Brittany Murphy 1977-2009

Wow… does it suck to be a celebrity in 2009 or what?

Like a lot of people I was shocked yesterday to hear of the passing of Brittany Murphy. I can’t claim to be a huge fan; prior to hearing the terrible news I couldn’t tell you the last time I even thought about Murphy or saw one of her films. Yeah, she was great in ‘Clueless’. But I always felt she was even better in ‘Girl, Interrupted’. She rocked in ‘Sin City’. She even managed to more than hold her own in mediocre fare like ‘8 Mile’ or ‘Just Married’.

And how can you not love someone who, upon being dumped by Ashton Kutcher for Demi Moore, was quoted as saying “The crux of their relationship is that for him age doesn’t matter and for her size doesn’t matter”.

I was driving when I first heard the news on the radio. I’ll paraphrase:

“And if you haven’t heard the news, actress Brittany Murphy found dead in her home at age 32. Visit the Fox website for all the latest celebrity Tweets and reactions”.

What. The Fuck, dude.

Come on guys, enough’s enough. We don’t know how to react to a young woman’s death until we catch Ashton’s tweet about it? You need to know how Alicia Silverstone’s reacting before you can empathize? Sure. Because all of these celebs cared SO deeply about Brittany and her passing that they were prepared to reach deep and write 140-character messages about it. Carefully constructed, ultimately self-serving 140-character tweets. They were SO moved, but not enough to write ‘Too’ instead of ‘2’, or ‘Be’ instead of ‘B’.

Speaking of Silverstone, she was quick to say that even though they fell out of touch after ‘Clueless’, she’d always felt deeply connected to Murphy. Correct me if I’m wrong, but they shot that movie for maybe 3 months like 14 years ago, right? Think back to someone you knew for a Winter in ’95. How connected are you right now? Hmmmm? Without delving too far into the incredibly obvious, all this is meant to do is to make you say “Ohhh… that’s so sad… Alicia Silverstone is really upset… she seems like a decent person… what movie / TV show / book is she working on these days?”

Am I being cold? Does anyone else remember the interview with John Travolta shortly after Heath Ledger’s death? Where he called Heath his hero and his inspiration, mentioned how close they were, and said “I’d give all my awards and all my nominations just to have him back”…

And then we found out they might have met briefly. At a party. Once.

It’s bullshit. There might be some shred of real human emotion, some real sorrow there (maybe), but ultimately it’s all just artifice.

You don’t need to catch Kim Kardashian’s or Lindsay Lohan’s or Fred Durst’s reaction to know how to feel on this one, folks. Anytime someone so young and talented dies, it’s horrible. It reminds us how truly fleeting life can be. Someone who we never met and only glimpsed from afar can somehow afford us at least a little perspective on our own lives, which is always a valuable thing.

I’ll remember Murphy as a talented actress from a whole bunch of movies that I dug, who no matter the role always seemed to be able to convey that strangest of combination’s; beauty, true vulnerability and a genuine warmth. She was taken from us far too soon, and if there is some peace to be found after this life, I hope she finds it.



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