Natasha Richardson Dies at Age 45

By Chloe Bunker on March 18, 2009

NEW YORK — Tony Award-winning actress Natasha Richardson was pronounced dead Wednesday at a New York hospital. She was 45.

Richardson, the wife of actor Liam Neeson and a member of the prominent Redgrave acting family, suffered a traumatic brain injury Monday while at the ski resort of Mont Tremblant, located about 75 miles from Montreal.

"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," a family spokesperson said in a statement.

Richardson was taking a private ski lesson when she fell on a beginners trail. She initally appeared fine after the accident, but began feeling ill about an hour after her fall and was transported to a local hospital.

Neeson, 56, was in Toronto filming the movie "Chloe" at the time. He immediately rushed to be by his wife's side.

Richardson was flown Tuesday afternoon from Montreal to Manhattan's Lenox Hill Hospital, where friends and family members gathered for a vigil. She was removed from life support and pronounced dead this afternoon.

Richardson and Neeson married in 1994 and have two sons, Micheal, 13, and Daniel, 12. Their marriage was often referred to as magical and Richardson once told British newspaper The Independent that she and her husband were a perfect compliment to each other.

"We have a joke that I see the glass half full and he sees it half empty," she said. "He's more laid back, happy to see what happens, whereas I'm a doer and I plan ahead. The differences sometimes get in the way but they can be the very things that feed a marriage too."

Richardson is also survived by her mother, actress Vanessa Redgrave, as well as her sister, Joely Richardson, best known for her role on "Nip/Tuck."

Her father, director Tony Richardson, died in 1991.

Over the course of her distinguished 25-year career, Richardson drew praise for her performances on stage, in addition to her television and film work. She won a Tony Award in 1998 for her performance in the musical "Cabaret," and appeared in such films as "Patty Hearst," "The Parent Trap," "Maid in Manhattan" and "Asylum."