LOS ANGELES — Brittany Murphy’s family told Los Angeles officials the actress was ill with flu-like symptoms in the days before her death Sunday at age 32.
The star of films such as “Clueless” and “8 Mile” died after collapsing at her Hollywood Hills home.
Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said an autopsy will be conducted today to try to determine what killed the actress. Winter said the reported illness could be a contributing factor to her death, but it will be weeks before a final determination is made.
Winter said Murphy’s death appears to be from natural causes.
He said prescription medications were taken from Murphy’s home and officials will contact her personal physician to get a better sense of her medical history.
Funeral arrangements for Murphy have not been announced.
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.
Los Angeles police have opened an investigation into Murphy’s death, Officer Norma Eisenman said.
Neighbor Clare Staples said she saw firefighters working to resuscitate the actress Sunday morning. She said Murphy was on a stretcher and “looked as though she was dead at the scene.”
Murphy’s husband, wearing pajama bottoms and no shoes, appeared “dazed” as firefighters tried to save her, Staples said. “It’s just tragic,” she added.
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 “Girl, Interrupted,” “Clueless” and “8 Mile.”
Her on-screen work had lessened of late, but Murphy’s voice gave life to numerous animated characters, including Luanne Platter on more than 200 episodes of Fox’s “King of the Hill” and Gloria the penguin in the 2006 feature “Happy Feet.”
She is due to appear in Sylvester Stallone’s upcoming film, “The Expendables,” set for release next year.
Her role in “8 Mile” led to more recognition, Murphy told AP in 2003. “That changed a lot,” she said. “That was the difference between people knowing my first and last name as opposed to not.”
Murphy credited her mother, Sharon, with being a key to her success.
“When I asked my mom to move to California, she sold everything and moved out here for me,” Murphy said. “I was really grateful to have grown up in an environment that was conducive to creating and didn’t stifle any of that. She always believed in me.”
She dated Ashton Kutcher, who co-starred with Murphy in 2003’s romantic comedy “Just Married.”
Kutcher sent a message on Twitter Sunday morning about Murphy’s death: “2day the world lost a little piece of sunshine,” Kutcher wrote. “My deepest condolences go out 2 Brittany’s family, her husband, &her amazing mother Sharon.”