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Brittany Murphy
Brittany Murphy in Uptown Girls

Brittany Murphy’s life and mysterious death to be explored in new doc

The actor’s sudden death at the age of 32, closely followed by the passing of her husband, has sparked a decade of speculation and conspiracy theories

Brittany Murphy’s tragic death in 2009 was as mysterious as it was sudden. The actor passed away at the age of 32 due to a combination of pneumonia, an iron deficiency, and “multiple drug intoxication”. Her husband, Simon Monjack, died a few months later – also suffering with pneumonia and severe anemia.

Her passing has sparked a decade of speculation and conspiracy theories, and is now set to be explored as part of a new HBO Max documentary. The two-part docuseries, currently untitled, will offer an in-depth, intimate portrait of Murphy’s life and career, as well as her untimely death. According to Deadline, it will “go beyond the conspiracy theories and headlines” and will feature new archival footage and interviews by those closest to Murphy.

“Our Brittany Murphy documentary cuts through the tabloid noise with an elevated, nuanced depiction of a sensational story,” Jennifer O’Connell of HBO Max, said in a press release. “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 series will be created by Blumhouse Television and Pyramid Productions. Cynthia Hill will direct, while Jason Blum, Chris McCumber, Jeremy Gold, Mary Lisio, and James Buddy Day join as executive producers.

“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,” said Hill. “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 renowned and cherished for her iconic performances in Clueless, Just Married, Uptown Girls, and more.

In 2017, Dazed marked what would have been Murphy’s 40th birthday by speaking to the people she touched. “She just had an offbeat way of looking at the world and a sense of humour and sarcasm that was beyond her experience,” recalled Zack and Reba director Nicole Bettateur. “She lit up a room when she came in. She wasn’t jaded. She was an original.” Read the full feature here.