Thread: Bad news overheard on the radio about Natasha Richardson

BigDaveOnBass - 3/17/2009 at 09:22 PM

Natasha Richardson is in grave condition, from a head injury sustained snow skiing. Radio reports state she is brain dead.

MONTREAL Actress Natasha Richardson, critically injured in a skiing accident, was on a flight to the United States, Britain's Press Association news agency said Tuesday, quoting Sacre-Coeur Hospital.

The report didn't say where in the U.S. the flight was headed.

"According to the family's press agent, the lady has left Canada around 12:30 today," said Michelle Simard of the Sacre-Coeur hospital in a recorded message. "We have no information on Ms. Richardson's health condition, but the family should give more information by tomorrow."

Richardson was hospitalized after falling during a private lesson on a beginners trail at the famed Mont Tremblant ski resort Monday. reported that the Tony Award-winning actress and wife of Liam Neeson suffered a head injury.

Richardson, 45, is the elder daughter of Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave and the late director Tony Richardson, and belongs to a British acting dynasty.

"We know that she has had an accident but we really do not know any more details," said Kika Markham, who is married to Richardson's uncle, Corin Redgrave. "We are very concerned."

Mont Tremblant said Richardson fell on a beginners trail and later reported not feeling well.

"She did not show any visible sign of injury but the ski patrol followed strict procedures and brought her back to the bottom of the slope and insisted she should see a doctor," said a statement from the resort, which is about 80 miles northwest of Montreal.

The ski resort said the instructor and a ski patrol accompanied Richardson to her hotel, where they again recommended she should be seen by a doctor.

Mont Tremblant spokeswoman Catherine Lacasse said Richardson said she was fine at first.

"An hour later she said she didn't feel well. She had a headache, so we sent her to the hospital," Lacasse said. "There were no signs of impact and no blood, nothing."

An ambulance was called and Richardson was brought to the Centre Hospitalier Laurentien in Ste-Agathe and was later transferred to Hopital du Sacre-Coeur in Montreal.

Producers confirmed that Richardson's husband, Liam Neeson, immediately left the Toronto set of his upcoming movie, "Chloe," for Montreal, a publicist for the film said in an e-mail.

Richardson's films include "Gothic," "A Month in the Country," "Nell" in which she appeared with her future husband "The Parent Trap" and "Maid in Manhattan."

Trained at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, Richardson has had extensive stage experience in the West End and Broadway. She won a Tony Award in 1998 for playing Sally Bowles in "Cabaret."

Her maternal grandparents were the actors Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, and her uncle Corin and aunt Lynn Redgrave are also both actors. Sister Joely Richardson is also an actress, best known for starring in the TV series "Nip/Tuck."

In January, Richardson and her mother played the roles of mother and daughter in a one-night benefit concert version of "A Little Night Music," the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical, at Studio 54 in New York.

She married Neeson in 1994, and the couple have two sons.

lonomon - 3/17/2009 at 11:38 PM

I saw this earlier. Not good.

I always liked her.

nypeachhead - 3/17/2009 at 11:42 PM

prayers go out to her. Hopefully its not as bad as they say.

BigDaveOnBass - 3/17/2009 at 11:45 PM

Not looking good Dave. This is just terrible. wn-home-die-family-skiing-accident.html

hughduty - 3/18/2009 at 12:06 AM

Sending prayers her way...been following the story today...very sad.

pops42 - 3/18/2009 at 12:38 AM

Really sad her walking away from the accident, and denying treatment, kind of brings to mind Berry Oakleys accident.

lolasdeb - 3/18/2009 at 12:49 AM

Briefly heard about this on morning news while getting ready for work. Terrible. Hope things work out here and she recovers.

dougrhon - 3/18/2009 at 05:14 PM

This happened on a bunny hill. Skiing is dangerous. Yes it is exactly what happened to Berry. I don't know whether she could have been saved had she been hospitalized immediately. Word is that berry could not have been saved in any event. Unbelievable the things that happen. "You don't need no gypsy to tell you why..."

michaelsio - 3/18/2009 at 05:18 PM

That's really sad. Praying for her family and friends.

