Popular Culture

Lifetime Giving Brittany Murphy the Whitney/Aaliyah Treatment


Well, it’s refreshing to know that late songstresses and nostalgic teen television comedies aren’t the only fodder Lifetime has found for its fall lineup of original movies.

On Wednesday, the cable network announced that the short life and sudden death of Clueless star Brittany Murphy will be the subject of an upcoming made-for-TV biopic. Last Man Standing actress Amanda Fuller has been cast as the Happy Feet starlet. Sherilyn Fenn, of Twin Peaks fame, has been tapped to play her manager mother, Sharon Murphy.

Under the watchful guise of her momager, Brittany’s career took off after her starring role in the 1994 teen comedy Clueless. She went on to appear opposite Eminem in 8 Mile and rode shotgun for Angelina Jolie’s Oscar-winning turn in Girl Interrupted.

The Brittany Murphy Story — airing Saturday, Sept. 6 — will recount the actress’s rise to fame with delving into rumors of drug addiction and an eating disorder, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. There’s also sure to be talk surrounding the suspicious nature of Brittany’s death.

Murphy, 32, was found dead at her Los Angeles home in December 2009. The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled the death accidental, caused by pneumonia and “iron deficiency anemia.” Five months later, Brittany’s husband Simon Monjack, 40, also died of pneumonia and anemia.

Angelo Bertolotti, Murphy’s long estranged father, was never convinced of the coroner’s findings. In 2014, he ordered a new toxicology report after sending samples of his daughter’s hair for independent analysis. The results, released in March of this year, supposedly showed the presence of 10 heavy metals above the “high” level set by the World Health Organization.

The test results raised suspicions that Murphy and Monjack may have been poisoned.

A spokesperson for Sharon Murphy has stated that she had no involvement with the movie and was not consulted about the production. Sound familiar?

Earlier this summer, Lifetime went public with plans for a pair of biopics featuring two of pop music’s most beloved songbirds — Whitney Houston and Aaliyah. Survivors of the late legends have been vocal about the network’s unwillingness to consult the families about production plans. A movie that promises an inside view into the behind-the-scenes action on the set of TV’s Saved by the Bell is scheduled to premiere next month.


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