After Wake, Some Wonder If Helicopter Could Have Saved Richardson

"Natasha combined the best of Redgrave and Richardson: the enormous depth and emotional force of a great actor on the one hand, and the intelligence and objectivity of a great director on the other," he said in a statement to reporters. "She was one of a kind, a magnificent actress. She was also an amazing mother, a loyal friend, and the greatest and most generous host you could ever hope to meet. It defies belief that this gifted, brave, tenacious, wonderful woman is gone."

Richardson Part of Acting Dynasty

Richardson was a member of one of Britain's most famous acting dynasties. She was the eldest daughter of Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave, 72, and director Tony Richardson.

Vanessa Redgrave and Tony Richardson with 1-week-old Natasha Richardson, May 1963.

Her father passed away in 1991 due to complications with AIDS. She had long been a supporter of AIDS-related charities, including amfAR, on whose board she had served since 2006.

Asked to comment on her skiing accident before Richardson's death was announced, a representative for amfAR told ABCNews.com, "Our thoughts and prayers are with Natasha and her family right now. Obviously, we're very saddened and disturbed by this news."

Richardson also donated her services to God's Love We Deliver, an organization that provides fresh meals to people living with HIV/AIDS.

"Everyone at God's Love We Deliver is profoundly saddened to hear about her accident," Karen Pearl, president of the organization, said in a statement to ABCNews.com before Richardson's death. "As we hope for the best, our thoughts and prayers are with her, Liam, and their entire family at this difficult time."

Richardson's sister, Joely, stars in the TV series "Nip/Tuck."

Natasha and Joley Richardson, May 1985.

Richardson's Rich Career

Richardson starred in many films, including "The Parent Trap," "Maid in Manhattan," "A Month in the Country," "Gothic" and "Nell." But her chief experience was in theater. She was trained at London's Central School of Speech and Drama and won a Tony Award in 1998 for playing Sally Bowles in "Cabaret." As a tribute to her, the theaters of Broadway dimmed their lights at 8:00 p.m. Thursday night.

Natasha Richardson, 1985.

Sher met her husband in 1984 while filming the TV mini-series "Ellis Island," but their relationship didn't blossom until 1993, when they reunited on Broadway for a revival of "Anna Christie." Their on-stage chemistry was too strong to ignore, and shortly after "Anna Christie's" run, Richardson separated from her husband, producer Robert Fox. She and Neeson married in 1994.

Richardson acted with her legendary mother at multiple points in her career. In January, Richardson and Redgrave played the roles of mother and daughter in a one-night benefit concert version of "A Little Night Music," the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical, on Broadway.

The two also acted alongside each other in the 1985 theatrical revival "The Seagull" and the 2007 movie "Evening." In a 2003 interview with UK newspaper The Guardian, Richardson talked about taking on the same profession as her mother.

Natasha Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave, May 2007.

"I don't know if I could ever put myself in the same category as her," she said. "She is one of the greatest actresses of our time, so I'm not sure I would put myself in that bracket."

She expanded further in a 2005 interview with The Independent.

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