BarrySmith - 3/18/2009 at 05:29 PM

I have never in my life tried skiing. (The closest I got to doing so was hanging out on a Hunter Mountain ski slope in the middle of the summertime watching Mule!)
Anyways, I've seen those ski slopes and they look mighty scary to me. With news such like this and how other people like Sonny Bono died, I figure I might never invest in a pair of skiis anytime soon.

mulehead13 - 3/18/2009 at 05:40 PM

I have skied for 30 of my 39 years on this planet. Skiing is less dangerous than getting in your car everyday. I do not wear a helmet and I ski steep, fast slopes.

Accidents like this happen and are unfortunate.

I am investing in a helmet in the offseason because of this. I do not want that 1 time I fall hard to be it.

rottinpeach - 3/18/2009 at 05:45 PM

Prayers out to her family. I know that bed side stuff is tough on them.

KenSkiItAll - 3/18/2009 at 06:10 PM

I've been a skier since 1987 , been wearing a helmet since 1998. I took a nice fall a couple of weeks ago and last week was on the lift with an aquaintence and he mentions how he fell in nearly an identical way that I did. When I fell I crashed the side of my helmeted head into the hardpack snow ( this is NY so think closer to ice ) and as I slid to a stop I was glad I had a helmet on , dusted myself off and continued to enjoy a few more runs. My friend Does Not wear a helmet and he said he thought he might have given himself a mild concussion ( he quit for the day after his crash ) . This is an unscientific example , but I feel it's a pretty good example of what your head feels like after crashing with a helmet or crashing helmetless. This does not mean a helmet will save your noggin in any crash. I mean if I'm skiing all out fast and lose it and crash my head into a tree at 40MPH there's not a lot that can be done. But in this day & age it makes no sense NOT to wear a helmet. You usually need to wear a hat to keep your head warm and the nice thing about ski helmets is that they all have some kind of ventalition system so you are proabbly more comfortable with a helmet as opposed to a hat. From a purely eye ball observation I would say 4 out of 5 people who ski at Hunter on a regular basis wear helmets at this time.

sixty8 - 3/18/2009 at 07:15 PM

Very sad. Prayers to her family and friends.

pops42 - 3/18/2009 at 07:33 PM

This happened on a bunny hill. Skiing is dangerous. Yes it is exactly what happened to Berry. I don't know whether she could have been saved had she been hospitalized immediately. Word is that berry could not have been saved in any event. Unbelievable the things that happen. "You don't need no gypsy to tell you why..."
Doctors have a brutal term for this condition, its called "talk and die". the victim appears fine after the accident and talks and acts normal, however they are bleeding inside their skull, pressure builds up and destroys their brain. who knows if she could have been saved with emergency brain surgery?, medical science has come a long way since Berrys accident.

nitelite51 - 3/18/2009 at 07:37 PM

Very sad. I didn't go downhill skiing until I was 30 or 31 - I was with an instructor creaking my way down a bunny slope watching 5 and 6 year olds whizzing by me like Olympians, and I realized that this sport had passed me by. Never did it again, though I've been cross-country skiing several times since. Always liked her work and Liam Neeson is one of my favorites. Two young kids...damn.

greggswoman - 3/18/2009 at 08:08 PM

Oh no. Prayers to her and her family.

BigDaveOnBass - 3/18/2009 at 08:13 PM

I grew up in butthole deep snow but didn't learn how to snow ski until I was living in the south. I love it now, and I have had a few spills. I remember banging my head on the icy ground one time hard enough to make me see stars. But I can take a shot to the head as I am pretty thick skulled. That, or there is a fair amount of air between my skull and brain.

