LOS ANGELES â€” Brittany Murphy, the actress who got her start in the sleeper hit â€œCluelessâ€ and rose to stardom in â€œ8 Mileâ€ before her movie roles declined in recent years, died Sunday in Los Angeles of what appeared to be natural causes, a Los Angeles County coronerâ€™s official said. She was 32.
Murphy was pronounced dead at 10:04 a.m. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Sally Stewart said.
Murphy was transported to the hospital after the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a call at 8 a.m. at the home she shared with her husband, British screenwriter Simon Monjack, in the Hollywood Hills.
Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said Murphy apparently collapsed in the bathroom, and authorities were looking into her medical history.
An official cause of death may not be determined for some time, since toxicology tests will be required, but â€œit appears to be natural,â€ Winter said. He said an autopsy was planned for Monday or Tuesday.
Winter said Murphyâ€™s family was cooperating with the coronerâ€™s investigation. Funeral arrangements have not been announced, he said.
Los Angeles police have opened an investigation into Murphyâ€™s death, Officer Norma Eisenman said.
Detectives and coronerâ€™s officials were at Murphy and Monjackâ€™s home Sunday afternoon but did not talk to reporters. Paparazzi were camped outside the multistory home, located above the Sunset Strip.
Messages left for Murphyâ€™s manager and agent by The Associated Press were not immediately returned.
Neighbor Clare Staples said she saw firefighters working to resuscitate the actress Sunday morning. She said Murphy was on a stretcher and â€œlooked as though she was dead at the scene.â€
Murphyâ€™s husband, wearing pajama bottoms and no shoes, appeared â€œdazedâ€ as firefighters tried to save her, Staples said. â€œItâ€™s just tragic,â€ she added.
TMZ.com first reported Murphyâ€™s death Sunday morning.
Murphyâ€™s father, Angelo Bertolotti, said he learned of her death from his son, the actressâ€™s brother, and was stunned.
â€œShe was just an absolute doll since she was born,â€ Bertolotti said from his Branford, Fla., home. â€œHer personality was always outward. Everybody loved her â€” people that made movies with her, people on a cruise â€” they all loved her. She was just a regular gal.â€
He said he hadnâ€™t heard much about the circumstances of Murphyâ€™s death. Bertolotti divorced her mother when Murphy was young and hadnâ€™t seen Murphy in the past few years. He said he used to be in the mob and served prison time on federal drug charges.
â€œShe was just talented,â€ Bertolotti said. â€œAnd I loved her very much.â€
Meanwhile, Murphyâ€™s publicist, Nicole Perna, said in a statement: â€œIn this time of sadness, the family thanks you for your love and support. It is their wish that you respect their privacy.â€
Born Nov. 10, 1977, in Atlanta, Murphy grew up in New Jersey and later moved with her mother to Los Angeles to pursue acting.
Her career started in the early 1990s with small roles in television series, commercials and movies. She is best known for parts in â€œGirl, Interrupted,â€ â€œCluelessâ€ and â€œ8 Mile.â€
Her on-screen work had lessened of late, but Murphyâ€™s voice gave life to numerous animated characters, including Luanne Platter on more than 200 episodes of Foxâ€™s â€œKing of the Hillâ€ and Gloria the penguin in the 2006 feature â€œHappy Feet.â€
She is due to appear in Sylvester Stalloneâ€™s upcoming film, â€œThe Expendables,â€ set for release next year.
Her role in â€œ8 Mileâ€ led to more recognition, Murphy told AP in 2003. â€œThat changed a lot,â€ she said. â€œThat was the difference between people knowing my first and last name as opposed to not.â€
Murphy credited her mother, Sharon, with being a key to her success.
â€œWhen I asked my mom to move to California, she sold everything and moved out here for me,â€ Murphy said. â€œI was really grateful to have grown up in an environment that was conducive to creating and didnâ€™t stifle any of that. She always believed in me.â€
She dated Ashton Kutcher, who costarred with Murphy in 2003â€™s romantic comedy â€œJust Married.â€
Kutcher sent a message on Twitter Sunday morning about Murphyâ€™s death: â€œ2day the world lost a little piece of sunshine,â€ Kutcher wrote. â€œMy deepest condolences go out 2 Brittanyâ€™s family, her husband, & her amazing mother Sharon.â€
AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney and Matt Sedensky in Miami contributed to this report.
Updated 8:30 p.m.
LOS ANGELES -- A Los Angeles County coroner's official says it appears actress Brittany Murphy died of natural causes.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center spokeswoman Sally Stewart says Murphy was pronounced dead at 10:04 a.m. Sunday. Murphy was transported to the hospital after the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a call at 8 a.m. at the home Murphy shared with her husband, British screenwriter Simon Monjack, in the Hollywood Hills.
Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter says the cause of Murphy's death "appears to be natural."
He says Murphy apparently collapsed in the bathroom Sunday morning, and authorities are looking into her medical history.
Winter says Murphy's family is cooperating with the coroner's investigation. He says an autopsy is planned for Monday or Tuesday.
Murphy starred in such films as "Clueless," "8 Mile," and "Don't Say a Word."