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by Peter Knegt
March 19, 2009 11:10 AM
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Natasha Richardson Dies at 45

It has been confirmed by a spokesperson for her family that actress Natasha Richardson has been taken off life support at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.

"Liam Neeson, his sons, and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha,” said a statement from the family. “They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time."

"Ms. Richardson’s condition had prompted an outpouring of public interest and concern and flurries of rumor and speculation in the news media since Monday," reported The New York Times, "when reports of her accident began filtering out of the Mont Tremblant ski resort in the Laurentian Hills."

"Ms. Richardson was an intense and absorbing actress who was unafraid of taking on demanding and emotionally raw roles," the Times continued. "Classically trained, she was admired on both sides of the Atlantic for upholding the traditions of one of the great acting families of the modern age."

Richardson, 45, fell during a private lesson at Mont Tremblant resort yesterday and allegedly told resort employees she felt fine. An hour later, she complained of a headache and was rushed to a nearby hospital. The Tony Award-winning actress's film work includes "The Handmaid's Tale," "Widows' Peak," "Nell," and "The White Countess." She is survived by her husband, actor Liam Neeson, their two sons, and actress mother Vanessa Redgrave, sister Joely Richardson, and aunt Lynn Redgrave.

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