December 22, 2009 / 1:00 AM / 9 years ago

Drug tests awaited on Brittany Murphy death

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An autopsy on the body of actress Brittany Murphy was completed on Monday, but authorities said the exact cause of death will not be known until toxicology tests are finished in four to six weeks.

Actress Brittany Murphy waves as she arrives at the Sydney premiere of the movie "Happy Feet" at Fox Studios in Sydney in this December 10, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Will Burgess

As speculation mounted that prescription drugs or anorexia may have played a part in Murphy’s death at age 32, the Los Angeles coroner’s office said there were no signs of trauma. Police said no foul play was suspected.

Murphy, who co-starred in the movie “Clueless” and “8 Mile,” suffered cardiac arrest on Sunday in the bathroom of her Hollywood Hills home.

Her husband, British screenwriter Simon Monjack, told Access Hollywood she had been suffering from laryngitis and Sunday morning had been “a regular day” at their home before Murphy was found unresponsive in the shower.

“(Her mother) Sharon went into the bathroom because she had been in there a long time. Her mom screamed for me and I ran. Then called 911,” he said. “My world was destroyed yesterday.”

Celebrity website TMZ reported there was “a significant amount of vomit” in the bathroom area and that there were a lot of prescriptions in the house.

News reports recalled Murphy’s emaciated appearance in recent weeks. Us Weekly printed a photo on its website of her last known public appearance on the red carpet in Los Angeles December 3, which showed the actress in a sleeveless dress with rail-thin arms and legs.

In 2005, Murphy denied widespread rumors that she had an eating disorder or that her weight loss was due to cocaine use.

Murphy starred in films like “Girl Interrupted” and “8 Mile” opposite Michael Douglas, Ashton Kutcher, Eminem and Angelina Jolie, but failed to attain their level of success. In recent years, she worked mostly in low-budget movies.

This month, she left the set of indie thriller “The Caller” over what her publicist described as creative differences.

Murphy was last in theaters two weeks ago with the release of the low-budget thriller “Across the Hall.”.

Her family described her death in a statement as “a terrible tragedy. She was our daughter, our wife, our love and a shining star.”

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Chris Wilson

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