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Brittany Murphy (1977-2009)


  1. Neve Campbell, Scream, 1996.     In the heroine mix for Wes Craven’s quirky new horror franchise: Murphy, Drew Barrymore (preferred to die early like Janet Leighj in Psycho), Melinda Clarke, Melissa Joan Hart, AJ Langer, Melanie Lynskey, Molly Ringwald (“I’m too old!” - at 28), Tori Spelling, Reese Witherspoon (refused), Alicia Witt. Even a way too old Sharon Stone (38) tried to buy Kevin Williamson’s “hottest script of the year” - written in three days in the hope of a quick sale (he got to save his car from being repossessed. Hell, with $500,000 he could get a new one!  
  2. Mena Suvari, American Beauty, 1998.       Welcome to Hollywood…!  For his first LA movie - for a producer called Spielberg!  - UK stage director Sam Mendes saw all the current young Hollywood babes for Kevin Spacey’s Lolita-esque infatuation (she was even called, not Haze, but  Hayes). He  was  turned down by Murphy, Kirsten Dunst, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, Kate Hudson,  Katie Holmes - andTiffani Thiessen lost her audition.  That’s not Mena on the poster, though; the hand and stomach belong to actress-model Chloe Hunter.
  3. Kate Hudson, Gossip, 1999.     Change of Naomi among the college students investigating gossip.  From Brittany and Reese Witherspoon to Kate.
  4. Kate Hudson, Almost Famous, 2000.    Looking for his Penny Lane groupie (based on Pennie Trumble, aka Pennie Lane), in his semi- autobiographical look back to his Rolling Stone reporter “daze,” Cameron Crowe saw all of LA’s bright young things… Murphy, Neve Campbell, Claire Danes, Kirsten Dunst, Jenna Elfman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Anne Heche, Rose McGowan, Bridget Moynahan, Christina Ricci, Rebecca Romijn, Chloe Sevigny, Mena Suvari.   Next? Uma Thurman passed and the winner, Sarah Polley, split. (Silly girls).  Crowe then chose Kate because “she seemed more like a free spirit.”  But, but, but… Sevigny was the freest spirt in all Hollywood! 
  5. Anne Hathaway, The Princess Diaries, 2001.   Among 22 youngstars (Jessica Alba to Reese Witherspoon) rejecting the awkward San Francisco teenager being groomed (by Julie Andrews!) to inherit the Genovia throne - after director Garry Marshall’s (rather surprising) first choiceof Juliette Lewis quit. And so, Hathaway made her first movie.
  6. Anna Paquin, 25th Hour, 2002.     Brittany pulled out ofbeing Mary D'Annunzio.
  7. Nicole Kidman, Bewitched, 2004.      Who wants to play wriggly-nosed Samantha? Me, me, chorused... Jennifer Aniston,  Kim Basinger, Cameron Diaz, Heather Graham (who would have been quirkily great), Angelina Jolie, Lisa Kudrow (perfect!), Tatum O'Neal (not so much), Gwyneth Paltrow, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Alicia Silverstone, Hilary Swank, Naomi Watts. Among 35 possibles. Over the years.
  8. Mae Whitman, Tinker Bell, 2007.    Media headlines splashed that she wassacked from voicing the Disney video heroine and replaced by teenage Mae - Shanti in Jungle Book 2) as the first ever voice of Tinker Belle in the movie and series.. However, Disney executives at the Burbank studio said Murphy quit due to scheduling problems. Of course she did.  Poor girl, her career was unfolding, not having madea studio movie since Little Black Book in 2004 - a conspiracy, she said,led by ex-agentsand managers. “I’m not getting offered anything where I can really show what I can do. I can sing. I can dance. I can do all these things I was put on Earth to show the world.”She was planning to quit Hollywood when she died.
  9. Pink, Happy Feet 2 in 3D, 2009.       “Britty” was dropped after drug (and anorexia) headlines - although she never touched drugs due to her heart murmur.She was replaced by two voices (Pink singing), while she had done her own singing inthe 2004 original. ..
  10. Sofia Vergara, Happy Feet 2 in 3D, 2009.    … her scenarist husband, SimonMonjack, saidBrittany cried for hours in her comfort zone bathroom.
  11. Charisma Carpenter, The Expendables. 2009.     Sylvester Stallone’s John Rambo co-star, Julie Benz, told him to watch Carpenter in their Angel  chapter.  He thanked Julie and she quoted the episode title: You’re Welcome.  And so he dropped Brittany  from the actioner -  and she was suddenly dead, at age 32,  from pneumonia and  anemia on  December 20, 2009.  Her husband, Simon Monjack, died five months later from the  same causes.  Brittany ’s father insisted they were both murdered. 





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