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 IMDB.com, 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.