RICHARDSON, NATASHA – OBITUARY
Acclaimed actress Natasha Richardson, the wife of actor Liam Neeson and
daughter of acting legend Vanessa Redgrave, died on March 19, 2009 after
sustaining a head injury in a skiing accident; she was 45.
Richardson had been taking a beginner's skiing lesson at the Mont Tremblant ski
resort in Quebec when she fell in what appeared to be a minor mishap; the
actress was reported to be laughing and joking as she walked back to her room
with assistance from her ski instructor. She began to complain of headaches
within an hour of the accident, and was taken to a nearby hospital before being
transferred to Montreal's Sacre Coeur Hospital. Her husband, Liam Neeson, was in
Toronto filming the movie Chloe when he heard of the incident, and rushed to her
side. After being pronounced brain dead in Montreal, Richardson was later
transferred by plane to New York where she was met by family and friends, who
held a vigil at her bedside at Lenox Hill hospital. She was later taken off life
support, and passed away early Wednesday evening.
"the legendary Redgrave acting family"
Richardson, born into the legendary Redgrave acting family, was the eldest
daughter of late Oscar-winning director Tony Richardson (Tom Jones) and
Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave, and the granddaughter of famed actors
Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson. Her aunt was Lynn Redgrave, her uncle
Corin Redgrave, and her sister, Joely Richardson, was also an actress, best
known for her role on the television series Nip/Tuck. Trained primarily for the
stage, Natasha made small appearances in television films before making an
auspicious screen debut as Mary Shelley in Ken Russell's Gothic, the
fascinatingly lurid tale of how Shelley came to write the classic novel
Frankenstein during a nightmarish weekend at Lord Byron's country estate with
her husband, her cousin, and Byron himself. Roles in independent films such as
Patty Hearst (where she played the title character), The Handmaid's Tale, and
The Comfort of Strangers followed in the late '80s and early '90s.
"fell in love and married in 1994"
In 1993, she starred opposite Neeson in the Broadway revival of Anna
Christie, where both received Tony nominations; though neither took home an
award, they fell in love and married in 1994, the same year they also appeared
together in the film Nell opposite Jodie Foster. In 1998, Richardson appeared
onscreen as the mother of identical twins (played by Lindsay Lohan) in the
remake The Parent Trap, and won a Tony award on Broadway as Sally Bowles in the
revival of Cabaret.
Her work in film afterward varied from smaller films like Asylum and Evening (in
which she appeared with her mother) to bigger-budget Hollywood comedies like
Maid in Manhattan and Wild Child, and her theatre career continued to be
impressive, with turns in the original Broadway production of Closer, Ibsen's
The Lady from the Sea, and Tennesee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, where
she played the iconic Blanche DuBois.
"with mother Vanessa"
Most recently, she had appeared with mother Vanessa in a one-night benefit
concert of Sondheim's A Little Night Music, which had prompted rumours of a
potential Broadway run. She also appeared as a guest judge in the most recent
season of reality show Top Chef.
Richardson had two sons with Neeson, her second husband; she was married to
producer Robert Fox from 1990-1993.
Published March 19, 2009
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...with husband Liam Neeson