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Actress's death appears to be of natural causes

LOS ANGELES — Brittany Murphy, the actress who rose to stardom in "8 Mile" before her roles declined in recent years, died Sunday of apparently natural causes, a Los Angeles County coroner's official said. She was 32.

Murphy was pronounced dead at 10:04 a.m. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Sally Stewart said.

Murphy was transported to the hospital after the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a call at 8 a.m. at the home she shared with her husband, British screenwriter Simon Monjack, in the Hollywood Hills.

Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said Murphy apparently collapsed in the bathroom, and authorities were looking into her medical history.

An official cause of death may not be determined for some time, since toxicology tests will be required, but "it appears to be natural," Winter said. He said an autopsy was planned for today or Tuesday.

Winter said Murphy's family was cooperating with the coroner's investigation. He said funeral arrangements have not been announced.

Los Angeles police have opened an investigation into Murphy's death, Officer Norma Eisenman said.

Murphy's publicist, Nicole Perna, said in a statement: "In this time of sadness, the family thanks you for your love and support. It is their wish that you respect their privacy."

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