Brittany Murphy’s Husband Died 5 Months After Her From Similar Causes

Brittany Murphy launched her career with 1995’s Clueless, but the actor quickly branched out beyond the teen comedy genre. You might recognize her from critically acclaimed films such as Sin City and 8 Mile. Murphy also established herself as an accomplished voice actor (she voiced characters in movies and TV shows such as Happy Feet and King of the Hill) and Broadway star.

Many audiences didn’t know Murphy died in 2009 because she appeared in King of the Hill in 2010 and the movie Something Wicked in 2014. But it wasn’t just the date of her death that surprised fans. When people began digging into the circumstances of her passing — including her husband’s sudden death shortly after Murphy died — the mystery only expanded. 

Brittany Murphy quickly became a sought-after actor

Actress Brittany Murphy and husband, writer Simon Monjack, attend MOTO 9, Motorola's ninth-anniversary party, at The Lot on November 8, 2007, in West Hollywood, California.
Brittany Murphy and her husband, writer Simon Monjack | Jeff Vespa/WireImage

As a young child, Brittany Murphy began dabbling in acting. She made short appearances on Boy Meets World and other ’90s sitcoms. But it was Clueless that helped her break into Hollywood.

“A modern take on the popular Jane Austen novel Emma, the movie was a surprise hit, grossing more than $11 million in its first weekend at the box office,” Biography reports. “Murphy was suddenly a star.”

Murphy quickly began to work alongside established A-list celebrities, including Angelina Jolie, Winona Ryder, Jessica Alba, and Bruce Willis. 

Biography points out that 2009 was a big year for Murphy. She was coming off the romantic comedy The Ramen Girl and appearing in numerous 2009 films, including Across the Hall and Tribute. Unfortunately, her success didn’t last long. On December 20, 2009, Murphy died suddenly.

Mysterious circumstances surrounded Murphy’s death

RELATED: Ten Years Later Family Members Insist Brittany Murphy’s Cause of Death is Wrong

According to the Los Angeles Times, a call came in at 8 a.m. on December 20 reporting a “medical request” at Brittany Murphy’s home. “Murphy, 32, was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead,” the newspaper reported. 

But many of Murphy’s fans didn’t think her death was that simple. The Hollywood Reporter explained she had recently been dropped from Happy Feet 2 after rumors of illegal drug use. The incident left her “crying for hours about her stalled career,” the magazine reported. The outlet said Murphy even thought about leaving Hollywood and “believed there had been a conspiracy against her among former agents and managers.”

Some observers immediately speculated that her early death was due to drugs or substance abuse. Others had darker theories. In an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America, Murphy’s father told the show’s hosts he believed someone poisoned his daughter. “I have a feeling that there was definitely a murder situation here,” he said.

Things soon took another twist when Murphy’s husband suddenly died.

Brittany Murphy’s husband passed away five months after she died

In 2007, Murphy married Simon Monjack. “They were married at their home in Los Angeles several weeks ago in a very intimate ceremony,” People reported.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Monjack had health problems. “For nearly a year, the England native had been having seizures and a month earlier suffered an apparent heart attack,” the outlet explained. “When he had a seizure, his arms and legs flailing on the big four-poster bed, Brittany would rush to his side.”

Monjack died just months after Murphy.

“While the world continued searching for explanations for Murphy’s passing, another shocking occurrence was revealed: Monjack died on May 23, 2010, at the age of 39, in the same bedroom as Murphy,” Biography reported.

Because Monjack and Murphy died in similar ways in the same home, the coroner’s report helped settle one rumor about Murphy’s death.

According to the coroner, Monjack died from anemia and acute pneumonia, also listed as factors in Murphy’s death. Digging deeper, some think Monjack’s death affirmed another theory about Murphy’s death: Both had succumbed to toxic mold growing in the home.

“It is with great relief that Simon’s preliminary autopsy findings have been released, so the media speculations can stop,” Murphy’s mother told CNN. “As I was sure of, just like my daughter Brittany, there was no kind of drug overdose.”