ‘Mommy, I can’t catch my breath. Help me. Help me.’ She said to her mom: ‘I’m dying. I’m going to die. Mommy, I love you.’”
The initial reported cause of death for Murphy was due to “community acquired pneumonia” with iron deficiency playing a contributing factor. Mutiple drugs were also found in the actress’ system, according to The New York Times.
Five months after Brittany Murphy passed away, her husband also died from pneumonia. This led to rampant speculation about the nature of the deaths. Conspiracy theories were all over the place. One of the most popular theories said that Murphy was poisoned.
Dr. Bruce Goldberger denied the theories of foul play. Speaking to CNN, Goldberger called the allegations baseless. Murphy’s father had been seeeking independent analysis of hair and tissue from Brittany’s body.
“A hair test alone, without any clinical signs or symptoms, cannot be used to establish poisoning.”
Famed forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht believes Murphy died because she wasn’t getting the proper nutrition. Wecht stated that anemia of this severity is rare unless the subject was not eating.
Wecht expressed surprise that such an extreme case could happen to a person of such wealth. He says that there is no question about the cause of the death of Brittany Murphy.
“This is a 32-year-old woman. I don’t know the bankroll of her and her husband, but I assumed that they had money. And yet they lived as if they were peasants in squalor. To develop an anemia of this nature, she was not eating.”
The new documentary series will take a hard look at a very sensitive subject. It appears that several different theories are covered in the doc. HBO Max subscribers and Brittany Murphy fans now have the opportunity to take in all of the information and judge for themselves.