Sunday, December 20, 2009

RIP Brittany Murphy

As I wrote to a Facebook friend, "When you're in Perez Hilton more than on movies or TV there's bound to be trouble." But I never thought it would end so badly for the 32-year-old performer, who should have become a major character actress. I hadn't seen her for a while, and was dismayed to learn that she changed her appearance and had become tabloid fodder, fit for parody on Saturday Night Live. Before the decline was a credible match for Eminem in 8 Mile (pictured), charmingly ditsy as the voice of Luanne on King of the Hill (admirably, a gig she maintained through thick and thin) and more than held up her end of the legendary 1997 revival of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge on Broadway. Film, TV, theater: There was versatility there that will go sadly untapped. Her 2004 film Uptown Girl was filmed right across the street from me on First Avenue and I saw her come and go; more memorable were her very different roles in films like Clueless, Girl, Interrupted, Spun (as a meth tweaker), Sin City, The Dead Girl, and another memorable voiceover role in Happy Feet. Just a damn shame.

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