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Posted at 8:10 PM ET, 03/18/2009

Natasha Richardson Dead at 45

By Liz Kelly

Richardson in May 2008. (AP)
Gallery: Natasha Richardson

Tony Award-winning actress Natasha Richardson has died at a New York hospital following a tragic skiing accident that hospitalized the actress earlier this week.

The family released this statement:

"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."

Richardson was taken to a Montreal hospital on Monday after complaining of illness following a spill on a beginner's slope at Montreal's Mont Tremblant ski resort.

Richardson is survived by husband Liam Neeson, sons Micheál (13) and Daniel (12), her sister, the actress Joely Richardson, and her mother, actress Vanessa Redgrave.

Share your thoughts below...

More Reading:
Brain Injuries Explained (Newsweek)
Richardson's Filmography (IMDB)
Biography (Wikipedia)
Video: Richardson and Neeson on Eugene O'Neill (YouTube)
Natasha Richardson Fan site

By Liz Kelly  | March 18, 2009; 8:10 PM ET
Categories:  Celebrities  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Who is Rashida Jones?
Next: Family, Fans Mourn Natasha Richardson; Rihanna and Chris Brown Taking a Break?


a terrible tragedy. we've lost a caring, thoughtful, intelligent, beautiful presence in the world. i grieve for her family. absolutely shocking.

Posted by: frieda406 | March 18, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh no! So sad! My thoughts are with Liam and the boys. Do we know what was the ultimate cause?
I'm sure she's drinking hot cocoa somewhere with Sonny Bono. (and I mean that in the nicest, non-snark way).

Posted by: eet7e | March 18, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

This is a very sad and tragic accident. I have had no desire to go skiing at all after Sonny Bono's accident and then while I was in high school on a class trip three years ago a classmate died on the slopes from a tragic fall. I just can't bring myself to go skiing or snowboarding. I do have to note that the accident occurred in MONTREAL not Vancouver as stated above. Mont Tremblant is in Montreal.This sentence doesn't make sense
"Richardson was taken to a Montreal hospital on Monday after complaining of illness following a spill on a beginner's slope at Vancouver's Mont Tremblant ski resort." Vancouver is on the west coast on Canada and Montreal is in Quebec, close to the eastern part of Canada. Please get your facts straight.

Posted by: diasaah | March 18, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

The notice of her death took my break away. I have been following this story since first hearing of it Tuesday nite. What a tragedy! What a loss! For us, for sure, but for her family most of all!

Posted by: kathleen_maher_864 | March 18, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

That's Canadian health care for you. It is a model for Obama's health care plan.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | March 18, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

What a terrible tragedy. I always thought she was such a luminous presence on stage and on the screen.
Condolences and peace to her family.

Posted by: pras40 | March 18, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Liz, did you write this brief little snippet of an article? Mont Tremblant being in QUEBEC, AND NOT VANCOUVER? Sheesh, Liz, how difficult is that to get right, huh? Maybe you were "brain-dead" when you wrote that, huh? No pun intended!

Posted by: arrabbiato | March 18, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Liz-did you write this little snippet of an article? Mont Tremblant is in QUEBEC, LIZ, NOT VANCOUVER! HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT TO GET THAT RIGHT, HUH? I guess you were "brain dead" when you wrote that, huh? No pun intended! Sloppy Sloppy Sloppy Liz!

Posted by: arrabbiato | March 18, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

What a terrible loss, for her family and for all of us. Please resolve---if you fall and hit your head, go straight to an emergency room and get a CatScan. Apparently quicker medical attention might well have saved her. Let's all learn from this. And, let's mourn a truly great and accomplished actress who we will never see again. I am devastated.

Posted by: NotOvertheHill | March 18, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I am very sorry for the tragedy that has befallen this family, so unfairly.

My prayers are with the loved ones.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | March 18, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

What a bizarre and tragic accident.

Posted by: charodon | March 18, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

What a tragic personal loss for Natasha's family, and an artistic loss for admirers of her acting. Peace and comfort to her family at this most difficult of times.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | March 18, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

This is such horrible news...I feel awful for Mr. Neeson and his two sons. I can't believe something like this happened to such good people.

