Tributes pour in for Richardson after skiing death

Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:00pm EDT
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By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The theater and movie worlds mourned Natasha Richardson on Thursday after her death from a severe brain injury from a skiing accident in Canada earlier this week.

Richardson -- a member of Britain's Redgrave acting dynasty, the 45-year-old wife of actor Liam Neeson and an accomplished stage and screen performer -- died in a New York hospital late on Wednesday.

New York's medical examiner said the cause of death was an epidural hematoma caused by a blunt impact, meaning a bruise to the head that caused bleeding in the brain.

"It was ruled an accident," spokeswoman Ellen Borakove said, adding the body had been taken to a funeral home.

A short walk from the New York apartment where Neeson and the couple's two sons were grieving with Richardson's mother, actress Vanessa Redgrave, theaters on Broadway said they would dim their lights for a minute of mourning on Thursday evening.

Fans and her family seemed shocked that what appeared a relatively minor fall on the slopes had ended in tragedy.

"Liam Neeson, his sons, and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha," family spokesman Alan Nierob said in a statement released just before midnight London time.

"They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time."   Continued...

<p>Actress Natasha Richardson looks at her husband Liam Neeson as they arrive for the Conde Nast Traveler's annual readers choice award show in New York City in this file photo from October 16, 2006. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>