We were shocked and saddened when news broke that Brittany Murphy died of sudden cardiac arrest in her home yesterday morning at the age of 32. Soon after the story was confirmed, people all over the Internet began expressing their grief and fond memories of Murphy with quotes from her cult classic, Clueless: “That was way harsh, Tai.”
Murphy’s big screen break came in 1995 when she starred opposite Alicia Silverstone in the modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. Clueless took Emma from country balls in the English countryside to city malls in Beverly Hills. Critics were skeptical about the movie’s premise, but it won legions of fans, thanks in large part to Murphy’s portrayal of Tai, an affable, naive west coast transplant whose one-liners obviously continue to be remembered by an entire generation. (“Cher, I don’t want to do this anymore. And my buns, they don’t feel nothin’ like steel.” “You’re just a virgin who can’t drive.” “Shit, you guys, I have never had straight friends before!”)
Murphy rollin’ with her homies in “Clueless”
Murphy went on to star in plenty of other iconic ’90s films, including Freeway (1996), Girl Interrupted (1999), Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999).
Murphy as Daisy in “Girl Interrupted”
The next decade saw Murphy’s career turn toward chick flicks like Little Black Book (2004), Just Married (2003) and Uptown Girls (2003).
Murphy and Dakota Fanning in “Uptown Girls”
Brittany Murphy also played a lesbian character opposite Joanne Vannicola in Common Ground in 2000:
And kissed co-star Kerry Washington in 2006’s The Dead Girl.
According to the Associated Press, an “official cause of [Murphy’s] death may not be determined for some time, since toxicology tests will be required,” but “it appears to be natural.”
There will, of course, be plenty of speculation — from drug abuse to eating disorder — surrounding Murphy’s death until the official report is released. We’ll leave that to the tabloids; instead we’ll celebrate Murphy’s career and mourn the loss of another actor who left us far too soon.
How will you remember Brittany Murphy?