updated 12/21/2009 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 12/21/2009 AT 10:40 AM ET
Actress Kathy Najimy, who worked with Brittany Murphy on the Fox animated series King of the Hill, made the following statement (printed verbatim) to PEOPLE about her friend, who died of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles Dec. 20:
Brittany Murphy was like no other. A bright light. Never a mean or judgmental word, wildly fun, silly, loyal friend. Sweet, funny, smart, unbelievably talented actress and singer. Brilliant, moving body of work. I was lucky enough to know, love and work with her for 15 years. Love to her family and the many many people who adored her and were touched by her. We hope that in honor of her life and in the reflection of her glorious light, the pressures that girls and women face, will fade. Her spirit still soars.