West End dims its lights to mark Richardson's death

Theatres in London’s West End dimmed their lights tonight to mark the death of actress Natasha Richardson.

Theatres in London’s West End dimmed their lights tonight to mark the death of actress Natasha Richardson.

In a symbolic tribute to the stage and screen star, illuminations in the world famous theatre district were lowered temporarily prior to curtain up.

The two-minute mark of respect started just before 7pm but will be echoed for the next hour across the West End’s 52 major venues due to the differing start times of shows.

The Society of London Theatre said the tribute was intended not only for Richardson but for the Redgrave family as a whole.

Last night Richardson’s 45-year old grieving husband Liam Neeson watched as New York’s theatre district Broadway also turned down its lights for the actress.

The actress's death was announced on Wednesday night, two days after she fell while learning to ski in the Canadian resort of Mont Tremblant.

On Thursday a medical examiner in New York confirmed an accidental blunt impact to the head had caused the actress’s death.

Questions have been raised over the initial response to the accident after it emerged that the first ambulance sent to the injured actress was turned back.

Yves Coderre, director of operations at the emergency services company Ambulances Radisson, told reporters that paramedics called to the incident were told they were not needed.

In a statement, the luxury Mont Tremblant resort in Quebec said its staff would “fully co-operate” with any investigation.

It has previously stated that a ski patrol “insisted” the actress should see a doctor.

It was only later, when Richardson’s condition had deteriorated, that emergency services were able to examine her.

Richardson married 'Schindler’s List' star Neeson in 1994 after they met on the set of the film 'Nell'.

Neeson has not yet spoken in public, although his publicist Alan Nierob issued a brief statement to announce Richardson’s death after family members gathered at her bedside at the Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York.

The couple’s two sons Michael, 13, and Daniel, 12, also visited their mother after she was transferred to the New York hospital.

The statement 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.”

Last night Hollywood stars gathered to watch as Broadway also dimmed its lights in tribute.

'Sex And The City' star Sarah Jessica Parker and her husband actor Matthew Broderick were among those who gave their condolences and embraced Neeson in the city’s theatre district.

Richardson’s mother, the Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave, and her actress sister Joely Richardson are also believed to have attended the tribute.

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