Natasha Richardson dead after ski accident
Neeson, sons and family devastated
NEW YORK — Actress Natasha Richardson has died, IrishCentral has learned exclusively.
The family of the Tony-winning actress with at her bedside at a New York hospital when she passed away this afternoon. She was 45.
Richardson, the wife of Irish superstar Liam Neeson, suffered a "traumatic head injury" after a skiing accident in the Quebec resort of Mont Tremblan.
Neeson, who was filming in Toronto at the time, flew to Montreal to be with her until she was transfered to New York.
Neeson himself was almost killed in a motorcycle accident in 2000. He was riding his bike in upstate New York when a deer ran in front of the bike, causing a terrible collision. Neeson suffered a broken pelvis, broken heel and a number of abrasions from the accident, and spent months undergoing grueling physical therapy.
A spokeswoman for the ski resort issued a statement yesterday which said "Ms Richardson fell during a ski lesson but she didn't show any signs of injury. The ski patrol looked at her and reported that she was laughing and joking.
"'They told her to see someone but she insisted that she was fine and just wanted to go back to her room. The instructor and two members of the patrol accompanied her to her hotel room.
""She refused to see anyone and signed a paper saying she didn't want to see a doctor.
"After an hour or so she said she had a headache, then they called 911.
"She was not wearing a helmet. The law in Quebec does not require it but we always suggest it but cannot impose it," the ski resort said.
Sources told IrishCentral.com that Richardson, who was set to co-star with her mother, Vanessa Redgrave, in a Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music," had suffered a "traumatic head injury."
“Liam Neeson left the Toronto set immediately ...upon news of his wife’s accident,” the rep said in a statement. “We do not have any details at this time but we hope for the best and our thoughts and prayers are with Natasha and Liam and their family.”
Richardson was transferred to Hopital du Sacre-Coeur de Montreal at about 5 p.m. after initially being taken to entre Hospitalier Laurentien, which is close to the exclusive Mont Tremblant ski resort in Quebec.
People.com reported: "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."
Neeson and Richardson, who have been married since 1994, have two sons, Micheal Richard Antonio, 13, and Daniel Jack, 12.
Richardson made her feature film debut as Mary Shelley in Ken Russell's "Gothic" (1986). Her performance caught the attention of director Paul Schrader, who cast her in the title role in "Patty Hearst" (1988).
Since then, Ms. Richardson has achieved notable success in such films as Pat O'Connor's "A Month in the Country" (1987), Roland Joffé's "Fat Man and Little Boy" (1989) and "The Favour, the Watch and the Very Big Fish" (1991), featuring Bob Hoskins and Jeff Goldblum.
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