\"Natasha

Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson Photo by: PA

Family and friends bid final farewell to beloved Natasha

\"Natasha

Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson Photo by: PA

View the beautiful photos in our Natasha Richardson gallery

Leave your thoughts on Liam and Natasha in our Tributes forum

IrishCentral.com's own Father Tim on loss and death

Natasha Richardson’s family and close friends said farewell to the beautiful and talented actress, wife, mother, daughter and sister today at a small, private funeral service in upstate New York.

It has been almost a week since Richardson’s tragic accident on a Montreal ski slope on Monday, March 16.
 
Her funeral service took place at 2 p.m. today at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, close to the Millbrook, N.Y. home Richardson shared with her husband, Liam Neeson, and their two sons, Michael, 13, and Daniel, 12.
 
Along with Neeson and the children, Richardson's mother, Vanessa Redgrave, sister, Joely Richardson, and fellow actors Ralph Fiennes, Laura Linney and Alan Rickman all attended the funeral.
 
Richardson, who was 45, was laid to rest in the nearby St. Peter's cemetery. Her casket was emblazoned with the Irish claddagh symbol, which stands for love, loyalty and friendship.
 
Family craft
The eldest daughter of Vanessa Redgrave and the late Tony Richardson, the niece of Lynn Redgrave and Corin Redgrave, and granddaughter of the legendary Michael Redgrave, and sister of Joely Richardson, she pursued the family craft with distinction.
 
She made her film debut in 1968 at the age of 4, in “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” which was directed by her father.
 
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.

For her performance in Volker Schlöndorff's "The Handmaid's Tale" (1990) and Schrader's "The Comfort of Strangers" (1990), Richardson earned The London Evening Standard Award for Best Actress of 1990; and for "Widows' Peak" (1994), also starring Mia Farrow and Joan Plowright, she received the Best Actress Award at the 1994 Karlovy Vary Festival.

In 1995 she co-starred with Jodie Foster and Liam Neeson in "Nell" (1994) and, in 1998, in "The Parent Trap" (1998) with Dennis Quaid. Her recent films include "Blow Dry" (2001) released in 2001, and Ethan Hawke's "Chelsea Walls" (2001).

Trained at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, Richardson has performed extensively on stage in roles including Helena in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and Ophelia in "Hamlet" at the Young Vic.

In 1986 she garnered the London Drama Critics' Most Promising Newcomer Award for her performance as Nina in "The Seagull", with Vanessa Redgrave and Jonathan Pryce. In 1987 she played Tracey Lord in Richard Eyre's musical "High Society".

She performed the title role of "Anna Christie", first in London, where she was voted London Drama Critics' Best Actress Award in 1992, then on Broadway at the Roundabout in 1993, where she was nominated for a Tony for Best Actress in a Play, a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Debut of an Actress, and a Drama Desk nomination for Best Actress.

For her performance as Sally Bowles in Sam Mendes' production of "Cabaret", she won the 1998 Tony, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and Drama Desk Awards for Best Actress in a Musical. She then appeared on Broadway in Patrick Marber's Tony-nominated play "Closer". This December she will play "Miss Julie" on Broadway with Philip Seymour Hoffman, directed by David Leveaux for Roundabout Theatre.

Richardson's television credits include Henrik Ibsen's "Ghosts" for the BBC, also starring Judi Dench, Michael Gambon and Kenneth Branagh; the HBO cable feature "Hostages" (1993) (TV); the BBC film "Suddenly, Last Summer" (1993) (TV), based on the play by Tennessee Williams, and also starring Maggie Smith and Rob Lowe. In 1993 she starred as Zelda Fitzgerald in the TNT movie "Zelda" (1993) (TV), co-starring Timothy Hutton and directed by Pat O'Connor (cable Ace nomination for Best Actress). She played Ruth Gruber in the 2001 CBS mini-series "Haven" (2001) (TV) based on Ms. Gruber's autobiography.

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