New Details: Natasha Richardson Suffers Serious Skiing Accident

Report: Actress back in NYC after going from easy slope to intensive care.

March 17, 2009, 8:14 AM

March 17, 2009 — -- New details have emerged about the nature of British actress Natasha Richardson's skiing accident.

According to "Entertainment Tonight," Richardson arrived in New York City Tuesday evening after flying out of Canada Tuesday afternoon.

The Toronto Star reported that Richardson, lying heavily-wrapped in blankets in an intensive-care bed, tubes covering her face, was loaded into an ambulance outside of Montreal's Hôpital du Sacre-Coeur at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The actress' husband, Liam Neeson, was crouched down in the back of the ambulance watching as she was loaded, according to the Toronto Star.

Sacre-Coeur spokeswoman Josee-Michelle Simard confirmed Richardson left the hospital Tuesday afternoon to go to the U.S. Simard also said Richardson's family is expected to release a statement on Wednesday.

The Mont Tremblant ski resort in Quebec, where the 45-year-old actress was skiing yesterday, released the following statement regarding her Monday accident:

"Natasha Richardson fell in a beginners trail while taking a ski lesson at Station Mont Tremblant," the statement said. "She was accompanied by an experienced ski instructor who immediately called the ski patrol. She did not show any visible sign of injury but the ski patrol followed strict procedures and brought her back to the bottom of the slope and insisted she should see a doctor."

"As an additional precautionary measure, the ski instructor as well as the ski patrol accompanied Mrs. Richardson to her hotel," the statement continued. "They again recommended she should be seen by a doctor. The ski instructor stayed with her at her hotel. Approximately an hour after the incident Mrs. Richardson was not feeling good. An ambulance was called and Mrs. Richardson was brought to the Centre Hospitalier Laurentien in Ste-Agathe and was later transferred to Hôpital du Sacre-Coeur."

A spokesperson for the resort noted Richardson was not wearing a helmet while skiing and didn't collide with anything when she fell. reports the actress was hospitalized with a serious head injury, while Extra TV and other media outlets report she's in critical condition.

Neeson, 56, left the set of "Chloe," a movie he was filming in Toronto, and rushed to his wife's side upon learning the news, according to

She and Neeson have two sons, Michael, 13, and Daniel Jack, 12.

"Liam Neeson left the Toronto set immediately to fly to Montreal," Neeson's representatives said in a statement to Britain's Daily Mail. "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 Part of Acting Dynasty

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

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

Asked to comment on her skiing accident, a representative for amfAR told, "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 "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 Richardson, stars in the TV series "Nip/Tuck." Her uncle Corin Redgrave told Britain's Daily Mail, "I have heard this morning from a family representative about Natasha's accident and am very saddened. ... We are very much thinking of Natasha, Vanessa and Joely, and are sending them our love."

Corin Redgrave's wife, Kika Markham, told The Associated Press: "We know that she has had an accident but we really do not know any more details. ... We are very concerned."'s calls and e-mails to representatives for Richardson, Neeson and Redgrave were not immediately returned.

Richardson's Rich Career

Richardson has starred in many films, including "The Parent Trap," "Maid in Manhattan," "A Month in the Country," "Gothic" and "Nell," in which she appeared with her husband. But her chief experience is 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."

In January, Richardson and her mother 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.

"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.

"I know the pressures of being the daughter of a great actress," Richardson told the newspaper. "But it's inspiring. You learn so much that other people don't get to learn until later on. My father being a director, I learnt a real work ethic. You think: 'One day, I'd like to be as good as that.' But when I was starting out professionally, I had a level of attention put on me that I didn't deserve or wasn't ready for. And it was hard, particularly in England, to make my way. That's partly why I moved to New York, where you can be who you are for your work and not so much to do with family baggage."

But in the same interview, Richardson talked about how she doesn't want her sons going into acting.

"They'd be the sons of a great actor," she told The Independent. "And that's quite a gorilla to carry on your back. This profession is very tough and not many people make it , and even if you do, then you can still get slapped in the face constantly. So I hope they do something else -- but if they're determined, so be it."

Additional reporting contributed by's Lindsay Goldwert and Luchina Fisher.

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