British actress Natasha Richardson dies at age 45

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Richardson at the UK premiere of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
Image: Khedara Ariyaratne.

British actress Natasha Richardson has died, according to a statement released by a spokesperson. Richardson died after suffering a head injury from a fall, while she was receiving private skiing lessons at a Canadian resort in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. She was 45 years old.

"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," said a spokesperson for Richardson in a statement to the press.

It was reported Tuesday that Richardson was brain dead and had been transported by plane from Sacré-Cœur Hospital in Montreal, Canada to a care facility in New York City in the United States. Despite the fall, which happened on Monday, witnesses say she did not appear to have been seriously injured. Richardson was not wearing a helmet. An hour after the fall and after she returned to her hotel room, Richardson began to feel ill and was taken to a local hospital. She was later transported to Sacré-Coeur Hospital.

Richardson made her movie debut in 1986 when she starred in the motion picture Gothic. In 1988 she was cast as the starring role in the film Patty Hearst. She also co-stared in the films Nell and the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap. She also won a Tony Award in 1998 for her portrayal of Sally Bowles in the acclaimed revival of Cabaret.

Richardson was also known for her cooking, having been a judge on the American television show Top Chef. She has hosted several upscale dinner parties in which she was the cook. Known names to have been part of her dinner parties are Meryl Streep and Laura Linney, among others.

Richardson is survived by her husband, actor Liam Neeson, and her two sons, Daniel Jack age 12 and Micheal Richard Antonio age 13.