But since her star turn in "Just Married," aided by her paparazzi-friendly fling with co-star Kutcher, Murphy has strayed away from neurotic characters. Now a svelte bottle blond, she was most recently seen in the feel-good nanny film "Uptown Girls" with Dakota Fanning and provides the voice for a singing penguin in the upcoming "Happy Feet." (Murphy, who has sung hooks on hip-hop songs under an alias she won't reveal, plans to record an album soon.)
Her slow makeover has been fodder for speculation, with whispers of an eating disorder circulating in the press.
"People ask me about the 'weight' thing," says Murphy, putting finger quotes around the word. "And I say, 'Yeah, I lost 10 pounds of eyebrows!' Those things were so huge!"
She bursts into laughter before quelling the rumors. "An eating disorder is not a part of my life, nor has it ever been," she says. "The only time I ever worried about how an outfit looked was when somebody once told me I had skinny arms and wrote a mean story about it. Then, for about six months, I intentionally covered up my arms because I felt so controlled by that.
Boyfriend in a Box (2005) (announced)
Never Was (2005) (pre-production)
Happy Feet (2006) (filming)
Sin City (2005) (filming)
Little Black Book (2004)
Good Boy! (2003) (voice)
Uptown Girls (2003)
Just Married (2003)
8 Mile (2002)
Riding in Cars with Boys (2001)
Don't Say a Word (2001)
Summer Catch (2001)
Sidewalks of New York (2001)
Audition, The (2000)
Cherry Falls (2000)
Common Ground (2000) (TV)
Girl, Interrupted (1999)
Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)
Devil's Arithmetic, The (1999) (TV)
Falling Sky (1998)
David and Lisa (1998) (TV)
Zack and Reba (1998)
Prophecy II, The (1998)
"Pepper Ann" (1997) TV Series (voice)
"King of the Hill" (1997) TV Series (voice)
Double Jeopardy (1996) (TV)
"Sister, Sister" (1994) TV Series
Family Prayers (1993)
"Almost Home" (1993) TV Series
"Drexell's Class" (1991) TV Series
Birth name: Sharon Murphy
Height: 5' 3"
Born: 10 November 1977, Atlanta, Georgia
In February 2000, she appeared [with Girl, Interrupted (1999) costar Winona Ryder] in "The Vagina Monologues".
During the filming of Girl, Interrupted (1999), the filmakers had to reshoot the scene in which Winona Ryder finds her after she commits suicide, because Winona was too good and Brittany couldn't help crying.
Was set to star in a biopic of Janis Joplin, but the film was grounded over battles for the rights to Joplin's songs. She had won the role over Courtney Love and Emily Watson.
Her favorite music is Jazz, especially Cole Porter. She also likes Björk, Beck and The Rolling Stones.
Made the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine in 2003. That cover shot shows how much her look has changed since becoming an actress. She began her acting career as a slightly rotund brunette and has transformed into a svelte blonde cover girl.
Ranked 32nd on the Maxim Hot 100 in 2003.
In the early 90s she was the lead singer in her band called, Blessed Soul
Her mom, Sharon, is a survivor of breast cancer.
Her date to the high school prom was Jonathan Brandis of "SeaQuest DSV" (1993) fame.
Engaged to talent manager Jeff Kwatinetz. [January 9, 2004]
Presenter for the 61st Golden Globes.
Eric Balfour was a member of her band in the '90s.
Attended the following schools: Verne Fowler School of Dance, Colonia, New Jersey Herbert Hoover School, Edison, New Jersey Valley Professional School, Los Angeles, California John Burroughs High School, Los Angeles, California
One of her first jobs was for a commercial for Skittles.
Sang in the opening act at the 2002 MTV Movie awards.