I invite you to closely examine the photos that accompany this post. They are all of the same person.*
Would you know this, if I hadn't told you?
Ironically, Mr Daisy and I had just been watching King of the Hill DVDs when we heard the news of Brittany Murphy's death. And as a King of the Hill fan, I felt that I had lost my dear friend Luanne, whom I loved like my own cartoon-land sister. And now I can't think of Luanne's sweet, scatterbrained, thoroughly clueless southern voice without tearing up. Ohhhh no, not Luanne!
Brittany Murphy was 32 years old.
With one or two exceptions (see below), there is a huge silence around her death. The implications are pretty far-reaching, so let me say it out loud: surgery is painful. Frequent surgery will make pain a frequent, even omnipresent reality.
In Hollywood, people (once it was only women, now it's everyone) have constant surgery to look good for movies and TV, and simply to stay employable. This state-of-affairs eventually evolves into endless medical tinkering and tweaking of the appearance. Surgery hurts, of course. Thus, the patients/victims are given ample painkillers, as Michael Jackson was. The result: you have a whole town full of rich, famous junkies, whom doctors will not refuse. (Out here in the heartland, you can have an exceptionally hard time getting your painkiller-Rx refilled, even when you are ready to drop dead; in Hollywood, the doctors are eager to do housecalls.) Need drugs? Have a handful!
Brittany Murphy's bedroom contained:
According to the notes, the medications included Topamax (anti-seizure meds also to prevent migraines), Methylprednisolone (anti-inflammatory), Fluoxetine (depression med), Klonopin (anxiety med), Carbamazepine (treats Diabetic symptoms and is also a bipolar med), Ativan (anxiety med), Vicoprofen (pain reliever), Propranolol (hypertension, used to prevent heart attacks), Biaxin (antibiotic), Hydrocodone (pain med) and miscellaneous vitamins.(Why the hell would you need illegal drugs when you can get all of that?!)
The notes say, "No alcohol containers, paraphernalia or illegal drugs were discovered."
One of those phrases heard in recovery is: You are thinking like a drug addict. I found myself mulling over the death of young Brittany and by extension, the whole crew of drug-dependent Hollywood entertainers... and I wondered if they were also thinking like drug addicts.
That is to say, is the surgery first, or are the drugs first?
If you know you will get open-ended prescriptions, is that a possible enticement for more surgery? Perhaps that's one unacknowledged reason for the endless tweaking? Drugs, drugs and more drugs... but you have to plug into the system, you have to ride the gravy train. You have to get your face cut and pasted, probably some serious liposuction. It's like a baptism; a christening as a new Hollywood-being.
As a reward, perfectly legal chemicals that make you feel marvelous all the time. You can have as much as you want, but only if you continue the tweaking, the cutting, the pasting, the surgical tinkering.
And of course you will. By then, you are thinking like a drug addict.
Director Amy Heckerling has already weighed in:
Did Brittany Murphy's death have anything to do with her weight?Murphy's official cause of death is still listed as "pending." But I see the photos, and I know that such a radical rearranging of one's appearance could not happen without considerable pain. And painkillers.
"Clueless" director Amy Heckerling seems to think so.
Heckerling, who worked with a much curvier Murphy during the filming of "Clueless," told Usmagazine.com that she is "angry" about the actress' death, and believes Hollywood played a large role in transforming her from a round-faced teen to a rail-thin adult.
"It just seemed like she was blowing up, being on every magazine and being treated as though she had suddenly become beautiful.," Heckerling told the mag. "And I think she was feeling very good about that. I'm just not happy with Hollywood."
Just a couple weeks before she collapsed in her shower and was pronounced dead from cardiac arrest, Murphy even admitted that she was too skinny while speaking with reporters at a store opening.
"I am a bit thinner now than what I would like to be," she told Fox News.
Brittany, we hardly knew ye, dear one.
Goodbye, my dearest Luanne.
*Photos above are Brittany Murphy in the films Clueless, Girl Interrupted, 8 Mile, and the not-yet-released Abandoned.