Yesterday we learned the very sad news that Tony Award winning actress Natasha Richardson passed away at the young age of 45 on Wednesday after suffering a head injury during a ski lesson in Canada on Monday. In honor of her memory, Broadway dimmed their lights for a full minute at 8pm ET last night. Here are a couple photos of the darkened Great White Way in silent tribute to Natasha last night:
Grieving Liam Neeson was held in a comforting embrace by actress Sarah Jessica Parker as the actor attended a touching tribute by New York’s theatreland to his late wife Natasha Richardson. The Sex And The City star was among the luminaries of stage and screen who lined Broadway as theatres dimmed their lights in a minute long tribute to Neeson’s actress wife. The star was hugged by SJP, and husband Matthew Broderick who both came out to show their support to one of theatreland’s own. And despite Natasha’s strong British roots, the location of the tribute proved all the more fitting, as it was on Broadway that Neeson, 56, first met his wife of 15 years, when they appeared on stage together in 1992. Liam and his wife’s family, including mother Vanessa Redgrave, arrived to witness the moving tribute to the actress. At 8pm the lights of New York’s Broadway theatre district were dimmed for a minute in her honour. The solemn crowd applauded as Broadway’s theatres dimmed their lights one by one. The 45-year-old actress and mother of two died died two days after a fall on Monday on a beginners’ ski slope at the Mont Tremblant resort in Canada where she was holidaying with her two sons. The tribute to the British actress, who made her home in New York with her film star husband was a fitting reflection of the affection and the respect both she – and the theatrical dynasty she was a part of – was held in. Miss Richardson appeared in more than 30 films but was best known for her stage work, winning a Tony Award for her performance in the musical Cabaret in New York. She had been due to appear with her mother in a Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music … Stars of stage and screen paid tribute to Miss Richardson following her untimely death. Sam Mendes, whose 1998 Broadway production of Cabaret saw Natasha win a Tony award for her portrayal of Sally Bowles said: “Natasha combined the best of Redgrave and Richardson: the enormous depth and emotional force of a great actor on the one hand, and the intelligence and objectivity of a great director on the other. She was one of a kind, a magnificent actress.” Maid In Manhattan co-star Ralph Fiennes described Richardson’s death as a “devastating loss”. Fiennes has been friends with Neeson since the pair appeared together in Schindler’s List. He said: “She was a star. A great actress, a beautiful woman, a fiercely loyal friend, a brilliant and generous companion. She was an adoring and loving wife and mother. She was unique. I cannot imagine a world without her wit, her love, her mischief, her great, great talent and her gift for living. I loved her very much. She was a supreme friend. I shall miss her deeply.” Dame Judi Dench said: “She had an incredibly luminous quality that you seldom see, and a great sense of humour. I thought she was a really great actress.” Richardson was described as an ‘outstanding’ student at the Central School of Speech and Drama, where she studied from 1980 to 1983. The principal, Professor Gavin Henderson, said she had not capitalised on her family’s theatrical pedigree to win a place. He also revealed plans to set up a scholarship fund in her memory. He said: “She was an outstanding student, as her tutor George Hall recalls, ‘totally grounded in professional discipline and stage craft, a joy to work with – having the theatrical genes of the Redgraves, and the film culture of her father.'”
While a tribute like this is very fitting it’s all still so very sad. Natasha was a vibrant woman who was thriving on holiday just 5 days ago and after one small fall that was perceived as nothing at all, her life is over and she’s already being memorialized. It’s all so tragic … and that these events happened so quickly, very scary too. Again, my thoughts and prayers go out to Richardson’s family … may they find the strength to endure this horrible time in their lives.