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.
Richardson Suffered Head Injury During Ski Lesson
Further details about the nature of Richardson's skiing accident emerged Tuesday.
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.
Neeson was crouched down in the back of the ambulance watching as she was loaded, according to the Toronto Star.
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.
Celebrities React to Richardson's Passing
Following the news of Richardson's death, Lindsay Lohan, who co-starred with the actress in 1998's "The Parent Trap," released the following statement through her publicist.
"She was a wonderful woman and actress and treated me like I was her own," Lohan's statement read. "I didn't see much of her over the years but I will miss her. My heart goes out to her family. This is a tragic loss."
On ABC's "The View" Wednesday, Barbara Walters and her co-hosts spoke about their admiration of Richardson and her family.
Walters described Richardson as "lovely" and as a good friend of the show, on which she has appeared more than three times.
"She's beautiful," said Walters.
"The Redgraves are the most wonderful family," said co-host Joy Behar. "They mind their own business, they're talented, they're smart and they love their family."
"Our thoughts and hopes are with the family and with Liam and Vanessa," added Whoopi Goldberg.
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.
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."
Richardson's Rich Career
Richardson 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 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."
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 didn'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 ABC News' Sharyn Alfonsi, Monica Escobedo, Emily Friedman, Lindsay Goldwert and Luchina Fisher.