Brittany Murphy began her career in Hollywood in 1991, at just 14 years old, appearing in a variety of television shows from Murphy Brown to Sister, Sister. Her big break would come in 1995 when she would appear in the 1995 film Clueless, a teen comedy about the pitfalls of high school starring Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd. While Murphy may not have been the star, her performance garnered the attention of Hollywood executives and filmmakers across the industry and helped the young actress discover her path. This career was brought to an abrupt halt however when Murphy collapsed on her bathroom floor and passed away in December of 2009. The circumstances surrounding her death were peculiar to say the least and remain the subject of debate by many, and HBO will explore this as well as the rest of Murphy’s career in a new, two part documentary coming to HBO Max.
Murphy’s death both shocked and confused Hollywood, and the death of her husband under similar circumstances only heightened these feelings. Some feared foul play, others feared toxic mold; regardless, an incredibly talented life was lost much too soon. While some previous attempts have been made to tell the late actress’ story, they seemingly failed to truly do it justice as these attempts were met with rather poor reviews. Jennifer O’Connell, executive vice president of non-fiction and live action family programming at HBO Max, made it abundantly clear however that they intend to do things right: “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 docu-series will be directed by Cynthia Hill who received a Peabody Award in 2014 for her work on the television series A Chef’s Life.
Throughout her career, Murphy would go on to star in other classic films such as 8 Mile and Girl, Interrupted, further building out her resume as she continued down the path of stardom. Starring roles became difficult for the star when reports regarding her substance abuse, reportedly started by disgruntled ex-managers, started circulating throughout Hollywood. The young star became unfairly ostracized in Hollywood well before her death in 2009, only highlighting the importance of treating others the way you want to be treated given that no one knows what the future holds for anybody. Hopefully this project will serve to celebrate the life of the talented actress; while no official details have been released yet, be on the lookout for the two-part documentary hitting HBO Max in the near future.