The Clueless star died in 2009 at the age of just 32 at her home in Los Angeles.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 18, 2022. It has since been updated.
Brittany Murphy was known for her many roles on-screen including hits like Clueless and Girl, Interrupted. However, the actress tragically died in 2009 at the age of just 32 at her home in Los Angeles. Rumors surrounding her death made headlines for years and it continues to be a mystery to many. While it is said that the 8 Mile star died of pneumonia and combined drug intoxication, many have suspicions regarding the true cause of her death.
According to 9Honey, Brittany Murphy's heartbroken father shared on his deathbed that he "lost hope" in finding the truth. Murphy's father Angelo Bertolotti revealed that he had been forced to give up a legal battle that looked into the true cause of her death. The unearthed interview was featured in a HBO Max documentary about the actress's life. "I have no idea what happened, I wish I did. I think about my daughter a lot, think about the nice times we've had together. But I've lost hope," Bertolotti said in the interview. "I still don't know who's responsible for her death — it makes me feel pretty, well, very bad. I thought I'd solved it, but I was getting a lot of publicity from it, and I had to back off from it."
HBO's two-part documentary "presents an in-depth, intimate character portrait exploring the life and career and mysterious circumstances surrounding the tragic death" of Murphy, as per a press release, according to PEOPLE. "The series will go beyond the conspiracy theories and headlines, featuring new interviews by those closest to Brittany and new archival footage." Director Cynthia wants the actress to be remembered for her talent over her tragic 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. I think it's important to celebrate Brittany's talent as we struggle to explain the tragic circumstances of her and Simon's deaths."
The Uptown Girls actress had displayed all the symptoms of heavy metal poisoning at the time of her death. This included headaches, dizziness, abdominal cramps, coughing, sweating, disorientation, and pneumonia. "If we were to eliminate the possibility of a simultaneous accidental heavy metals exposure to the sample donor then the only logical explanation would be an exposure to these metals (toxins) administered by a third party perpetrator with likely criminal intent," a report stated.
Brittany Murphy's death at the age of 32 is being explored in a new documentary special https://t.co/AZ3XzhdQYd— JustJared.com (@JustJared) May 29, 2020
At the time of her death, Murphy was living with her husband Simon Monjack, and her mother Sharon Murphy. Monjack, a British screenwriter, married Murphy in 2007. He was eight years older than her. Six months after her death, Monjack died in a similar way. While a TMZ report suggested that toxic mold in the celebrity couple's house was to blame, Los Angeles County assistant chief coroner Ed Winter shared his insights, according to ABC News. "It is unusual to have two people die of similar circumstances with pneumonia. We've been looking at it and saying, 'Something isn't right.' I'm not saying you can't get pneumonia from mold, but we did all the tests on it -- mold did not come up in the toxicology reports," he said.
Brittany's father, for the longest time, believed his daughter was murdered. "It's very suspicious," Bertolotti told HLN according to CNN, "I feel she was poisoned and there's no question about that. She was murdered." Brittany's mother Sharon Murphy had had enough of the speculations regarding her daughter's death by 2013. "I have no choice now but to come forward in the face of inexcusable efforts to smear my daughter's memory by a man who may be her biological father but was never a real father to her in her lifetime," Sharon wrote in a letter published by The Hollywood Reporter on Nov. 25, 2013. "Angelo Bertolotti has relocated to California in his old age to claim he is here for Brittany, as he never was in life. He has made outrageous statements over the past few years, culminating in this latest madness: that my darling daughter was murdered. His claims are based on the most flimsy of evidence and are more of an insult than an insight into what really happened." She continued that "we will never know for sure. However, we do know the Los Angeles County Coroner did extensive tests and found that she died of natural causes. And now she is a real living angel in heaven."
Nobody has heard from Sharon in years, reports 9Honey. One family source even believes she may be dead. "I kept in touch with the situation as long as I could, but we need Sharon. I've not seen her for years, she's disappeared somewhere, no one knows," Bertolotti can be heard saying in the interview. He passed away at age 92, nine years after his daughter in 2019, reports E! Online.
RIP, Angelo Bertolotti— BrittanyMForever (@BMurphyF) January 25, 2019
Brittany's father. The only comfort we can have now is to know that they are united again. pic.twitter.com/csBW2uO0CD
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Peter Kramer