Broadway dims lights for Richardson

Liam Neeson, Vanessa Redgrave attend tribute

Liam Neeson and Vanessa Redgrave were among family members who went to Broadway as theaters dimmed their lights in tribute to Natasha Richardson, the Tony-winning actress who died from bleeding in the skull caused by the fall she took on a ski slope.

Funeral arrangements were not announced.

The theaters dimmed their lights for one minute at about 8 p.m. Thursday, the traditional starting time for Broadway evening performances. Neeson, Richardson’s husband, and Redgrave, her mother, were among those who gathered at the tribute. Also present were Richardson’s sister, Joely, and actors Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker and Ron Rifkin.

Richardson, 45, died Wednesday at Lenox Hill Hospital after falling at the Mont Tremblant resort in Quebec on Monday. The New York City medical examiner’s office ruled Thursday her death was an accident.

Sam Mendes, who directed the 1998 revival of “Cabaret” — for which Richardson won her Tony Award — said “it defies belief that this gifted, brave, tenacious, wonderful woman is gone.”

Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, the trade organization for Broadway theaters and producers, called Richardson “one of our finest young actresses.”

“Her theatrical lineage is legendary, but her own singular talent shined memorably on any stage she appeared,” she said.

Descended from one of Britain’s greatest acting dynasties, including her mother, Vanessa Redgrave, Richardson was known for her work in such plays as “Cabaret” and “Anna Christie,” and in the films including “Patty Hearst” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Besides her several memorable stage performances — among them, the title character of Eugene O’Neill’s “Anna Christie,” a 1993 revival in which she co-starred with future husband Neeson — she appeared in dozens of movies.

Her final feature film, “Wild Child,” released internationally, has not been released in the U.S. Universal Pictures said one had not been scheduled.

Instead of flowers, the family asked that donations be made to the amfAR foundation for AIDS research, said Alan Nierob, a family spokesman. Richardson, whose father died of complications from the disease in 1991, was a longtime supporter of the charity and served on its board of trustees since 2006.

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