Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Natasha Richardson - The Life And Death Of A Brilliant, British Beauty

I'm devastated over the death of brilliant and beautiful British actress Natasha Richardson, who was as much a fashion icon as Princess Diana in the 1980s and 1990s.

She has succumbed to a head injury sustained in a skiing accident that occurred two days ago.

Natasha was pronounced dead yesterday. She was 46.

The gifted and precocious daughter of iconic British actress Vanessa Redgrave was best known for the film Patty Hearst and won a Tony Award for her performance in the stage revival of Cabaret.

A statement released by the publicists of Natasha's husband, actor Liam Neeson of Schindler's List, Star Wars, Batman Begins and Michael Collins fame, said that Neeson and their sons Michael, 13, and Daniel, 12, were "shocked and devastated" over Natasha's death.

It further said they were profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of fans and friends.

Richardson suffered a head injury during a private ski lesson at the luxury Mont Tremblant ski resort in Quebec. Seemingly fine after the fall, about an hour later she complained that she didn't feel well.

She was hospitalised on Tuesday in Montreal.

Natasha's death has shocked and devastated the entertainment industry on both sides of the Atlantic.

Descended from at least three generations of actors, Richardson was a proper Londoner who came to love the noise of New York, an elegant blonde with large, lively eyes, a bright smile and a hearty laugh.

If she never quite attained the acting heights of her Academy Award-winning mother, she still had enjoyed a long and worthy career.

As an actress, Richardson was equally adept at passion and restraint, able to portray besieged women both confessional (Tennessee Williams' Blanche DuBois) and confined (the concubine in the futuristic horror of The Handmaid's Tale).

Like other family members, she divided her time between stage and screen. On Broadway, she won a Tony for her performance as Sally Bowles in a 1998 revival of Cabaret.

She also appeared in the 2005 revival of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, in which she played Blanche.

She met Neeson when they made their Broadway debuts in 1993.

Her most notable film roles came earlier in her career. Richardson played the title character in Paul Schrader's Patty Hearst, a 1988 biopic about the kidnapped heiress.

She later co-starred with Neeson and Jodie Foster in Nell, with Mia Farrow in Widow's Peak and with a pre-teen Lindsay Lohan in a remake of The Parent Trap.

She was born in London in 1963, the performing gene inherited not just from her parents (Vanessa Redgrave and director Tony Richardson), but from her maternal grandparents (Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson), an aunt (Lynn Redgrave) and an uncle (Corin Redgrave).

Her younger sister, Joely Richardson, also joined the family business and appeared in among others 101 Dalmatians with Glenn Close and Nip/Tuck with Julian McMahon.

Friends and family members remember Natasha as an unusually poised child, perhaps forced to grow up early when her father left her mother in the late 1960s for Jeanne Moreau. (Tony Richardson died in 1991).

She studied at London's Central School of Speech and Drama and was an experienced stage actress by her early 20s.

Although she never shared her mother's fiercely expressed political views, they were close professionally and acted together.

Before meeting up with Neeson, Richardson was married to producer Robert Fox.

She once said that Neeson's serious injury in a 2000 motorcycle accident — he suffered a crushed pelvis after colliding with a deer in upstate New York — had made her really appreciate life.

"I wake up every morning feeling lucky — which is driven by fear, no doubt, since I know it could all go away," she said.

Malaysians, and viewers around the world, last saw Natasha as a kindly headmistress in Wild Child, an inspiring romantic comedy which also starred Emma Roberts (the niece of Julia Roberts).

PS: I would like to thank Yahoo News for the above information.
I pray that 2009 will spare us further tragedies in the world of showbusiness.