But I sure hate to hear about this with Ms. Richardson. They are keeping pretty tight lipped about her actual condition, which worries me that she may actually be on life support and they are just giving the family time to say their goodbyes before turning it off, and that, to me, has to be the most gut wrenching things any family can go through. Bless their hearts...

nypeachhead - 3/18/2009 at 10:19 PM

Life is short folks, hug a loved one.

My heart goes out to the family. Just terrible.

rainy - 3/18/2009 at 10:48 PM

I was so sorry to hear about this tragedy.... I use to ski many years ago , had a few falls.. the last time I fell , we were skiing at night back in the 70's and it was so cold... when I fell ..all skiers were going so fast by me... that scared me so much that I never went back..the risks out weighed the pleasure... for me...

nypeachhead has it right... Life is short, hug a loved one...

Prayers to Natasha and family

nypeachhead - 3/19/2009 at 12:02 AM

MSNBC is reporting she has died. So tragic.


lolasdeb - 3/19/2009 at 12:31 AM

Just heard that Natasha Richardson died from these injuries. What a terrible tragedy. Thoughts and prayers going out to her family and friends, especially her 2 sons who must be missing their mother terribly right now.

BigDaveOnBass - 3/19/2009 at 12:59 AM

R.I.P Ms. Richardson. What talent. What beauty. What a tragedy.

sixty8 - 3/19/2009 at 01:14 AM

Very, very sad. Condolences to her family and friends.

Bessie.Smith - 3/19/2009 at 01:15 AM


playallnite - 3/19/2009 at 01:46 AM

RIP Natasha, kinda similar to Berry's death , ok right afterwards, and then...

moejimbo - 3/19/2009 at 01:48 AM

R.I.P. Natasha
Having a daughter who was about 10 years old
when "Parent Trap" came out, I must have seen that
movie about 50 times counting video.
Prayers to her Family and Friends.

stormyrider - 3/19/2009 at 02:16 AM

RIP Natasha

I'm a fairly aggressive skier - been wearing a ski helmet for a few years - now I have to convince my wife to get one too.

Unfortunately, after thinking about Natasha, her family, and my wife, I thought immedeately about Berry.

[Edited on 3/19/2009 by stormyrider]

rainy - 3/19/2009 at 02:31 AM

RIP Natasha

I'm a fairly aggressive skier - been wearing a ski helmet for a few years - now I have to convince my wife to get one too.

Unfortunately, after thinking about Natasha, her family, and my wife, I thought immedeately about Berry.

[Edited on 3/19/2009 by stormyrider]

RIP Natsaha.....

I thought the same thing about Berry...

brofan - 3/19/2009 at 02:36 AM

What a damn shame. Prayers go out to her family.

I too have pushed the envelope while skiing in my younger days....broke every pair of skis I ever owned, some after a few epic crashes and always walked away without a scratch, even landed on my head after trying some crazy trick with "seemingly" no ill effects....although I did have a few very sore ribs when I hit a patch of ice at Jackson Hole and hit that tree sideways.

Surprisingly most serious injuries occur on the less challenging slopes and involve collisions.

No1ToRunWith - 3/19/2009 at 02:37 AM

According to E! the husband Liam was told she was 100% brain dead and he stopped the life support. Such a tragedy

lonomon - 3/19/2009 at 02:49 AM

This is such a shame.

I feel very sorry for the family.

R.I.P. now

emr - 3/19/2009 at 02:51 AM

Life is truly so fragile. All of us have had the half inch/one second later rescue on more than one occassion

R.I.P. Natasha. As she sang in Cabaret

"Start by admitting, from cradle to tomb. It isn't that long a stay"

atlbarb - 3/19/2009 at 03:39 AM

What a tragedy. Natasha was a part of the greatest acting family ever. I am so sorry for her family and friends and especially the children. So sad.

