Liam Neeson's wife, Natasha Richardson, might be alive today if she hadn't taken her fall while skiing lightly. The actress brushed off the incident and even signed a waiver stating that she refused medical attention.
For 15 years, Liam Neeson was married to fellow actor Natasha Richardson. The couple tied the knot on July 3, 1994; after being together for about a year, they started growing their family by welcoming their first child.
Micheál Richardson was welcomed in 1995, and his younger brother, Daniel Neeson, joined the family the following year in 1996. Sadly, the family of four was set to experience a tragedy that forever changed their lives.
Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson during "Road to Perdition" - New York Premiere at Ziegfeld Theatre on July 9, 2002 | Photo: Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images
Liam sadly ended up losing his wife prematurely while on vacation. The "Schindler's List" actor might be well-known for his tough stance in films, but he struggled to handle his wife becoming sick in real life.
LIAM & NATASHA'S BACKGROUNDS
The couple is both well-known for their acting abilities. Natasha came from a family of actors while her husband gained an excellent reputation as a prominent film icon starring in movies like "Honest Thief" and "Taken."
Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson leave Studio 54 after the opening of "A Streetcar Named Desire" on April 26, 2005, in New York | Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images
TAKING SKIING LESSONS
In March 2009, Natasha and one of her sons went to the Mont Tremblant ski resort in Québec, Canada. The actress had planned to enjoy the downtime and the weather while cooling off.
She then decided to take some skiing lessons while at the resort. Sadly, she had no idea that the decision would end up being the worst thing to happen to her and would conclude in a heartbreaking tragedy.
Liam Neeson and his sons Daniel Neeson, and Micheál Richardson at a game at Madison Square Garden on March 23, 2016, in New York City | Photo: TM/NHL/GC Images/Getty Images
After starting her lessons, the Tony Award-winning actress decided to test out her skills with her instructor by her side. She challenged herself to reach the bottom of a beginners' trail at the Canadian resort.
However, Natasha fell on the trail and hit her head against hard snow with no helmet on. Despite the fall, the actress felt okay and actually decided to continue with her skiing lessons.
DECLINING MEDICAL ASSISTANCE
The "Wild Child" actress's instructor disagreed with her and insisted that due processes be followed. The instructor consulted with the ski patrol, who promptly requested an ambulance.
However, the only person who didn't take the incident seriously was Natasha. She insisted she was fine and even went as far as signing a waiver that stated she'd refused medical attention.
Instead, Liam's wife was accompanied by her instructor and a ski patrol member to her luxurious Hotel Quintessence room. The pair followed procedures to make sure she was okay.
When paramedics arrived earlier at 1 p.m., they were turned away after being told their services would no longer be required. They made the minutes' drive back to where they came from.
BRUSHING OFF THE FALL
However, the truth was Natasha wasn't doing well at all, but she was still in denial. The actress called Liam, who was shooting at a location, and tried to make light of the situation to brush off the incident.
She laughed off the fall and stated that she'd taken a tumble in the snow. Despite her efforts to lighten the incident, she experienced a wave of anxiety after the call and started feeling uncomfortable as a headache hit.
BEING TAKEN TO HOSPITAL
Things kept deteriorating for the actress, and at 3 p.m., another call for an ambulance was placed by the resort. This time it was apparent that the situation was severe, and she was taken to a nearby hospital in Sainte-Agathe.
Natasha could only breathe with the help of oxygen, and things became worse when staff realized they were ill-equipped to handle her condition. Before 6 p.m., she was taken to the Montréal trauma center 55 miles away.
LIAM VISITS WIFE
The situation was so dire that calls were placed to Liam, who made his way to the hospital. Even though he was a famous star, the staff didn't recognize him and wouldn't let him into his wife's emergency room.
Eventually, a nurse took pity on him, but unfortunately, his wife was already on life support by that time. Doctors then informed the actor that Natasha was now brain dead.
During the 2014 "60 Minutes" interview, Liam got candid about his wife's incident. He heartbreakingly confessed and recalled how her brain was "squashed up against the side of the skull."
The X-ray result showed how damaged her brain was. The incident made Liam recall the pact he'd made with his wife that if either one of them were ever in a vegetative state, the other would do what's needed.
LIAM'S LAST WORDS
Not wanting Natasha to suffer, Liam walked up to Natasha and said goodbye. While recalling that moment in an interview with CNN journalist and "Anderson Cooper 360°" star, Anderson Cooper, he said:
“I went into her and told her I loved her. [I] said, ‘Sweetie, you’re not coming back from this. You’ve banged your head.”
The actor informed his wife that he would bring her back to New York, where her family and friends would be around to say their goodbyes. He arranged for her to be flown to New York.
THE FINAL MOMENT
Natasha was admitted to Lenox Hill Hospital on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Her family and friends surrounded her before the tough decision to switch off her life support was made. She died at age 45.
An autopsy revealed that Natasha's fall had resulted in an epidural hematoma, a condition where blood pools between the brain and skull. She died just two days after her fall.
MICHEÁL ON LOSING MOM
"When it's unexpected and it's just a complete freak accident, it really sort of messes with your mind, whether you believe in fate or not.”
LIAM MOVED ON
After his wife's death, Liam donated Natasha's organs. Years later, he revealed that the donation had ended up saving three people's lives as they'd given away her heart, liver, and kidneys.
Natasha [Richardson] told him [Liam Neeson] if he took the James Bond role she would not marry him!
Liam is very private about his romantic life, but he's been spotted on dates before. From 2010, he was rumored to be dating British businesswoman Freya St. Johnston, and in 2016 and 2019, they were seen together at events.
MICHEÁL HONORS MOM
During his The Times interview, Micheál revealed how he followed in his parent's footsteps by becoming an actor. He indicated he got to work with his father in 2020 in the film "Made in Italy."
The movie's storyline echoed his personal experience of losing his mother and, in a way, honored her life. The eldest Neeson child expressed how his mother's memory lived on with him.
HILARIOUS THREAT FROM NATASHA
In June 2021, Liam appeared on The Late Late Show, where host James Corden asked him if he'd ever been mentioned as a possible star for 007. The actor revealed Natasha had given him a warning about that.
Liam said he was approached about the role 26 years ago. While filming a movie together in South Carolina, Natasha told him if he took the James Bond role, she would not marry him!
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