jordan, thanks for getting this story out so quickly. It will now show up on the home page for four hours. If new developments justify it, I'll renew this flag for another cycle.
Actress Natasha Richardson Dies - Spokesman
Update 2000 EDT, March 18th 2009: Actress Natasha Richardson has died, according to a statement from a family spokesman.
The 45-year-old actress died after reportedly suffering a serious head injury in a skiing accident at the Canadian resort of Mont Tremblant.
A statement from Alan Nierob of Rogers & Cowan said the family were "profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time."
Natasha Richardson leaves a husband, actor Liam Neeson, and two sons.
After the accident, Richardson was air-lifted from Montreal to New York where she was treated at the Lenox Hill Hospital on the Upper East Side.
The actress was part of the Redgrave-Richardson acting dynasty. Her mother is Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave and her late father, the director Tony Richardson. Her sister is the actress Joely Richardson.
Members of the actress's family had been seen coming and going from Lenox Hill Hospital over the past 24 hours. Family friends such as Lauren Bacall and Meryl Streep had also visited.
The actress was a star of both stage and screen.
Richardson won a Tony award for her role as Sally Bowles in the 1998 version of Cabaret. She was also set to perform in a revival of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music this year.
Richardson's first film role was a bit part in her father's "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1968), made when she was 4. After a handful of roles through her teens and early 20s, she broke through as Mary Shelley in Ken Russell's film "Gothic," and followed that up as Patty Hearst in Paul Schrader's 1988 film of the same name.
Richardson's other notable films included "The Handmaid's Tale" (1990); the TV movie "Zelda" (1993); "Nell" (1994), alongside Neeson, whom she married in 1994; the 1998 remake of "The Parent Trap"; and "Wild Child" (2008).
But some of Richardson's greatest successes were on the stage. At 22, she played opposite her mother and Jonathan Pryce in a London production of Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull"; the performance earned her the London Drama Critics' most promising newcomer award.
You can read more about Natasha Richardson's life here.
There was no immediate confirmation as to the cause of the actress's death. She had - at first - apparently laughingly dismissed the accident on beginner slope at Mont Tremblant.
Richardson initially showed no sign of injury after the incident but about an hour later she was taken to a nearby hospital after feeling unwell. It was later confirmed her injuries were critical.
Richardson is still in serious condition with head trauma and everyone has declined to comment on her condition at this time. Liam Neeson is with his wife at this time, after leaving the set of his latest film in Toronto.
Natasha Richardson has been moved to an undisclosed hospital outside Canada following a traumatic head injury suffered during a skiing lesson.
No reported prognoses are positive, and the New York Post is reporting that Ms. Richardson is brain dead. The Vancouver Sun asserts the same thing; these reports spring from a Time Out New York posting, which has already retracted at least part of its report, which initially reported the actor's death.
A spokesperson at Sacre Coeur Hospital in Montreal, where Richardson, 45, was taken Monday night, would only say Richardson is no longer in Canada, information she recieved from a spokesperson for Richardson's family.
Richardson was feeling fine for nearly an hour Monday after falling on a beginner's run during a private ski lesson, Mont Tremblant resort spokesperson Catherine Lacasse said.
Here's a report on a similar incident, with the patient presenting symptoms of blunt head trauma long after the actual impact:
Recently, a young man came to the ER complaining of headaches, progressive weakness in his left arm and leg, difficulty walking, and increasing fatigue.
He had fallen and hit his head the week before, but at the time he had been preoccupied with studying for an important exam and thought his symptoms were from the stress of studying.
We discovered a large clot in his brain, a result of his fall. But soon after his admission to the hospital, he slipped into a coma, and ended up requiring surgery to remove the blood clot and medicine to reduce the swelling of his brain.
Blunt head trauma can cause arteries or veins inside the skull to tear and leak. If the leak is small and slow, the symptoms may not occur for days or weeks.
Media reports said her two sons were skiing with her at the time of the accident.
She did not hit anyone or anything before coming to a stop. The ski instructor was by her side within seconds, Lacasse said.
There was no external sign of injury, no cuts or bleeding, Lacasse said.
Fox News has added an article on "talk and die syndrome", wherein the patient appears healthy until pressure on the brain reaches critical mass; similar to the description above.
Now sources close to the Tony award-winning actress say she is brain dead and being flown back to New York, where she will be taken off life support.
Most Recommended Comment
Stone Mountain, Georgia, United States