ByKristin Lai, writer at
MP Staff Writer, cinephile and resident Slytherclaw // UCLA Alumna // Follow me on Twitter: kristin_lai
Kristin Lai

Lifetime movies are known to cover some really hard-hitting stuff. Seriously, some intense films such as Liz & Dick and Cyber Seduction: His Secret Life. At 8 p.m. on September 6 Lifetime will air their newest film, aptly titled "The Brittany Murphy Story." It will star Amanda Fuller as Brittany Murphy following her rise to stardom and her untimely death in 2009 at the age of 32. It will look something like this:

Yes, her death was a bit strange, and definitely unexpected, but was it coldblooded murder? That appears to be the angle the film is taking. It was definitely strange, especially considering her husband died only a few months later.

Honestly, I always thought Brittany Murphy was so funny and charming. Not to mention, the girl had some serious acting chops (Clueless, 8 Mile), so I really hope that this Lifetime does a good job of telling her story, as opposed to just creating more trashy television.

Brittany Murphy is far from the first celebrity to die in a shocking, and somewhat mysterious way. This doesn't mean that each of their stories is destined for the screen, but here are a few more unexpected Hollywood deaths that happened under suspicious circumstances.

Natalie Wood

In the 1960's, Natalie Wood was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Before she had even turned 25 she had 3 Oscar nominations under her belt for films Rebel Without a Cause, Splendor in the Grass, and Love With the Proper Stranger. In 1981, she drowned while on a boat ride with her husband Robert Wagner and co-star Christopher Walken. She was found covered in bruises and a mile away from the boat with an inflatable dinghy. Her death was initially ruled accidental, until 2011 when the boat's captain came forward about falsifying evidence and implying that her death had been intentional. Given new evidence, her death certificate now reads "drowning and other undetermined factors" instead of "accidental drowning." The exact circumstances of her death are still shrouded in mystery.

Bruce Lee & Brandon Lee

Bruce Lee will always be known as one of the greatest kung fu film stars to ever live. His films Fists of Fury and Way of the Dragon revolutionized the genre by applying real technique, making his movies more realistic than had been previously seen. In 1973, at the age of 32, he collapsed while filming and was rushed to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a cerebral edema. Luckily, they were able to reduce the swelling of his brain and he went home. A couple of months later he complained of headaches, so his friend gave him a prescription painkiller. After taking the pill, Lee took a nap and never woke up. In his autopsy report, they found that his brain was also swollen. It is believed that his death was caused by an allergic reaction to the painkiller, and was ruled "death by misadventure." Some are skeptical of his death and instead suggest that he was murdered by the Triad, while others are certain that there had been a curse placed on the Lee family.

Like his father, Brandon Lee died far too young. At the age of 28 Lee suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the abdomen while filming the 1993 film The Crow. Apparently a bullet from a dummy round had been trapped in the barrel of the gun after they had been exchanged for blank rounds. This meant that the live powder charge, which would have had no effect on the blank rounds, caused the stuck dummy bullet to be effectively shot almost as fast as a real bullet would have been. The death of Brandon Lee only further solidified the argument made by those who believed the Lee family to be cursed.

Marilyn Monroe

While it is no secret that Marilyn had a troubled life filled with reported depression and illness, the death of the sexiest woman alive at the age of 36 still shocked the world. Her passing in 1962 was widely considered suicide by "acute barbiturate poisoning." Although this was the official cause of death, many people believe that she was killed by an ex-lover, the mafia, or even the government.

Although there are only a few listed here, there have been tons of peculiar celebrity deaths over the years. Many spawn conspiracy theories that could make, or have made, interesting movies. Sometimes the film industry is just as dramatic off camera as it is on.

What are some other strange celebrity deaths that you find disturbing? Let me know in the comments.


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