HBO Max Is Taking an Intimate Look at Brittany Murphy’s Life—And “Mysterious” Death

A two-part documentary series on the life and death of Brittany Murphy is coming to HBO Max. The doc promises to go beyond the tabloid conspiracy theories.

By Lauren Piester Mar 18, 2021 6:55 PMTags
Watch: "E! News" Investigates Brittany Murphy's Death Tonight

HBO Max is diving into the life and death of Brittany Murphy

The streamer has ordered a two-part documentary about the late actress, who passed away from pneumonia and anemia in December 2009. Five months later, her husband, Simon Monjack, died of the same thing in the same house , leading to many conspiracy theories about both tragedies. 

According to a press release, the currently untitled documentary "presents an in-depth, intimate character portrait exploring the life and career and mysterious circumstances surrounding the tragic death of 90's actress and rising star, Brittany Murphy. The series will go beyond the conspiracy theories and headlines, featuring new interviews by those closest to Brittany and new archival footage." 

While Murphy's death has been the subject of fascination for more than a decade now, director Cynthia Hill promised the doc would also focus on Murphy's life and beloved film career, including classics like Clueless and Drop Dead Gorgeous.

2021 TV Premiere Dates

"I agreed to do this film because I think it's a shame that Brittany's promising life and career has been eclipsed by the circumstances of her death," she said. "I think it's important to celebrate Brittany's talent as we struggle to explain the tragic circumstances of her and Simon's deaths."

Jennifer O'Connell, executive vice president of non-fiction and live-action family programming at HBO Max, said the documentary "cuts through the tabloid noise" to craft a grounded account of Murphy's life. 


The doc comes from Blumhouse Television and Pyramid Productions. Mary Lisio, Blumhouse's EVP of alternative and non-scripted programming, said the company thought Murphy deserved an "examination into the environment that allowed her to become a victim of success." 

Murphy's life and death was previously explored in Brittany Murphy: An ID Mystery in 2020, and her death was also the subject of an episode of Autopsy in 2014.