Yesterday, news of Brittany Murphy's death swept the Internet, leading many of us to gasp and shake our heads over how young she was (32). For the past few years, we had heard less about her Hollywood success and more about her startling weight loss and diva-like behavior. Which is why a good number of us still prefer to think of her as the young, doe-eyed up-and-comer, making her breakout role as Tai in 1995's Clueless. Over the years, she popped up here and there in unconvential romantic comedies and dark dramas that challenged our view of what love is. Below, the big-screen characters we couldn't help falling in love with.
1. Tai in 1995's Clueless
In cult favorite Clueless, Murphy was the new girl in town, both in the plotline and in the public's consciousness. As the "unhip" chick targeted for a makeover by Alicia Silverstone's Cher, we were charmed by her naivete, her raspy voice, and—yes—even her overalls. She found herself unable to capture the heart of Elton (a rich snob who only had eyes for Cher), but Breckin Meyer's Travis, a laid-back skateboarder, immediately saw the beauty in her, even sans makeover. By film's end, Tai initial crush on Travis had returned, making us glad that she was finally trusting her gut. Because when it comes to love, it's always best to go with the one who loves you for who you are.
2. Daisy in 1999's Girl, Interrupted
Murphy's turn as Daisy was definitely one of her darker roles. We were blown away by her portrayal of an obsessive-compulsive residing in a mental institution, addicted to laxatives and living under the thumb of a father who harbors inappropriate feelings for her. Though the film centered around characters played by big names such as Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie, we couldn't help rooting for Daisy as she tried to make life on the outside work for her. In the end, Daisy's life was cut short, and we saw how precarious it can be to rely too much on any man.