It’s been more than a decade since late actress Brittany Murphy’s sudden death at the age of 32 made headlines and led to an outpouring of condolences from fans. The moments leading up to her passing are explored in a new two-part HBO Max documentary What Happened, Brittany Murphy?, which reexamines her early rise to fame, self-esteem struggles and puzzling death. Keep reading for more details.

How Did Brittany Murphy Die?

Murphy’s death was officially ruled an accident in February 2010, according to an autopsy report at the time, revealing her primary cause of death was pneumonia, with secondary factors of iron deficiency anemia.

Due to the severe iron deficiency she had, the autopsy report revealed it led her “to a weakened state of health and would increase her vulnerability to infection.”

The 8 Mile star also had components of Vicodin and various prescriptions used to treat colds in her system, as well as traces of antidepressants, when she went into cardiac arrest and collapsed at her home on December 20, 2009. Murphy was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead just hours later.

Brittany Murphy Wearing a Dress

What Happened to Her Husband Simon Monjack?

In May 2010, the body of Simon Monjack was found in the same Hollywood Hills home he shared with Murphy. Murphy’s mother, Sharon, reportedly discovered Monjack’s body around 9:30 p.m. one evening and called 911.

After an autopsy, his cause of death at the age of 40 was determined to be acute pneumonia and severe anemia, according to a Los Angeles County coroner spokesman.

Are There Any New Developments in the HBO Max Documentary?

Conspiracy theorists have continued to ask questions about the couple’s unexpected deaths, with some speculating Monjack isolated his wife, while others still question if toxic mold that allegedly infested their home had anything to do with it. 

Celebrity Conspiracy Theories Brittany Murphy
Daniel Deme/EPA/Shutterstock

“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,” documentarian Cynthia Hill explained about her project. “I think it’s important to celebrate Brittany’s talent as we struggle to explain the tragic circumstances of her and Simon’s deaths.”

What Happened, Brittany Murphy? will premiere on HBO Max on Thursday, October 14.

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