Entertainment

Brittany Murphy’s 2009 death to be explored in new HBO docuseries

The life and mysterious death of actress Brittany Murphy is set to be the focus of a new docuseries in the works at HBO Max.

Announced today, the streaming service will delve into the life of the Clueless star, who died at the age of 32 of pneumonia, anaemia and intoxication from multiple prescription drugs in December 2009, Entertainment Weekly reports.

Eerily, just five months later, her husband Simon Monjack died of the same cause.

Despite years of widespread speculation and theories of suspected foul play surrounding the circumstances of her death, it was ruled an accident by officials and her case never reopened.

The persistent rumours even prompted her estranged father Angelo Bertolotti to arrange a private toxicology test which found there were high levels of toxic metals present in her hair, including barium, which is used in some rat poisons, leading to reports she’d been poisoned.

At the time, LA County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told Extra they “could have reopened the case, but we didn’t think it warranted it”.

As well as the unusual toxicology findings, there were whispers of concern surrounding Murphy’s husband.

The screenwriter, eight years Murphy’s senior, and the actress began dating in 2007 and were married in May that year in a whirlwind romance.

He caused controversy for his strange behaviour after his wife’s death when he tried to persuade investigators not to conduct a post-mortem on her body.

Monjack explained that it was because he couldn’t bear the idea of having her body cut open, and called the coroner relentlessly — though his request was rejected.

Further to this, despite her three-year marriage to Monjack, Murphy very deliberately left him out of her will, leaving her entire estate to her mother.

The Clueless star rose to fame with several acclaimed roles in hit movies the ’90s and early 2000s, including Girl, Interrupted and 8 Mile.

According to a press release, the new HBO docuseries will present “an in-depth, intimate character portrait,” featuring interviews with those close to Murphy and new archival footage, promising to dive deep into the “mysterious circumstances” around her death.

Private Violence filmmaker Cynthia Hill will direct the series.

In a statement, Hill said: “I agreed to do this film because I think it’s a shame that Brittany’s promising life and career has been eclipsed by the circumstances of her death.

“I think it’s important to celebrate Brittany’s talent as we struggle to explain the tragic circumstances of her and Simon’s deaths.”

A release date for the two-part series is yet to be announced.

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