Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Brittany Murphy husband says she had been unwell

Brittany Murphy and husband Simon Monjack in LA 2007
Murphy was married to British screenwriter Simon Monjack

The husband of US actress Brittany Murphy has told a US TV show his wife was suffering from laryngitis in the days before she died.

An autopsy has been carried out but the cause of death will not be known until the results of toxicology and tissue tests come out in four to six weeks.

"My world was destroyed yesterday," Simon Monjack told Access Hollywood. He also said Murphy had "been tired".

Murphy collapsed at home in Los Angeles and died in hospital on Sunday.

The assistant chief coroner, Ed Winter, confirmed Murphy's family had reported she had been ill in the run-up to her death.

"It appears to be natural," he said.

Shining star

The autopsy found no signs of trauma to the body.

"We went to the scene to see if there was anything that suggests foul play, and there wasn't," said Los Angeles police detective Wendi Berndt.

A family statement said the "loss of our beloved Brittany is a terrible tragedy. She was our daughter, our wife, our love and a shining star."

It added: "We ask you to respect our privacy at this time."

Murphy's father, Angelo Bertolotti, said: "She was just an absolute doll since she was born.

The home of Simon Monjack, Brittany Murphy's husband, seen on 20 December
Murphy collapsed at her home

"Her personality was always outward. Everybody loved her - people that made movies with her, people on a cruise - they all loved her."

Murphy was pronounced dead at 1004 (1804 GMT) on Sunday at a hospital near Beverly Hills.

She had been taken there after the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a call at the Hollywood Hills home she shared with her husband.

The actress, best known for roles in clueless and 8 Mile, was reported to have been found unconscious in the shower.

'Warm and sweet'

Actor Ashton Kutcher, who played opposite Murphy in 2003's Just Married and later dated her, paid tribute on Twitter: "See you on the other side kid... 2day the world lost a little piece of sunshine.

"My deepest condolences go out 2 Brittany's family, her husband, and her amazing mother Sharon," he added.

Monjack said he was moved by Kutcher's message.

I got the impression she had been burned by reporters before and was anxious for it not to happen again
BBC Entertainment news reporter Neil Smith on his encounter with Brittany Murphy

"I loved what Ashton wrote on Twitter. It was comforting to me. I couldn't have said it better," he told Access Hollywood.

Alicia Silverstone, who starred with Murphy in high school comedy Clueless, told People magazine: "I loved working with Brittany. She was so talented, so warm, and so sweet.

"I always felt connected to her as we shared a very special experience in our lives together.

"I feel love in my heart for her - and hope she is at peace. This is truly sad."

Murphy left the production of indie film The Caller earlier this month. Her agent said she had quit because of "creative differences".

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.



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SEE ALSO
Family tribute to 'star' Murphy
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The day I met Brittany Murphy
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