Posted by: profyle424 | March 18, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

That's Canadian health care for you. It is a model for Obama's health care plan.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | March 18, 2009 9:15 PM

Her death had nothing to do with the Canadian health care system. It had to with her not wearing a helmet and her refusal of immediate medical attention, which may have saved her life.

R.I.P. Natasha. My condolences to her family.

Posted by: lostcyclist | March 18, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Our deepest sympathies to Natasha's family & close friends. At the very least, please get your facts STRAIGHT - if she was 'taken to a Montreal hospital on Monday after complaining of illness following a spill on a beginner's slope at Vancouver's Mont Tremblant ski resort.' Hello? If she was skiing in Vermont, would they have brought her to Los Angeles? Do your high-school geography, PLEASE!!!!

Posted by: wrightsecurityinc | March 18, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Condolences to Liam Neeson, their two sons, and the extended Redgrave/Richard families. Ms. Richardson was always a pleasure to watch, off stage or on.

Whatever to all the other stuff. Such a way to celebrate Ms. Richardson's life.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | March 18, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Geez people chill out! Someone dies tragically leaving behind young children, and after a cursory "sorry for their loss" you spend the majority of your post screeching about a mistake in the copy? I understand one person pointing it out, but what's with the pile on?

Posted by: HollywoodGirl | March 18, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Editor's note: Mont Tremblant is north of Montreal. The post has been corrected.

Posted by: Nancy_Kerr | March 18, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

First of all, eet7e, if Natasha has anything to say about it, it's not hot chocolate with Sonny Bono but some ice cold vodka with Anton Checkov.

Second, according to the experts I've read, depending on the nature of the injury, there may not have been anything anyone could have done. Sometimes, head injuries are so serious, that once the symptoms present themselves, it's too late.

Third, let's celebrate her remarkable, accomplished life. She was married to Liam Neeson, for goodness sakes. That's pretty close to heavenly right there. And they had two lovely sons.

She also set a high standard for acting and brought to life so many interesting and complex characters. Actors will be studying her for years.

Posted by: mdreader01 | March 18, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

What a tragic loss; for the acting profession, of course, but right now my thoughts are with her mother (no parent should see their child die before them), her husband, and her two young sons.

Posted by: nebuly | March 19, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

I am so deeply saddened by the death of this beautiful, beautiful woman. My deepest condolences to her husband, her sons, her Mother, her sister, her aunt, her uncle, the whole family. And, too all of us who have known the sudden devastating loss of our own beautiful ones.

Posted by: cms1 | March 19, 2009 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Why they keep reporting her as a blond? No real blonds have dark eyebrows.

Posted by: Mickey2 | March 19, 2009 2:03 AM | Report abuse

What a terrible, stupid thing. How many of us have fallen down on the snow, gotten up, and proceeded with life, none the worse. The banality of it all. Proof yet again that no one is immune from having a seemingly wonderful life and loving relationship suddenly ruptured irretrievably. It makes me both angry and sad. Life can be so incredibly cruel at times. Who knows why. I sure as hell don't.

Posted by: free9604 | March 19, 2009 4:42 AM | Report abuse

What a terrible thoughts go out to her friends and family.

Posted by: Bawlmer51 | March 19, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

"First of all, eet7e, if Natasha has anything to say about it, it's not hot chocolate with Sonny Bono but some ice cold vodka with Anton Checkov."

She and I have that in common.

Posted by: eet7e | March 19, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Apparently Natasha had 3 children from her previous marriage, why are they not being mentioned in any coverage?

Posted by: cheekymonkey | March 19, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Wear a helmet people. It is that simple.

I can hardly believe this has happened. My thoughts and prayers to her friends and family, especially her husband and sons.

Posted by: chocolatetiara | March 19, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Prayers to the family. I hope they find strength in each other during these difficult times that lay ahead of them.

IMDB makes no mention of any other children. And one article I read said her ex husband was among the family and friends at the hospital in NYC. I would think if they had had children together they would have been with him.

Posted by: Vienna8425 | March 19, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

"Wear a helmet people. It is that simple."

Actually, it's not that simple. If you intend to capitalize on a tragedy to push your favorite safety button, at least have the good grace to research your advice.

