Life, Interrupted

I don't take in late night television too much anymore, which actually follows a pattern I have throughout the rest of the day. If it's not sports, or a special about the JFK assassination, I pretty much don't watch it.

But I happened upon the David Letterman show a few years ago---I remember this distinctly---and I was taken by the bubbly, perky young woman chatting up Dave to the audience's, and Dave's, bemusement.

She was breezy without appearing loaded. Engaging without being ditzy. She just seemed like a lot of fun; there was nothing bimbo about her. It wasn't very long after that when I caught her in a movie with Ashton Kutcher, a comedy called "Just Married." She was terrific in it.

That's how I remember Brittany Murphy.

Murphy, who died suddenly at age 32 yesterday in California, wasn't typically mentioned when the discussion turned to America's finest young actors. She had her moments, though.

There was her turn in "8 Mile," as Eminem's love interest; "Don't Say a Word," in which she played a young girl suffering from post traumatic stress, who holds the clue to another girl's abduction; "Love and Other Disasters," in which she played a matchmaker at Vogue magazine; "Girl, Interrupted," when she played a sexually abused mental hospital patient; and over 200 episodes as the voice of Luanne Platter in Fox's animated "King of the Hill."

That, plus "Just Married," a comedy about a newlywed couple and their misadventures on their honeymoon in Europe.

Brittany Murphy: 1977-2009

No, she may not have been recognized as one of this country's best at her craft, but she was only 32 and she's dead and that tragedy supercedes everything.

2009 has been unkind when it comes to celebrity deaths---both in terms of their lives and their reputations. Things got off to a bad start with the Natasha Richardson skiing accident early in the year and that, sadly, set the tone.

Just last week, we lost NFL player Chris Henry at age 26 after he fell out of a truck during a domestic dispute. And we lost the Tiger Woods that we thought we knew, to multiple instances of philandering. Michael Jackson was lost, largely thanks to an inner circle who looked the other way and doctors who were too mealy to take a stand.

So the latest is Brittany Murphy, who by all accounts was the light that lit up any room in which she occupied. This, according to those who knew her best.

I found her to be very refreshing when I saw her on Letterman's show.

I'm not going to go too heavy-handed here because I knew little about Murphy, other than what I've mentioned. But I thought she was a pretty damn good actor.

But you don't have to know someone to know that, at 32, they've gone too soon.

Murphy's bio at says she's due to be seen in no less than five movies in 2010 and beyond, that have already been completed. So you'll get a chance to see her perform again. There's that, at least.


  1. Hi Greg,

    I have been reading your blogs since this past summer, this blog and your blog on sports. I just wanted to pass along my congratulations on your terrific writing style, as well as your thoughtful ideas on life.

    Your columns are thought-provoking and they provide good conversation pieces throughout the day(s)!

    Just to let you know that you have a fan who looks forward to your posts. Keep up the terrific work!


  2. PWR:

    Wow---thanks so much for the kind words! Made my day! Happy Holidays!


  3. You're welcome and I meant every word of it!

    It seems as though we have much in common, as I, too, have studied, analyzed, and paid way too much attention to Detroit Sports (and UofM) - although in my case, it's been since the 60's; we both enjoy expressing ourselves in words (although I am not a professional writer); I haven't missed a Lions' game since the 60's (in-person, radio, or television - now that's not right!) and not too many Wings', Tigers', or Pistons' games in the same time frame; and we both try to see all angles of life from all perspectives.

    One additional thought - did I ready somewhere that you are originally from the Downriver area? If so, that's one more point in common!

    Again, keep up the terrific work, as I await your next post!


  4. Actually, I WORKED Downriver from 1986-1993; I'm originally from Livonia.

    So, gonna name yourself? LOL

    Thanks again!!

  5. Ah, yes, Downriver is in your blood! I was born and raised in Downriver and, counting married life, I have now spent 42 years in the Downriver area!

    I'd love to name myself, but I hate to do it in a public forum. Do you have an e-mail address? Or, if it's better, I can always use my first name only. Just let me know yuour preference.


  6. I guess you decided to remain anonymous after all! Haven't gotten an e-mail!

    That's OK; your words were very lovely and I appreciate your readership!

    Happy Holidays,

  7. Sorry about that!! I'll send an e-mail right now. Keep up the terrific work!


  8. Greg,

    Did you get my e-mail? I sent it on Tuesday. If you did not receive it, let me know and I'll try again. Thanks!



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