Natasha Richardson: 1963 – 2009

It’s with great sadness that I write this, a brief mention that Natasha Richardson, a wonderful actress of film and and stage, the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave and wife of Liam Neeson, died on Wednesday. As a stage actress, her work was astonishing, and she arguably received the most acclaim from her work on the London and New York theater scene. As a film actress, she is probably and sadly best known to American audiences as Ralph Fiennes’ annoying fiance in Main in Manhattan and the love interest in the remake of The Parent Trap. If you really want to see why she was such a remarkable actress, look at her playing the title role in Paul Schrader’s Patty Hearst, in which she embodied a complex and widely unloved public figure. Or, watch her in The Handmaid’s Tale, an equally controversial film that, like Patty Hearst, received mixed reviews from critics but her performances in both films were widely and deservedly praised. Finally, in the thriller The Comfort of Strangers, also by director Schrader, cast opposite Christopher Walken, Helen Mirren and Rupert Everett, Richardson is outstanding once again in one of the creepiest and most underrated cinematic mind games of the ’90′s. She is survived by her husband, Liam and their two children, Micheal and Daniel Neeson. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

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