It was 5 days before Christmas, but whatever holiday mood that I’ve managed to get myself into was shattered by the news of Brittany Murphy’s death. She was dead at 32 (Read: a scant 2 years older than me). I was heartbroken—and not just because she’s one of the very few celebrities in my personal Well-loved List. True, she is best known for her roles in Clueless as the plump and unhip brunette Tai (who became Alicia Silverstone’s makeover project); in Girl, Interrupted as the sexually abused and suicidal Daisy; as Sin City’s Shellie, and in 8 Mile alongside Eminem. For me, though, she will always be the closest Hollywood could get to an upbeat romantic comedy favorite. My sister and I have always thought Brittany Murphy to be a cross between Meg Ryan and Drew Barrymore, whom she starred with in Riding in Cars with Boys. Of course, I will always remember her as Stacy Holt of Little Black Book.
I guess that the most heartbreaking factor about her death is that she was so bubbly, young, and talented. Her husky but sassy voice is so distinctively Brittany that you can easily tell it’s her, even if you don’t scan the credits for voice talents, such as in Happy Feet (as Gloria), Good Boy! (as Nelly), and Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs (as Colleen). Her singing voice is even greater! In fact, among my favorite scenes in Little Black Book was when she was singing Carly Simon songs in the bathroom. Only she can manage to sing Carly and be funny at the same time.
The biggest 2009 deaths (RIP: pop icon Michael Jackson, angel Farrah Fawcett, evangelist Oral Roberts, and now Brittany—not to mention the tragedy of Ondoy and the Maguindanao massacre) really dampened my spirit. Once again, I am reminded by the certainty of mortality. Oh, well.
This blog entry is my personal tribute to the person Brittany was (although I don’t really know her as in Know-Know) before she became “the dead girl” (which, coincidentally, was the title of the 2006 film that she starred in) to those who didn’t really love her films enough to know her name. I’d like to end this with a transcription of the dialogue between Stacy Holt (Brittany) and Bean (Dave Annable) in Little Black Book :
Bean: Do you believe in happy endings, Stacy?
Stacy: As a matter of fact… I do… even if the girl doesn’t get the guy in the end—or in my case, both guys.
Bean: You go find your happy ending, Stacy Holt.
And I can only hope that she did. Farewell, Stacy Holt.
*Brittany Murphy was born in Atlanta, Georgia on November 10, 1977 and died in Los Angeles on December 20, 2009 after she went into cardiac arrest. Full autopsy reports are yet to be released. Brittany had Type II diabetes and a thyroid condition. She dated Ashton Kutcher (Just Married co-star), Joe Macaluso, and British screenwriter Simon Monjack, whom she married. Brittany was a non-denominational Christian.