Brittany Murphy 1977-2009

Dead at the age of 32, Brittany Murphy leaves behind several little known legacies. Acting since she was a child, Murphy’s break out role was as Tai in the 1995 film “Clueless.” In this iconic movie that brought “As if” to the forefront, Cher (Alicia Silverstone) takes Tai under her wing and turns her into someone worthy of noting.

Soon after, she co-starred in “Girl, Interrupted” with Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder where she played Daisy – a girl who has an unusual eating disorder due to her father molesting her throughout her childhood. After a confrontation with one of the main characters, Daisy commits suicide. Here, Murphy showed her vulnerability and her ability to disappear into a character. Watching “Girl, Interrupted” feels as if you were intruding on these people’s lives, not actors playing roles – and Murphy was a part of that. According to, it was one of her favorite acting jobs.

Three years later, she co-starred with Eminem in “8 Mile.” Murphy, alongside the famous rapper played Alex, a girlfriend who, through her duplicitous behavior, sets Rabbit (Eminem) on the right path to becoming a rapper and fulfilling his responsibilities as a father. It’s another solid role that Murphy acted well in. She had the ability to make those around her better; even when Eminem was playing out his life story. Since then, her acting career never seemed to catch fire.

However, she has had steady work. Because of her distinct voice, Murphy had been successful in voiceover work. For several seasons, she played Luanne in “King of the Hill.” She starred in “Happy Feet” as one of the voices of Gloria, the penguin who finds her “heartsong” by singing Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland” to Mumble’s (Elijah Wood) tap-dancing rhythm. Murphy also had a hit dance record (“Faster Kill Pussycat”) in both the U.S. and Britain.

Although she was involved with her “Just Married” co-star, Ashton Kutcher, it is her acting that she should be remembered for. Through her voice and acting ability, Murphy left her stamp on the acting world. Her legacy is one of vulnerable women who were struggling to find a place in this world. She will be missed.

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Donna-Lyn Washington

I’ve been the go-to person of obscure information that I’ve picked up from reading, watching movies and television and a fetish for 80’s-90’s music since I learned to talk. I enjoy the fact that for a long time I was the only one who knew that “Three’s Company” was a rip-off of the British Comedy “Man About the House.” Although I am knowledgeable on a multitude of subjects, my lisp and stutter would get in the way of my explanations and I could only save a dry-witty phrase for the written word – so I consider writing to be a path-working to fully express my ideas. Knowing the terror of formal writing, I currently teach at Kingsborough Community College in hopes of helping others overcome the fear that once gripped my heart as a speaker of words.

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