Brittany Murphy spent years denying eating disorder allegations but even she worried about her scarily low weight in the weeks leading up to her death.
"I am a bit thinner now than what I would like to be," Murphy, 32, admitted to Fox News' Pop Tarts at an event December 3. Then: "I was a ballerina for a long time. I still take ballet lessons now - what it does to your body is incredible."
Murphy's big break came in 1995 when she starred in 'Clueless' as Tai and looked, refreshingly, like someone who didn't fit the Hollywood mold into which she'd later shove herself. As her career took off her weight plummeted while her chest was bigger than ever, she dyed her hair blonde, capped her teeth and appeared to have had plastic surgery although she repeatedly denied having been under the knife. As she brushed off persistent rumors that her ever-shrinking form was the result of an eating disorder.
"I'm the same size I was in Clueless; it's just that the weight in your face changes as you grow and get older," she said. "This is my body. I'm proud of it ... I'm healthy."
The photos below show that Murphy became thinner, dramatically so, as she tried to find her place in Hollywood. 'Clueless' director Amy Heckerling told blogger Scott Feinberg:
"Maybe she felt like she was not the, like, skinny, pretty girl, you know? And then the next few movies she was, you know, thinner, blonde, you know, at MTV Awards and all sorts of things like that, and going out with Eminem and Ashton Kutcher, and, you know, suddenly got more into that whole glamorous scene... I think she felt the pressure to become a different sort of commodity to survive in show business, and I think it was awful."
Murphy's mother told paramedics that her daughter suffered from diabetes. If true, this could have played into any body image problems as many young female diabetics use the dangerous practice of skipping insulin injections to control their weight.
While Murphy repeatedly denied the drug allegations that plagued her career, those around her paint a different picture. "She had too many drugs and too little food," one of her makeup artists told the Daily Beast.
Murphy was looking more frail than ever at her last public appearance. Nutritional deprivation, especially coupled with vomiting, which Murphy was experiencing at the time of her death, can result in potassium levels low enough to cause cardiac arrest.
An autopsy will soon determine which of these factors contributed to Murphy's fatal heart attack.