Actress Natasha Richardson has died, her husband Liam Neeson’s publicist said last night.
The 45-year-old star died at a hospital in New York after suffering a serious head injury in a fall at a Canadian ski resort.
Alan Nierob, Neeson’s publicist, said: “Liam Neeson, his sons, and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha.
“They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”
Richardson's husband, actor Neeson, 56, mother, Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave, 72, and two sons, Michael, 13, and Daniel, 12, visited her after she was flown from Canada to Lenox Hill Hospital in New York on Tuesday.
The accident happened while the actress was taking a supervised skiing lesson on a beginners run at the luxury Mont Tremblant resort in Quebec on Monday.
She showed no visible sign of injury after the fall but was brought to the bottom of the slope by a ski patrol and told she should see a doctor.
About an hour later she started feeling unwell and was taken to hospital.
Neeson flew from the set of his new film in Toronto to be with his wife as soon as he heard news of the accident.
Richardson was flown from Canada to New York, where she and her family live, for further treatment, but her death was announced shortly before midnight.
Part of one of Britain’s great theatrical dynasties, Richardson was the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave and the late director Tony Richardson.
She was also the granddaughter of Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, the sister of actress Joely Richardson, and the niece of Lynn Redgrave.
Born in May 1963, Richardson was educated at St Paul’s Girls School in London and trained at the city’s Central School of Speech and Drama.
She married 'Schindler’s List' star Neeson in 1994 after the pair met on the set of the film 'Nell'
Her extensive experience on stage included a number of Shakespearean roles including Ophelia in 'Hamlet' and Helena in 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream'.
In 1986 she won the London Drama Critics’ most promising newcomer award for her performance as Nina in 'The Seagull' alongside her mother.
She also won a Tony award for best actress in a musical for her performance as Sally Bowles in Sam Mendes’ production of 'Cabaret' on Broadway in 1998.