By now you’ve heard that actress Brittany Murphy died at 32 over the weekend. Even though I ended up seeing a bunch of Brittany Murphy’s post-Clueless films (8 Mile, Uptown Girls, Sin City, Happy Feet), I will always think of the actress as Tai, the awkward skater girl with bad Kool-Aid hair. She was the real clueless one in the movie, and Murphy portrayed her as so lovably, at times pitifully pathetic that my high school basketball teammates and I ended up referencing the character in practice and games: When someone committed a needless foul, missed a pass, or acted generally unaware, the rest of the players on the floor would scream “Tai? Tai????“ at that person, like Elton did when Cher suggested he and Tai should date. (Why would he go with Tai? She lived above Olympic. Don’t you know who his father is?!!!)
So it ends up that most of the things I remember Brittany Murphy saying on-screen come from Clueless. Some gems: “You guyyyys! I’ve never had straight friends before,” “Rollin’ with the homies…[complete with dance],” “I really hate when his you-know-what is crooked [complete with breadstick],” and “These buns? They don’t feel nothin’ like steel.” And, of course, the ultimate high-school-era put-down: “Why should I listen to you anyway? You’re a virgin who can’t drive.” Whoa, that was way harsh, Tai.
I was also kind of obsessed with Murphy’s character Daisy’s commitment to rotisserie chicken in Girl, Interrupted, even though I know there were serious issues at hand and I wasn’t really supposed to enjoy that. Read through today’s gallery of 11 Brittany Murphy roles for a refresher course on her career highlights, then share your favorite memory of the versatile actress in the comments.
R.I.P. Brittany, in the Boogie Wonderland of heaven. We’ll remember you. “I hope not sporadically.”
More on Brittany Murphy’s life and career from EW:
Brittany Murphy remembered by friends and colleagues