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Coroner completes autopsy on Brittany Murphy

December 21, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
An autopsy was conducted Monday on the body of actress Brittany Murphy, but the exact cause of death won't be known for at least four to six weeks, when toxicology tests are completed.The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office says there was no evidence of trauma to Murphy's body.

Murphy died Sunday morning after collapsing at her Hollywood Hills home. According to police, the 32-year-old actress was discovered unconscious in the shower by her mother. Her husband dialed 911 at about 8 a.m., reporting that she was not breathing. She was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead just after 10 a.m.

Outside Murphy's home in the Hollywood Hills that overlooks Sunset Strip, it was quiet on Monday. A couple of vehicles were parked in the driveway, with a few photographers and reporters standing watch outside.

Meanwhile, the family of the actress said she had flu-like symptoms days before her sudden death.

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the death, but they say there appears to be no foul play in Murphy's death.

According to Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter, toxicology tests will be performed, and officials will contact her personal physician to get a better sense of Murphy's medical history.

Fans were stunned to hear of Murphy's death.

"That's pretty shocking. She was young," said fan Josh Brown.

"I thought she was really good, like she's really cute," said another fan on Hollywood Boulevard.

Former co-star Ashton Kutcher sent out a message on his Twitter account Sunday that said, "2day the world lost a little piece of sunshine. My deepest condolences go out 2 Brittany's family, her husband, & her amazing mother Sharon."

Murphy worked in TV sitcoms in the early 1990s, then found fame on the big screen with roles in "Girl, Interruped," "Clueless," "Just Married," and "8 Mile."

"The sudden loss of our beloved Brittany is a terrible tragedy," Murphy's husband Simon Monjack, a screenwriter, and her family wrote in a statement. "She was our daughter, our wife, our love, and a shining star."

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

Born in Atlanta, Murphy was raised by her mother, Sharon Murphy, in Edison, N.J., and later in Los Angeles. Her father, Angelo Bertolotti, is a convicted New Jersey mobster.

Murphy's death put "Saturday Night Live" in an awkward spot. Two weeks ago, the NBC show aired a sketch during "Weekend Update" in which cast member Abby Elliott performed an impression of Murphy, who had recently been fired from a film project. The impression portrayed Murphy as spacey and living in the past.

After her death Sunday, the sketch disappeared from Hulu.com, the online video repository co-owned by NBC Universal.

The quiet removal prompted many bloggers and online viewers to question the sketch's tastefulness and the decision to erase it without notice. A publicist for "Saturday Night Live" didn't respond to requests for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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