Natasha Richardson remembered

Friends, family, press talk about the actress

SO MANY insightful tributes have been written to the memory of Natasha Richardson.

I want to recommend especially Candice Bergen’s heartfelt words, Joan Juliet Buck’s touching anecdotal account of Natasha more than rising to an occasion, and Julia Reed’s remembrance of her.  You can still read these on

Personally I tried to write about this tragic death of someone so beautiful, so real, so human and found myself unable to even begin to do her justice, so I gave up. But I did love a tribute to her by Marc Peyser in the March 30th Newsweek.  He called her ‘Tasha,” her private nickname and brilliantly dubbed her THE UN-DIVA! And now for something that may be beside the point but in the interest of setting the record straight: New York sources in forensic pathology say:

“The press always gets everything wrong.  Natasha’s body was not subjected to an autopsy. The family objected; they felt they more than knew the cause of her death and so the procedure did not happen.”

Likewise, press assumptions that “the show must go on” wherein Natasha’s famous mother Vanessa Redgrave is to appear in an April 27th one-night-only performance of “The Year of Magical Thinking” to benefit UNICEF, are not entirely realized.

Spokesperson Steven Padla says: “It will be several days before we know if Miss Redgrave will feel up to this demanding performance at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.” The Joan Didion play includes the memories of a mother who has lost her daughter under tragic circumstances. 

  • OVER SIX months ago I ran into Bruce Willis and he introduced me to Emma Heming who he has now married in a private Turks & Caicos ceremony. At the time I thought I had never seen Bruce so happy or so revealing.  He kept holding me close to his chest and murmuring – “I am so in love with this girl; she is the best thing in the world!”  (It was an odd feeling to be caressed by Bruce while he spoke so feelingly of another woman. He’s 54; she’s 30.)  

The world never ceases to wonder that Bruce and his first wife Demi Moore, their children and Demi’s young husband, Ashton Kutcher, all remain close friends and have been at each other’s weddings.

People who think divorce always spells dysfunctional doom for all concerned simply are not tuned in to the 21st century.

* * *

“WEST SIDE STORY,” playwright-director Arthur Laurents’ revival, is one of Broadway’s most appealing musicals. It has everything, including beautiful young performers – a Shakespearian theme, Stephen Sondheim lyrics (some of them sung in Spanish), Arthur’s incredible book and Jerome Robbins choreography as recreated by Joey McKneely.  Not since 1957 when this unique musical was first created has such a gang of talented men done their best. And the writer-director is only 91 years young and still going strong. (Maybe you caught his re-production of “Gypsy” only months back.  What next?  The Battle of Agincourt as Mr. Laurents might want us to remember it?  If anyone can do it, he can!)

* * *

You will be overwhelmed by the dancing in this musical and Matt Cavenaugh as Tony, Josefina Scaglione as Maria and Karen Olivo as Anita. This is the show to make you completely satisfied this once in a lifetime!

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