Natasha Richardson Dies After Skiing Accident

Actress' family "devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha."

BySheila Marikar
March 17, 2009, 8:14 AM

March 18, 2009 — -- Actress Natasha Richardson has died after a fall on a Canadian ski slope Monday.

News of Richardson's death came Wednesday evening via press release "from Liam Neeson and family" sent out by a spokesman for Neeson, Richardson's husband, after she was transferred to a New York City hospital, where her relatives rushed to her side.

"Liam Neeson, his sons, and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha," the statement said. "They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time."

On Tuesday night, Richardson's mother, actress Vanessa Redgrave, was seen entering the New York City hospital. So was Richardson's sister, Joely Richardson. Neeson also reportedly was by her side. Actress Lauren Bacall was photographed visiting the hospital Wednesday 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, in preparation for her flight to New York.

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

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 AccessHollywoood.com.

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

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