Despite the increase in helmet use over the past several years, the fatality rate in skiing has remained constant.

“Helmets are not going to prevent you from having a fatality,” according to Dave Byrd, director of education and risk for the National Ski Areas Association. “What they are going to prevent is the lower-end scale of injuries, such as lacerations to the scalp or mild concussions.”

A helmet is a great idea. It may or may not have made a difference in Richardson's case.

Posted by: anonfornow | March 19, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

As someone who had a minor head injury from skiing a month ago and luckily had no further complications - WEAR A HELMET! I thought I didn't need to because I was a beginner skiier, on the easy green slopes just like Natasha. Doesn't matter how slow I was going when a snowboarder crashed into me from behind and knocked me to the ground. It doesn't take much. And with a head injury its only luck that prevented me from ending up like Natasha. I am truly mourning for her family.

Posted by: sjcpeach | March 19, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I was hoping and hoping that the news of Natasha being brain-dead were false and that she would pull through. This is such a tragedy. My condelences to her husband, sons, family and friends. I hope you all come together and sooner than later remember the wonderful times you had with Natasha. And to the rest of us, let take this as life lesson. Nobody knows tomorrow. And PLEASE, if you ever hurt your head, seek medical attention. Better safe than sorry. God bless your soul Natasha. R.I.P.

Posted by: linda1413 | March 19, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

In "Love Actually," Liam plays a man who recently lost his gorgeous wife in the prime of her life and he is left to raise a son alone. The funeral scene that starts that movie is very sad. The whole thing is eerily and tragically imitating art.

Posted by: conchfc | March 19, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Sad, sad news. My deepest sympathies to her loved ones. I will definitely be thinking of her next week when I go to the slopes. Please people, don't let freak tragic accidents rob you of living life. Natasha would probably tell you that.

Posted by: hodie | March 19, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking of that, too, Conchfc. He was heartbreaking in that role, and it is so sad that it is now his life.

My husband is alive only because of a helmet. The ski patrol found him with a concussion and deep dent in the helmet - the doctor told him that he wouldn't have survived a direct hit like that.

Posted by: kirstenpaulson | March 19, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Folks, Bitter _Bill is a horse's rectum who defecates his right wingnut ideology over most of the political comments sections. Be glad that he doesn't come here often. It's a lot easier to clean up snark than it is to clean up what Bitter_Bill spews.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | March 19, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Folks, a helmet may not save your life in some accident scenarios, but you are protected far better than if you are unprotected. If you're engaged in an activity where there is a possibility for a crash onto a hard surface, wear a helmet. Both Ms Snatchquatch's head and my head have been saved from trauma because we were wearing helmets when we crashed our bikes.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | March 19, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Tragic...although this quote by Ms. Richardson describing her reason for playing a role in a film from another article on WAPO strikes me as odd "saw the character as desperate, perhaps a future drug addict or someone who "moves to England in the end and has a desperately boring middle-class existence, which is a kind of death in itself." Desperately boring "middle-class existence--a dealth in itself?" Interesting concept.

At any rate, my heart goes out to Ms. Richardson's family, especially her two young boys and her must be very difficult dealing with such a sudden loss. From all that I've heard and read so far, she must have been a really good person at heart. RIP Natasha...

Posted by: Beingsensible | March 19, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

That's Canadian health care for you. It is a model for Obama's health care plan.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill
Bitter Bill, it always circles right back to Obama for you are a sad case, two young boys lost their mother in the prime of her life, and the best you can come up with is it's Obama's fault. You must be a really misserable person.

Posted by: Beingsensible | March 19, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

May the family of Natasha Richardson find peace and solace at this sad, sad time.

May we give them the privacy to grieve.

And may people keep civil tongues. Every snipe at any element of this situation can be like an arrow through their hearts.

Posted by: cfow1 | March 19, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Beingsensible--the character of Sally Bowles in Cabaret, to whom Ms. Richardson was referring, would indeed suffer a death-like fate as a middle class suburban housewife. This is not a disparaging comment on the middle-class, suburbs, or housewives in general, but rather a comment on wild child Sally.

Posted by: jelo | March 19, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

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