March 18, 2009 / 1:46 AM / 10 years ago

Natasha Richardson seriously hurt in ski fall

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actress Natasha Richardson, a member of Britain’s Redgrave theatrical dynasty, was severely injured while skiing at a Canadian resort and returned to New York on Tuesday with her husband, actor Liam Neeson, according to media reports.

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

Newspapers in New York and London said Richardson, 45, the daughter of actress and activist Vanessa Redgrave, suffered a life-threatening brain injury. But the severity of her condition could not be confirmed as her British and U.S. representatives repeatedly declined comment.

Neeson, who was filming in Toronto, flew to be with his wife in Montreal immediately after hearing of the accident, according to reports.

The Toronto Star said one of its reporters saw Richardson, wrapped in blankets and lying on a stretcher with Neeson nearby as she was placed in an ambulance outside Montreal’s Hopital du Sacre-Coeur where she had been taken.

A hospital spokeswoman said an agent for the family told her the actress had left Canada, but she did not know Richardson’s whereabouts or condition at the time.

Celebrity TV show “Entertainment Tonight” said Richardson and Neeson arrived in New York City as family members gathered.

The couple own homes in Manhattan and Millbrook, New York, north of the city. They have two sons, Daniel Jack, 12, and Michael, 13.

The actress was skiing Monday at the Mont Tremblant resort, about 75 miles north of Montreal, when she fell during a private lesson. The resort said the actress appeared to be in good condition after the fall, but her instructor called a ski patrol to take her to the bottom of the hill.

“She seemed to be fine and had no obvious injuries,” resort spokeswoman Lyne Lortie told French-language public broadcaster Radio-Canada. Patrol members escorted her back to the hotel and later called an ambulance after noticing she was not well.

Richardson, whose father was the director Tony Richardson, followed her family’s footsteps into a career on stage and screen.

Perhaps best known for playing Lindsay Lohan’s mother in the 1998 remake of the Disney movie “The Parent Trap,” Richardson has been equally at home on New York’s Broadway and London’s West End. She won a Tony award, Broadway’s highest honor, in 1998 for her role in the musical “Cabaret.”

Richardson met Neeson on the set of the Jodie Foster film drama “Nell” and they married in July 1994.

In Corin Redgrave, Richardson’s uncle, told the Evening Standard in London: “I have heard this morning from a family representative about Natasha’s accident and am very saddened.”

Additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa, Kate Kelland in London and Jill Serjeant in Los Angeles, editing by Chris Wilson

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