So Brittany Murphy Died, Huh?

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So the reaction I’ve heard so far about Brittany Murphy dying hasn’t been one so much of “shock,” but rather “Brittany Murphy died? Huh, that’s random.”

After notable turns in Clueless, 8 Mile and being the worst actress in Sin City (not an easy feat), she had fallen off the radar recently, and only surfaced when there was a report about her possibly abusing drugs or her husband being investigated by the FBI. It’s all very sad, and my deepest condolences go out to her family, but as with any 32 year old who dies of cardiac arrest, there are some questions to be answered.

So RIP Brittany Murphy, I may not have liked you as an actress, though hopefully you were a pretty nice person, but really, how should I know? That’s the problem with all these celebrity deaths, am I obligated to form a rosy opinion of someone just because they’ve died? I thought Heath Ledger was a great actor with a big future and seemed like a great guy in all the interviews I saw with him, but I can’t say either for Murphy, so why should I pretend to? Call me insensitive, but I just don’t think post-mortem is the time to start praising someone you never really thought about twice before.

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16 Comments

  1. You’re not insensitive, you’re spot on with that last statement. People and media tend to try to make tragedies like this bigger then they really are for most of us. Awful trend…

  2. Nothing new here. When Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes died, by watching MTV you would have thought the President was shot.

    Anyway, I hate to undermine the death of anyone, but celebrity deaths are just deaths and really shoudn’t be treated any differently than that of your next door neighbor.

  3. I think the reason that “minor” celebrity deaths like this one still cause a lot of press is because there’s usually some salacious details or scandal surrounding them. If she had died in a car accident, or had cancer, there’s usually less about the story to sensationalize.

    In this case, her age and manner of death are suggestive of possible drug use, and there’s your x-factor. Look at Billy Mays – a minor celebrity (and that’s being really generous) but everyone knows he was using cocaine shortly before he died.

    It seems that it’s more the circumstances surrounding the death that causes the media storm rather than the death of the person themselves. Would anyone remember Sharon Tate if she hadn’t been murdered by the Manson Family?

    It’s the public’s appetite for dirty details that give these stories more of a lifespan (pardon the pun) than they usually deserve.

  4. I’m sorry to disagree here with you, Paul, but if celebrity deaths are to be treated like that of your next door neighbour, I sure hope you’d have the decency to react in another manner than “Oh, so my neighbour died ,huh? Oh well, never really knew him anyway.” What people are shocked by is that she was only 32 and died of problems likely related to her diabetes. You need to allow for the fact that people can be quite more decent than you state here.

    In Belgium, a famous Lesbian tv-personality commited suicide over the divorce with her wife. And some people reacted in the same way; “Oh, so we should be sad because she was a popular lesbian and suddenly love her/praise her life and work?” I was disgusted by these comments.

    It is a sad event, no matter what kind of actress she was and wether she (quite unnoticed by me) appeared in the news for possible drug use or personal problems, or whatnot. And just out of respect, don’t write such sardonic things about the deceased. Not that there is a chance of such a coincidence, but just imagine someone close to her reading this article on your blog, how devastating do you think it would be for them to see the person they loved being so minimized?

  5. @ Gauthier

    I see where you’re coming from, and I really don’t think anyone’s trying to undermine Murphy’s death. I hope not, at least.

    That said, I suppose it’s a bit unsettling when the death of someone famous is treated as more important than that of an ordinary person. I think that is what Paul was trying to convey. It’s sad that any 32-year-old dies suddenly, but not more sad than if it was your next door neighbor. That’s all.

    Thanks for your comment.

  6. @Gauthier

    The point I was trying to make is that all these film sites now are trying to say that she’s such a phenomenal actress and all that, but if I didn’t really like her in anything I’d seen her in, I’m not going to pretend like I did. I’ve no idea if she’s a nice person or not, so what can I really say? She was kind of hot?

    It’s sad when almost any 32 year old woman dies, but there are millions who don’t get to be the lead story for an entire news week. And if her death DID actually come as a result of some sort of self-inflicted drug/prescription abuse, then there are much more tragic stories that deserve to be told other than hers.

    I did think of something Murphy did I enjoyed. She did a song with Paul Oakenfold called Faster Kill Pussycat that was actually pretty good if you like that genre.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk3Z__7ItJY

  7. She was just getting started in her career. The tragedy is that we did not have the opportunity to see her full potential. She was great in Uptown Girls. Most people don’t know that she was the voice of Gloria in Happy Feet.

  8. just getting started in her career? she’d been acting for nearly 20 years, her first major role was 15 years ago! i’m pretty sure we saw all of her “potential” and it wasn’t memorable… i agree with the article, she shouldn’t be all of a sudden idolized in death when she was mediocre at best in life.

  9. The whole Sin City movie was a genre, yeah she over acted but what the hell? it was a crappy movie, but the crappy genre settled into a comic book genre, she was an over the top 50’s character who “did” over act. if your going to comment on movies, know your shit and actually have some knowledge before making some pothead remark and looking like a 23yr old dishwasher who has a website.

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