Born on November 10, 1977, in Atlanta, Ga., Murphy’s eccentricity often landed her roles that reflected her personality. She got her start on TV in the series Blossom but it was a starring role in 1995’s Clueless that earned the actress her first big break, leading to subsequent roles in films like 8 Mile and Uptown Girls as well as her lauded comedic turn as the voice of Luanne on TV’s King of the Hill.
Murphy released her debut album, A Lively Mind, in 2006. She had fleeting engagements to manager Jeff Kwatinetz and production assistant Joe Macaluso, who she met on the set of her movie Little Black Book. Murphy surprised many by marrying Factory Girl executive producer and writer Simon Monjack in May of 2007 after only four months of dating.
Murphy passed away on Dec. 20, 2009 in Los Angeles at the age of 32 after suffering cardiac arrest. “The sudden loss of our beloved Brittany is a terrible tragedy,” her family said in a statement. “She was our daughter, our wife, our love and a shining star.