It’s been over a decade since Brittany Murphy’s tragic death, but many fans continue to mourn her death. On December 20, 2009, Murphy collapsed on the bathroom floor of her Los Angeles home where she lived with her husband Simon Monjack and mother Sharon. She was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and pronounced dead the next morning. At the time, the coroner’s office reported that the primary cause of her death was “community-acquired pneumonia,” along with iron deficiency anemia and multiple drug intoxication, according to The New York Times. Interestingly, her husband passed away a few months later for similar reasons. CNN reported he died of “acute pneumonia and severe anemia.”
Because Murphy is a well-loved actor, many were so shocked by her sudden death that a number of conspiracy theories about her death have surfaced. In 2021, HBO Max released a two-part documentary series called What Happened, Brittany Murphy?. to set the record straight once and for all. One of the most notable revelations was that she was reportedly under the control of Monjack, who appeared to have cut off her access to friends and family and taken over her career, acting as her manager, agent, and even makeup artist.
It has now been almost 13 years since Murphy’s death, and her friend Melanie Lynskey has revealed more tragic details about how the actor lived back then.
Brittany Murphy struggled with the pressure to look perfect
Yellowjackets star Melanie Lynskey has opened up about the struggles her good friend Brittany Murphy had when she was alive. Speaking to InStyle, she revealed that Murphy struggled with body image issues and felt the need to look perfect all the time. “The way she saw herself was always very heartbreaking to me — the things she had to change to be a successful actress,” Lynskey said. “She was perfect the way she was but people tried to cast her as ‘the fat one’ because when she was a very young teenager her cheeks were a little bit round.”
Many of Murphy’s friends share the same opinion. Shortly after her death, sources told People Murphy had “insane issues with her self-image,” saying, “Her weight, her hair, her clothes, her skin, her teeth, everything.” She was always so confident.” In a separate interview, her Something Wicked co-star Robert Blanche said he noticed Murphy was underweight. “Her weight was kind of a struggle for her,” he shared. “You don’t want to say, ‘Gosh, Brittany, you’re too skinny,’ but she seemed way too skinny.”
Despite her problems, Murphy always wanted to live a long life. In a 2003 interview with Drew Barrymore in Interview magazine, Murphy was excited about the idea of growing old. “I’d like to be very, very, very, very old… It’s scary, but in the same sense it’s also very exciting,” she mused. “So I want to be happy and healthy and live as long as possible.”