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Video: Murphy autopsy finds no signs of trauma

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    >>> this half hour with the latest on brittany murphy 's tragic death. "today's" correspondent maria menounos has details.

    >> reporter: brittany murphy 's fans and colleagues say her bubbly personality and versatile talent will be dearly missed.

    >> he's so cute!

    >> reporter: just weeks ago, a smiling murphy said she was looking forward to a new year and new beginnings.

    >> as far as having a new years resolution, i'd love to have a child next year.

    >> reporter: rumors swirled after murphy was replaced on a film during production last month in puerto rico . her last starring role in the independent film "abandoned" was completed in june.

    >> he was here and he's somewhere right now in this hospital and we're wasting time!

    >> reporter: director michael pfiefer said murphy had seemed healthy, positive and wonderful to work with.

    >> she was one of the nicest, sweetest, most enjoyable actresses to work with that i've ever had. she was always there for me.

    >> reporter: on monday, the l.a. county coroner's office said there would be no final ruling on a cause of death until toxicology reports come back. they found prescription medications in murphy 's home but no illegal drugs.

    >> we'll be looking into what she was taking and what levels show up in the tox.

    >> reporter: murphy 's husband, simon monjack, told " access hollywood " that she had been sick, but that it didn't seem to be anything serious, adding "my world was destroyed." for "today," maria menounos , nbc news, los angeles .

updated 12/21/2009 11:06:18 PM ET 2009-12-22T04:06:18

Authorities said Monday it appeared actress Brittany Murphy died of natural causes after becoming ill with flulike symptoms in the days before she collapsed in the bathroom of her Hollywood Hills home.

Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said an autopsy had been conducted and officials were awaiting the results of toxicology and tissue testing before determining an official cause of death.

They also interviewed Murphy's personal physician and examined prescription drugs taken from her home.

Paramedics tried to revive Murphy early Sunday, but she was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The hospital said she died of cardiac arrest.

The autopsy found no signs of trauma to the body of the 32-year-old star of "Clueless" and "8 Mile." Police did not suspect foul play.

Slideshow: Brittany Murphy, 1977-2009 "We went to the scene to see if there was anything that suggests foul play, and there wasn't," Los Angeles police Detective Wendi Berndt said.

It could take up to six weeks before a determination is made public on her cause of death.

Winter said Murphy's family reported she had been ill and that could have contributed to her death. He said he had no further details about the medication taken from the home Murphy shared with her British screenwriter husband Simon Monjack.

"My world was destroyed yesterday," Monjack told the TV show Access Hollywood in an interview Monday. He said Murphy's mother, Sharon, discovered the actress unconscious in the shower, and he called the emergency dispatcher.

He told Access Hollywood that Murphy had laryngitis but it didn't seem that serious.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

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"The sudden loss of our beloved Brittany is a terrible tragedy," Monjack and her family wrote in a statement. "She was our daughter, our wife, our love, and a shining star."

Murphy's death put "Saturday Night Live" in an awkward spot.

Two weeks ago, the NBC show aired a sketch during "Weekend Update" in which cast member Abby Elliott did an impression of Murphy, who had recently been fired from a film project. The impression portrayed Murphy as spacey and living in the past.

After Murphy's death, the sketch disappeared from Hulu.com, an online video repository co-owned by NBC Universal. Sharon Pannozzo, a publicist for "Saturday Night Live," didn't respond to requests for comment.

Murphy moved to Los Angeles with her mother, Sharon, in the early 1990s. Her career started with small roles in television series, commercials and movies. Her part in "Clueless" led to larger projects.

She is also known for her role in "Girl, Interrupted" and voiced the character Luanne Platter for more than 200 episodes of Fox's animated series "King of the Hill."

Her role in as rapper Eminem's girlfriend in "8 Mile" led to wide recognition.

"That was the difference between people knowing my first and last name as opposed to not," she told AP in 2003.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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