Liam Neeson 'Fell in Love' with a Woman Years after Wife's Death Saved the Lives of 3 People
Long before a tragedy ended their 15-year marriage, Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson shared a love connection so endearing that it inspired the Hollywood movies and productions they starred in.
Liam Neeson and his wife Natasha Richardson had a passionate love story many people admired in showbiz. Sadly, the actress died after a skiing accident.
Neeson felt his wife's death "wasn't real." However, after accepting her passing, the movie star admitted that he fell in love again. Here are more details about the couple's lives.
RICHARDSON AND NEESON'S LOVE STORY
Neeson and Richardson's love story began when the duo performed opposite each other in "Anna Christie" on Broadway in 1993. The English starlet, 29 at the time, was married to producer Robert Fox, but that did not stop romance from igniting between her and Neeson.
The "Taken" star later told broadcaster Anderson Cooper on "60 Minutes" that he never experienced that strong chemistry with a fellow actor:
"I'd never had that kind of an explosive chemistry situation with an actress. We just had this wonderful kind of dance-free dance on stage every night. She and I were like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers."
Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson arriving at the BFI 52 London Film Festival: "The Other Man" premiere at the Odeon West End on October 17, 2008 in London, England. / Source: Getty Images
The duo's chemistry was evident, critics and theatergoers loved the show, and both Richardson and Neeson earned Tony nominations for their roles, per the New York Daily News. It seemed as though the universe favored Neeson, then 40, because Richardson's marriage to the film producer was ending.
"Working with him, what happened between us, and that becoming public knowledge in conjunction with my marriage falling apart, was bad timing," said Richardson. "So, what can I say? I fell very much in love with him."
Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson leaving Studio 54 after the opening of "A Streetcar Named Desire" on April 26, 2005 in New York. / Source: Getty Images
During that period, Neeson was a bit of a ladies' man, but that did not bother his future wife, who surprisingly said: "I'm pleased that women fall in love with him because I know why."
Despite the undeniable connection during their courtship, when Richardson celebrated her 30th birthday, Neeson sent her a card from the "Schindler's List" film set where he played Oskar.
The note read: "You're catching up with me. Lots of love, Oskar." She was unimpressed by the corny message and decided to be upfront. Richardson responded by saying the letter sounded like it was from a friend and boldly asked her future husband about the status of their relationship.
Liam Neeson with wife Natasha Richardson attending the 33rd Annual American Ireland Fund Gala at The Tent at Lincoln Center on May 08, 2008 in New York City. / Source: Getty Images
"The Ice Road" star knew he had fallen in love with her right then and there. "I thought, 'This is real and genuine and is something that has to be protected,'" said Neeson.
Not long after that realization, he and Richardson were married on a farm in New York in 1994. After exchanging wedding vows, Neeson became part of the cast in the film "Nell."
His newly-wedded wife was not too happy about the idea of them being separated during filming and hoped to work alongside him again. Richardson desired to play the role of Dr. Paul Olsen in the movie.
Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson during The Costume Institute's Gala Celebrating "Chanel" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York. / Source: Getty Images
Thanks to her lucky stars, her wish came true as the couple co-starred opposite each other yet again after she ended up being cast in the film, too.
Life continued to move fast for the two because less than a year after getting hitched, Neeson and Richardson became parents for the first time to their son, Michael, born in June 1995. Their second son, Daniel, arrived in August 1996.
Liam Neeson and his sons Daniel Neeson, and Micheal Neeson during New York Rangers Vs. Boston Bruins game at Madison Square Garden on March 23, 2016 in New York City. / Source: Getty Images
NEESON'S PACT WITH RICHARDSON, WHO REFUSED MEDICAL HELP
Tragedy struck years later when Richardson injured her head in a skiing accident and refused medical help. When the unfortunate incident occurred, the mom of two was not wearing a helmet and did not collide with anything when she fell.
The accident happened in March 2009 at the Mont Tremblant ski resort in Quebec, Canada. She seemed fine and joked about the fall at first, but the ski patrol insisted she sees a doctor. Richardson declined; the resort revealed in a statement.
In the afternoon of that fateful day, paramedics received a call for help. They dispatched an ambulance to the hotel she stayed at ten minutes later. Richardson was conscious but showed signs that made paramedics call the hematology department, where they transported her.
Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson attending a special screening of "Seraphim Falls" at the Tribeca Grand Hotel on January 23, 2007 in New York City. / Source: Getty Images
A news report revealed that an ambulance was dispatched right after the accident but that upon arrival, the paramedics learned they were not needed and left.
