Brittany Murphy Is Laid to Rest

Celebrity News Dec. 24, 2009 AT 11:30PM
Brittany Murphy Is Laid to Rest Credit: Michael Bezjian/WireImage.com

A private funeral was held on Christmas Eve for actress Brittany Murphy, who died suddenly Dec. 20 at the age of 32.

A small group of close friends and family members - including her mother, Sharon, and husband, British screenwriter Simon Monjack, and actor Eric Balfour - gathered at the Church of the Hills at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles to pay their respects.

See Us' photo tribute to stars who have gone too soon

At the service, Monjack called his wife his "soul mate." He also said that "mystery is the nature of love and you never know when or where it will strike or how quickly it will be taken from you," according to a statement released to the press.

The actress was interred at twilight; "Amazing Grace" was sung at the graveside, according to RadarOnline.com.

The service concluded with a reading of the Little Prince, one of her favorite books.

Her estranged father, Angelo Bertolotti, did not attend the funeral. "If I wanted to go, I would go, but I don't want to see her that way," he told E!. "She was flawless to me. She was a little bright child. I have only good memories about her. She's a memory to me now. To me she's off making a movie somewhere."

A larger memorial service for Murphy may be held early next year.

Look back on Brittany Murphy's talented career

Murphy was pronounced dead at 10:04 a.m. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after she was found unresponsive in the bathroom of her Hollywood home this past Sunday. The death is under investigation, and autopsy results are pending. Her husband denies she had an overdose or eating disorder.

Her pal Balfour told UsMagazine.com Tuesday, "Everyone is devastated. It is just a tragedy."

In recent months, Murphy's frail appearance worried colleagues.

While shooting the horror flick Something Wicked this summer, "she looked ill, as much as 10 pounds underweight, and she's a small person to begin with," executive producer Scott Chambers told the Los Angeles Times.

See how Brittany Murphy's appearance changed over the years

In January, she was set to begin the romantic comedy Shrinking Charlotte. Writer-director Rene Eram told E! that while Murphy was professional, "I noticed that she had dropped a lot of weight in the last six months."

But Jeff Bowler, a producer on her new drama Across the Hall, saw Murphy Dec. 1 and tells Us that while he "only got to talk to her for a few minutes, she seemed OK. She was a little pale, but she seemed fine."

"She was bubbly and excited and went around and said hi to everybody and shook hands and gave autographs," he tells Us. "Typical Brittany."

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