Best of 2009

Tributes: The Stars We Lost This Year

From Patrick Swayze to Natasha Richardson, we say goodbye to the smiles and voices who left their mark onscreen and off

BRITTANY MURPHY

Her starmaking turn was as the charmingly goofy Tai in the 1995 comedy Clueless – but Murphy had a striking talent for drama, churning out jaw-dropping performances in Girl, Interrupted (as a suicidal mental patient) and Don't Say a Word. But after reportedly battling the flu, the 32-year-old actress died of cardiac arrest after collapsing on Dec. 20 at her home in Los Angeles. Although Murphy was rumored to have battled anorexia and drugs, her husband Simon Monjack dismissed the talk, telling PEOPLE, "We want to know why we lost our baby."