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Small, private funeral for Brittany Murphy

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actress Brittany Murphy will be laid to rest at a small, private funeral on Christmas Eve, while a larger memorial service may be held early next year.

Family spokesman Alex Ben Block said the Thursday funeral for the "Clueless" and "Girl, Interrupted" actress will be by invitation-only at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills.

The 32-year-old actress died after collapsing at her Hollywood Hills home on Sunday.

Authorities continue to investigate the death. An autopsy performed Monday was inconclusive, and the coroner's office is awaiting results of toxicology and tissue tests before determining an official cause of death.

Murphy moved with her mother, Sharon, to Los Angeles when she was a teenager to pursue an acting career. She started out in sitcoms and commercials in the early 1990s before winning starring roles in several films.

She played Eminem's love interest in "8 Mile" and Ashton Kutcher's wife in "Just Married." She starred as a suspicious girlfriend in 2004's "Little Black Book" and a barmaid with an abusive ex-boyfriend in 2005's "Sin City."

Murphy was juggling multiple movie projects in the months before her unexpected death, wrapping two indie thrillers over the summer and preparing to shoot a romantic comedy next month.

Michael Feifer, who directed Murphy in her final role, described the actress as professional, kind and healthy on the set of "Abandoned." Murphy's husband, screenwriter Simon Monjack, accompanied her on set and served as her hair and makeup artist.

"The two of them really took care of each other," Feifer recalled. "He was her teddy bear, and she was just his little princess."

The future of that film and Murphy's other thriller, "Something Wicked," is uncertain. Neither has secured theatrical distribution.

The private funeral Thursday afternoon is to be an intimate affair, Block said, noting the irony that Murphy loved Christmas and would be buried on Christmas Eve.

Other stars buried at Forest Lawn include Liberace, Bette Davis, Lucille Ball, Gene Autry and Freddie Prinze.

___

AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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