Angelemerald - 3/19/2009 at 06:18 AM

I'd like to take some bandwidth to post this mini retrospective of her life. Here is one quote by her I like a lot: Interviewed by The Associated Press in 2001, Natasha Richardson said she related well to her family if only because, "We've all been through it in one way or another and so we've had to be strong. Also we embrace life. We are not cynical about life."

Natasha Richardson dies after fall on ski slope
By HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer Hillel Italie, Ap National Writer 1 hr 58 mins ago

NEW YORK Natasha 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 Wednesday at age 45 after suffering a head injury during a beginners' ski lesson.

Alan Nierob, the Los Angeles-based publicist for Richardson's husband Liam Neeson, confirmed her death in a written statement.

"Liam Neeson, his sons (Micheal, 13, and 12-year-old Daniel), and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha," the statement said. "They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time."

The statement did not give details on the cause of death for Richardson, who suffered a head injury and fell on a beginner's trail during a private ski lesson at the luxury Mont Tremblant ski resort in Quebec. Seemingly fine after the fall, about an hour later she complained that she didn't feel well.

She was hospitalized Tuesday in Montreal and later flown to a hospital in New York, where family members had been seen coming and going.

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 about 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.

It was a sudden and horrifying loss for her family and friends, for the film and theater communities, for her many fans and for both her native and adoptive countries. Descended from at least three generations of actors, Richardson was a proper Londoner who came to love the noise of New York, an elegant blonde with large, lively eyes, a bright smile and a hearty laugh.

If she never quite attained the acting heights of her Academy Award-winning mother, she still had enjoyed a long and worthy career. As an actress, Richardson was equally adept at passion and restraint, able to portray besieged women both confessional (Tennessee Williams' Blanche DuBois) and confined (the concubine in the futuristic horror of "The Handmaid's Tale").

Like other family members, she divided her time between stage and screen. On Broadway, she won a Tony for her performance as Sally Bowles in a 1998 revival of "Cabaret." She also appeared in New York in a production of Patrick Marber's "Closer" (1999) as well as 2005 revival of Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire," in which she played Blanche opposite John C. Reilly's Stanley Kowalski.

She met Neeson when they made their Broadway debuts in 1993, co-starring in "Anna Christie," Eugene O'Neill's drama about a former prostitute and the sailor who falls in love with her.

"The astonishing Natasha Richardson ... gives what may prove to be the performance of the season as Anna, turning a heroine who has long been portrayed (and reviled) as a whore with a heart of gold into a tough, ruthlessly unsentimental apostle of O'Neill's tragic understanding of life," The New York Times critic Frank Rich wrote. "Miss Richardson, seeming more like a youthful incarnation of her mother, Vanessa Redgrave, than she has before, is riveting from her first entrance through a saloon doorway's ethereal shaft of golden light."

Her most notable film roles came earlier in her career. Richardson played the title character in Paul Schrader's "Patty Hearst," a 1988 biopic about the kidnapped heiress for which the actress became so immersed that even between scenes she wore a blindfold, the better to identify with her real-life counterpart.

"Natasha Richardson ... has been handed a big unwritten role; she feels her way into it, and she fills it," wrote The New Yorker's Pauline Kael. "We feel how alone and paralyzed Patty is she retreats into being a hidden observer."

Richardson was directed again by Schrader in a 1990 adaptation of Ian McEwan's "The Comfort of Strangers" and, also in 1990, starred in the screen version of Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale."

She later co-starred with Neeson in "Nell," with Mia Farrow in "Widow's Peak" and with a pre-teen Lindsay Lohan in a remake of "The Parent Trap." More recent movies, none of them widely seen, included "Wild Child," "Evening" and "Asylum."

She was born in London in 1963, the performing gene inherited not just from her parents (Vanessa Redgrave and director Tony Richardson), but from her maternal grandparents (Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson), an aunt (Lynn Redgrave) and an uncle (Corin Redgrave). Her younger sister, Joely Richardson, also joined the family business.

