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    Family and Friends Lay Brittany Murphy to Rest

    Brittany Murphy, Church Of The Hills Matt Symons, PacificCoastNews.com; Michael Bezjian

    Here's hoping Brittany Murphy is resting in peace.

    Family members and a few close friends gathered Thursday afternoon at Los Angeles' Forest Lawn Memorial Park to say goodbye to the actress, who died last Sunday at 32.

    Among the two dozen attendees were her husband, Simon Monjack, and mother, Sharon, as well as longtime friend Eric Balfour. The 24 star, who once even performed in a band with Murphy, served along with his brother Simon, as one of the pallbearers at the intimate, invitation-only service, which took place at the cemetery's Church of the Hills.

    At the funeral, Monjack described his loving relationship with Murphy, saying she was his best friend and soul mate.

    He went on to say that mystery is the nature of love, and you never know when or where it will strike, or how quickly it will be taken from you. Monjack also stated that he knows the closeness and beauty of their love will live on forever.

    Several of Murphy's closest friends and her cousin also recalled their favorite memories of the late star, concluding with an excerpt from The Little Prince, one of her favorite books.

    A rabbi and a pastor presided over the codenominational service, which began to the strains of Chet Atkins' "My Funny Valentine" and closed with Murphy's own rendition of Charlie Chaplin's "Smile." (Jermaine Jackson sang the song, said to be Michael Jackson's favorite, at his brother's memorial.)

    Following the tearful service, the mourners proceeded to the burial site within Forest Lawn's Bright Eternity section at 5:30 p.m.

    Murphy's body was interred at twilight with the reading of the Kaddish and the singing of "Amazing Grace".

    But while the funeral was a private affair, the family does have plans for another remembrance. 

    "There are plans to have a more public memorial sometime in the new year when other people can come remember and share memories of her, but today is just small and very private for those close to her," family spokesman Alex Ben Block, who also served as a pallbearer, told E! News before the service.

    One person who did not make the trip for the funeral was Brittany's still-in-shock 83-year-old father, Angelo Bertolotti, who lives in Florida.

    Bertolotti, who hadn't spoken to his daughter in more than a year and had yet to meet her husband, told E! News Wednesday that he was too sad and "didn't want to see her that way" and was unaware that she was suffering from any health issues.

    Murphy's mother-in-law, Linda Monjack, was hurrying to book a flight to L.A. in time for the funeral service. No word yet whether she was able to make it but Monjack, who attended the couple's nuptials back in 2007, said she was "absolutely devastated" by the Clueless star's death.

    Murphy's family released this statement to E! News after the funeral:

    "Today a wife, a daughter, a niece, a cousin, a family member and dear friend to thousands was laid to rest. Brittany was an incredibly loving and passionate person and an artist to her core- she loved acting, singing, dancing, and performing. There are no words that can truly express the devastation felt by Brittany’s husband, mother, and everyone who attended the intimate service."

    Since Christmas was Murphy's favorite holiday, her family asked that all those who wish to honor her light a candle and "remember the beautiful angel that entertained, enlightened, and made the world a better place".

    —Additional reporting by Whitney English

    (Originally published Dec. 24, 2009, at 3:30 p.m. PT)

    ________

    Her star burned brightly, if brief. Take a look back at Brittany Murphy's career in our Life in Pictures photo gallery.

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