The news about actress Brittany Murphy is shocking and very sad. She died today at age 32.
Murphy made her first real impression as the suggestible Tai who got a makeover from Cher (Alicia Sliverstone) in “Clueless.” She had an engaging openness and, when she sang along to a Mentos commercial, a surprisingly supple singing voice. She had better luck with small roles in movies carried by others (“Sin City,” “Girl, Interrupted”) than in films where she had the leading role (“Uptown Girls” and “Little Black Book”). But even in her lesser films like “Don’t Say a Word” she always showed commitment and a certain fearlessness in her portrayals. I know the movie is too dark for younger children, but I am fond of “Happy Feet” and enjoyed her voice as the penguin, Gloria, especially when she performed the Queen song, “Somebody to Love” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland.” That’s how I am thinking of her now.