Friends and family members remembered Natasha as an unusually poised child, perhaps forced to grow up early when her father left her mother in the late '60s for Jeanne Moreau. (Tony Richardson died in 1991).

Interviewed by The Associated Press in 2001, Natasha Richardson said she related well to her family if only because, "We've all been through it in one way or another and so we've had to be strong. Also we embrace life. We are not cynical about life."

Richardson always planned to act, apart from one brief childhood moment when she wanted to be a flight attendant "wonderful irony now since I hate to fly and have to take a pill in order to get on a plane. I'm so terrified."

Her screen debut came at age 4 when she appeared as a flower girl in "The Charge of the Light Brigade," directed by her father, whose movies included "Tom Jones" and "The Entertainer." The show business wand had already tapped her the year before, when she saw her mother in the 1967 film version of the Broadway show "Camelot."

"She was so beautiful. I still look at that movie and I can't believe it. It still makes me cry, the beauty of it. I could go on and on in that white fur hooded thing, when she comes through the forest for the first time. You've never seen anything so beautiful!" Richardson said.

She studied at London's Central School of Speech and Drama and was an experienced stage actress by her early 20s, appearing in "On the Razzle," "Charley's Aunt" and "The Seagull," for which the London Drama Critics awarded her most promising newcomer.

Although she never shared her mother's fiercely expressed political views, they were close professionally and acted together, most recently on Broadway to play the roles of mother and daughter in a one-night benefit concert version of "A Little Night Music," the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical.

Before meeting up with Neeson (who called her "Tash") Richardson was married to theater and producer Robert Fox, whose credits include the 1985 staging of "The Seagull" in which his future wife appeared.

She sometimes remarked on the differences between her and her second husband she from a theatrical dynasty and he from a working-class background in Northern Ireland.

"He's more laid back, happy to see what happens, whereas I'm a doer and I plan ahead," Richardson told The Independent on Sunday newspaper in 2003. "The differences sometimes get in the way but they can be the very things that feed a marriage, too."

She once said that Neeson's serious injury in a 2000 motorcycle accident he suffered a crushed pelvis after colliding with a deer in upstate New York had made her really appreciate life.

"I wake up every morning feeling lucky which is driven by fear, no doubt, since I know it could all go away," she told The Daily Telegraph newspaper in 2003.


Associated Press Writer Jill Lawless in London and Drama Writer Michael Kuchwara in New York contributed to this report. nt

les_paul_sunburst - 3/19/2009 at 08:20 AM

Thank you for the writeup Angelemerald.

It was impossible for me not to think of Berry. The situations are so tragically similiar...

RIP Natasha Richardson

susea - 3/19/2009 at 10:15 AM

Terrible tragedy and loss... RIP Natasha!

Prayers and comfort to all her loved ones.

[Edited on 3/19/2009 by susea]

HeathO96001 - 3/19/2009 at 10:46 AM

Very sad news. Prayers for her family and friends. RIP Natasha Richardson

michaelsio - 3/19/2009 at 11:03 AM

I heard on the radio last night that she died. Very sorry. R.I.P.

ecosense - 3/19/2009 at 12:00 PM

RIP Natasha............
this is SO SAD and tragic. Prayers and love going out to her family and friends and all who love her.

CindyE - 3/19/2009 at 03:08 PM

So sad that she is gone. Saw an interview with Liam and Natasha one time. They left such an impression on me because they seemed so happy together.

KenSkiItAll - 3/19/2009 at 03:17 PM

This is Tragic. I was reading an article about "Talk & Die Syndrome" in regards to this incident. Seems like the most likely scenario

Eileen1 - 3/19/2009 at 04:49 PM

Awful news Prayers to all of the family........

rottinpeach - 3/19/2009 at 06:30 PM

Life is short folks, hug a loved one.

My heart goes out to the family. Just terrible.

Good advice, you just never know. Prayers being sent out to her family. Very sad.

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