R.I.P. Natasha Richardson

The great Natasha Richardson died Wednesday in New York. She was 45. Her death followed a head injury she suffered Monday during a skiing lesson in Montreal reports Reuters.

Details about the cause of death were not released but the actress was removed from life support Wednesday. After the accident the actress reportedly experienced no immediate distress, developing a headache an hour later. She was taken to a local hospital before being transfered to a New York hospital where her family kept vigil.

Richardson graced the stage and screen with equal measure, carving out many memorable performances over the past two decades. She first came to wide notice playing “Frankenstein” author Mary Shelley in 1986’s “Gothic”. Other notable roles include Paul Schrader’s “Patty Hearst” in 1988, 1990’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Comfort of Strangers”, 1994’s “Nell” on which she met her husband Liam Neeson, 1998’s remake of “The Parent Trap”, 2002’s “Maid in Manhattan”, and 2005’s final Merchant-Ivory production “The White Countess”.

On the stage she reinvented Sally Bowles in Sam Mendes’ 1998 revival of “Cabaret”, taking the character made famous by Liza Minelli’s flamboyance and giving it a gritty, realistic and tragic tone. She brought humanity to the Broadway production of “Closer” in 1999 in the role that Julia Roberts took over in the 2003 film.

She was also a member of one of the most famous acting dynasties of modern times. She was the daughter of producer Tony Richardson and actress Vanessa Redgrave, sister to Joely Richardson and niece of Lynn Redgrave. Our most sincere condolences go out to her family, husband, children and her many fans in this extremely sad time.