Simon Monjack, husband of Brittany Murphy, dies of heart attack

British scriptwriter, whose actor wife died five months ago, dies aged 39 at home in Los Angeles

The British scriptwriter husband of the actor Brittany Murphy, who died five months ago, has also died at his home in Los Angeles, of a suspected heart attack.

Murphy's mother, Sharon, who lived with the couple, apparently called emergency services yesterday evening after finding Simon Monjack unconscious in the bedroom of his home. However, resuscitation efforts failed and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Monjack died of natural causes, according to Los Angeles police. "We concluded there no signs of foul play or any criminal activity involved," said Alex Ortiz, a spokesman. Firefighters responded to an emergency call from a woman at 9.40pm on Sunday and found the 39-year-old dead at the Hollywood Hills residence. Ortiz added that the Los Angeles coroner's office would now take over the investigation.

Monjack's biggest success was with the film Factory Girl, the story of socialite Edie Sedgwick and her friendship with Andy Warhol, which starred Sienna Miller. He also wrote and directed Two Days, Nine Lives, a 2001 drama starring Luke Goss.

At Murphy's funeral in December, a visibly emotional Monjack talked about his relationship with her, calling her his best friend and soulmate. The couple married in 2007 and Monjack talked of their plans to start a family, adding that they had been contemplating a move to New York.

Monjack had previously told of his cardiac trouble, telling one interviewer after his wife's death: "I suffer from seizures. I had a heart attack coming back from Puerto Rico last year."

Murphy, 32, died of pneumonia, complicated by an iron deficiency, anaemia and "multiple drug intoxication". The coroner's report said that the medications found in her system were consistent with treatment of a cold or respiratory infection. An autopsy found no evidence of drug abuse.


Catherine Shoard and agencies

The GuardianTramp

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