Conflicting reports on actress Natasha Richardson’s condition after a skiing accident:
From The Canadian Press
Reports vary wildly regarding extent of injuries suffered by Natasha Richardson
MONTREAL — Actress Natasha Richardson’s injuries from a fall during a ski lesson at a Quebec resort were described Tuesday as anywhere from minor to life-threatening.
The New York Post said it had learned from friends of the British actress that she was brain dead, but some Hollywood “insider” websites suggested Richardson had swelling of the brain.
A spokeswoman for the Mont Tremblant ski resort said Richardson, 45, was conscious and showed no signs of a serious head injury after she fell on a beginner run on Monday while in the company of an experienced instructor.
Lyne Lortie said the Tony-award-winning actress was in the middle of the private lesson when she suffered what appeared to be a relatively unspectacular fall.
While Richardson seemed fine, the ski patrol wanted to take a closer look so she was taken to the bottom of the hill by sled, Lortie said.
“She showed really no visible sign of injury and she was talking and showed absolutely no sign of confusion,” she said.
“It was right in the middle of the slope so she didn’t hit anyone or a tree. It was a fall as anyone can do. It wasn’t a violent fall at all.”
A family member confirmed Richardson had a skiing accident but the extent of her injuries was unclear.
“We know that she has had an accident but we really do not know any more details,” said Kika Markham, who is married to Richardson’s uncle, Corin Redgrave. “We are very concerned.”
Lortie said the ski patrol wanted Richardson to see a doctor but she insisted on returning to her room at Mont Tremblant’s Hotel Quintessence.
The ski patrol and instructor stayed with her for about an hour after which she began complaining of a headache and not feeling well.
Lortie said they “immediately” called an ambulance and she was taken to the Centre Hospitalier Laurentian near Mont Tremblant before being transferred to Sacre-Coeur Hospital in Montreal.
The Canadian Press was told initially on Monday that someone with the same name as Richardson was registered at Sacre-Coeur, but employees said later in the day they had no records of someone with that name at the hospital.
On Tuesday, Sacre-Coeur spokeswoman Josee-Michelle Simard said Richardson left the hospital at 12:30 p.m. and was headed out of the country.
She said the family was to release a statement on Wednesday.
Richardson is married to actor Liam Neeson and is the daughter of famous British actress Vanessa Redgrave.
Neeson was reportedly in Toronto at the time of Richardson’s accident filming the movie “Chloe” with Julianne Moore.
Producers confirmed that Neeson immediately left the Toronto set upon news of his wife’s accident.
Richardson comes from a long line of successful actors. She was born in London to Redgrave and British director Tony Richardson.
Her maternal grandparents were Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson and her uncle Corin and aunt Lynn Redgrave are also both actors. Sister Joely Richardson is also an actress, best known for starring in the TV series “Nip/Tuck.”
Richardson trained at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama which initially led to a career in regional theatre, then later to film and television roles.
Richardson won a Tony award in 1998 for her turn in “Cabaret.” Film credits include “The Parent Trap,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Evening,” “Gothic,” “A Month in the Country” and “Nell” in which she appeared with Neeson.
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, at Studio 54 in New York.
Richardson has been married to “Schindler’s List” star Neeson since 1994. The couple have two sons.
Copyright © 2009 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.
From NY TIME OUT
[UPDATE 1:58 p.m.: The following post appeared earlier this afternoon with the headline "RIP Natasha Richardson 1963–2009." Since that time, TONY's sources have clarified the situation: Richardson is brain dead but has not passed away. Sources close to the family indicate that they are treating it as a death. We will update you on this sad story as circumstances warrant. We apologize to the family and to our readers.]
Last night it was reported that the actor Natasha Richardson had critically injured her head in a skiing accident at the Mont Tremblant resort outside of Montreal, Canada. Although public reports have not yet confirmed it, sources close to Richardson’s family and friends say they have already been told the awful news: She will not survive the accident, and is currently brain dead.
This precipitate loss is a terrible one. Richardson was only 45 and had two adolescent sons; our thoughts go to them and to her husband, the actor Liam Neeson. The theater world, too, is bereft by her departure. Richardson has been the most verdant new branch of one of the great English theatrical family trees: the child of Vanessa Redgrave and the late Tony Richardson, the niece of Lynn Redgrave and Corin Redgrave, the granddaughter of Michael Redgrave. She has pursued the family business with uncommon class and distinction. On Broadway—in Anna Christie, Closer, A Streetcar Named Desire and especially in her Tony-winning turn as Sally Bowles in Cabaret—her work has been elegant, smart and forceful. She is all too suddenly missed.