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Actress Brittany Murphy dead at 32

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Coroner's office: She apparently died of natural causes; report on death could take weeks
  • No signs of foul play or trauma, coroner's office spokesman says
  • Murphy pronounced dead at 10:04 a.m. PT Sunday, hospital spokeswoman says
  • Actress starred in "Clueless" and "8 Mile," and was voice of Luanne in "King of the Hill"

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Brittany Murphy, the bubbly, free-spirited actress who appeared in such films as "Clueless" and "8 Mile," died Sunday, apparently of natural causes, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office said. She was 32.

Murphy was pronounced dead at 10:04 a.m. PT Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Sally Stewart told CNN Radio.

An autopsy had not been scheduled as of Sunday night, but Captain John Kades, a spokesman for the coroner's office, told CNN that there was no sign of foul play or trauma. He added that it's not unusual for a younger person to die of natural causes.

The coroner's office is looking into Murphy's medical history. A final report could take up to eight weeks.

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the death, and robbery and homicide detectives will be at her home, LAPD spokeswoman Norma Eisenman said.

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Timeline: Murphy's acting career
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"The sudden loss of our beloved Brittany is a terrible tragedy," her family said in a statement issued by her publicist. "She was our daughter, our wife, our love and a shining star. We ask you to respect our privacy at this time."

Funeral arrangements are pending, the family said.

Murphy starred in several movies, including "Just Married," "Don't Say a Word" and "Riding in Cars with Boys." She also voiced the character Luanne on the animated TV series "King of the Hill."

She is survived by her husband, British screenwriter Simon Monjack, whom she married in 2007.

Fans took to Murphy's official Facebook page Sunday to issue their condolences.

"She was a great actress and was going to go far in her career! She will be greatly missed!" read one post.

Murphy's former boyfriend and "Just Married" co-star Ashton Kutcher posted his reaction to the news via Twitter.

"2day the world lost a little piece of sunshine. My deepest condolences go out 2 Brittany's family, her husband, & her amazing mother Sharon," Kutcher posted.

He added later: "see you on the other side kid."

Singer-actress Jessica Simpson tweeted: "Brittany Murphy was an incredible ray of Light to so many people. Her smile was contagious. My prayers are with her family and loved ones."

Actress Alyssa Milano, who did a USO tour with Murphy in 2003, wrote on Twitter: "She was a sweet soul, with a lot of talent and heart."

Murphy was best known for her work in a string of romantic comedies in the early 2000s, including lead roles in "Uptown Girls" alongside fellow Georgia native Dakota Fanning, and "Little Black Book" with Holly Hunter and Kathy Bates, but her movie roles had declined in recent years.

Last month, Murphy reportedly was fired from "The Caller," a movie she was working on in Puerto Rico. Her representative issued a statement to news outlets disputing the report, saying: "She was not nor has she ever been fired from any job big or small. ... [Due] to creative differences Ms. Murphy and the production mutually parted ways," according to People magazine.

In addition to her "King of the Hill" role, she lent her voice to a number of animated works including the TV series "Futurama" and the 2006 hit movie "Happy Feet."

Her work as troubled teenagers in "Don't Say a Word" and "Girl, Interrupted" also gained her critical acclaim.

Murphy was the subject of tabloid gossip after she transformed from a pudgy brunette in 1995's "Clueless" to a petite, lithe blonde who graced the cover of such magazines as Cosmopolitan in 2005. She frequently denied rumors of an eating disorder and plastic surgery.

Her love life also was fodder for gossip sites as she broke two engagements in 2004 and 2006, then married Monjack after only four months of dating.

"All these ridiculous people came out and said all this nonsense when we got married, [but] thank God we had the substance and the history within that to [say], 'Yeah, whatever!' " Monjack told People magazine in a 2008 interview. "We still don't understand what happened. It's made us laugh, it's made us cry, but it's made us stronger."

 
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