Natasha Richardson Dies of Brain Injury

By: AP
By: AP

MONTREAL - A spokesman for the family of Natasha Richardson says the actress has died.

Richardson, a gifted and precocious heiress to acting royalty whose career highlights included the film “Patty Hearst” and a Tony-winning performance in a stage revival of “Cabaret,” died after suffering an apparent head injury from a skiing accident. She was 45.

Alan Nierob of Rogers & Cowan said in a statement Wednesday night: “Liam Neeson, his sons, and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha. They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”

On Wednesday, family members gathered at a New York hospital where the Tony Award-winning actress was taken after the fall.

Vanessa Redgrave, Richardson’s mother, arrived in a car with darkened windows and was taken through a garage when she arrived at the Lenox Hill Hospital on Manhattan’s Upper East Side at around 5 p.m. Wednesday. An hour earlier, Richardson’s sister, Joely, arrived alone and was swarmed by the media as she entered through the back of the hospital.

As reporters and photographers waited outside the hospital for word on Richardson’s condition, some passers-by stopped and expressed their sorrow over the turn of events.

One passer-by, Adrienne Cleere, said she was going to light a candle for the actress at a Roman Catholic church near the hospital.

A reporter from the Toronto Star reported seeing a distraught Neeson crouched inside the back of an ambulance Tuesday at Montreal’s Sacre-Coeur hospital as Richardson, wrapped in blankets and with tubes covering her face, was loaded inside. Neeson had immediately left the Toronto set of his upcoming movie, “Chloe,” to be by her side in Montreal, a publicist for the film said.

Later that evening, a somber looking Vanessa Redgrave was seen in photographs walking into Lenox Hill. Two boys, identified in photos as Richardson's sons, Micheal Richard Antonio Neeson and Daniel Jack Neeson, and a young woman identified as niece Daisy Bevan were seen leaving the hospital early Wednesday.

Richardson is the elder daughter of Oscar-winning Redgrave and the late director Tony Richardson. She fell during a private lesson Monday at the famed Mont Tremblant ski resort.


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