The operations manager for the ambulance service, Yves Coderre, disclosed to the Globe and Mail that they never even saw the patient and so turned around:
"When you have head trauma, you can bleed. It can deteriorate in a few hours or a few days. People don't realize it can be serious. We warn them they can be idle, and sometimes they start to laugh. They don't take it seriously."
Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson attending "The 30th Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards" at The St. Regis Hotel on January 13, 2005 in Century City, California. / Source: Getty Images
Richardson was later transferred to Hopital du Sacre-Coeur in Montreal before being flown to New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital, where her loved ones rushed to her side.
The Mont Tremblant ski resort later released a statement explaining how the incident occurred. According to the resort, Richardson fell in a beginner's trail while taking a ski lesson at Station Mont Tremblant.
She was with an experienced ski instructor who immediately dialed ski patrol. The instructor followed strict procedures and brought her back to the bottom of the slope. The guider advised her to see a medical professional.
Natasha Richardson during "Seraphim Falls" after party at Soho Grand Penthouse at 310 West Broadway in New York City, New York. / Source: Getty Images
As an additional precautionary measure, the instructor and the medics accompanied her back to the hotel, recommending a doctor again.
Approximately an hour after the accident, Richardson started feeling unwell, and they called an ambulance. She was transported to the Centre Hospitalier Laurentien in Ste-Agathe and was later transferred.
Sadly, the "Haven" star died on March 18 that year and was surrounded by her spouse and family members. Neeson's publicist announced Richardson's death in a public statement which stated how shocked and devastated they were about her passing.
Natasha Richardson pictured with her sons Micheal Neeson (L) and Daniel Neeson (R) during the "Billy Elliot The Musical" opening night on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre on November 13, 2008 in New York City. / Source: Getty Images
Richardson passed away at age 45 from an epidural hematoma only two days after the incident. In 2014, her spouse spoke candidly about her untimely passing with Anderson Cooper. Neeson explained that doctors told him his beloved wife was brain dead following the accident and had slipped into a coma:
"I went in to her, and I told her I loved her. I said, 'Sweetie, you're not coming back from this. You've banged your head.'"
"She and I had made a pact. If any of us got into a vegetative state, we'd pull the plug. My immediate thought was, 'Okay, these tubes have to go. She's gone,'" Neeson continued.
Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson arriving at The UK premiere of "The Chronicles Of Narnia" at the Vue Cinema, The O2 in London. / Source: Getty Images
RICHARDSON'S DEATH SAVED THE LIVES OF THREE PEOPLE
In February 2014, the father of two revealed his wife's death was not in vain because she was keeping three people alive after donating her organs:
"We donated three of her organs, so she's keeping three people alive at the moment...her heart, kidneys, and liver. It's terrific, and I think she would be very thrilled and pleased."
Neeson continued: "Her death was never real. It still isn't." He also revealed that there had been times when he would feel her presence.
Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson attending the Chanel Dinner at the Greenwich Hotel during the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival on April 28, 2008 in New York City. / Source: Getty Images
"There are periods now in our New York residence when I hear the door opening, especially the first couple of years...anytime I hear that door opening, I still think I'm going to hear her," he shared.
Speaking on life without the mother of his kids, Neeson said when it dawned on him that she was longer alive, "it hits you. It's like a wave," adding his world felt unstable.
Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson attending the "Dreamgirls" premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 4, 2006 in New York City. / Source: Getty Images
DATING LIFE AFTER WIFE'S DEATH & NEW LOVE
In finding that balance, Neeson, 70, tried dating after more than a year and a half of losing Richardson. In September 2010, the Irish star was spotted leaving London's high-end Nobu restaurant with businesswoman, Freya St. Johnston.
The two were photographed holding hands while making their way from Nobu to the Dorchester Hotel. According to the Daily Mail, Neeson met the British publicist through Hollywood friends. The publication had reported that he visited her modest apartment in northwest London, which received many bouquets.
Liam Neeson during his appearance on "Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen," Season 17. / Source: Getty Images
Then in October 2012, Irish Central reported that the couple had split after two years of being together. A source revealed at the time that Neeson wanted to take a break and focus on his family:
"Liam is heading back to America at the start of next month to work on his new film ‘Non-Stop.' He told Freya that he wants to take a break and concentrate on his family."
Earlier that month, the Academy Award nominee told a German magazine that he was missing his wife daily, more than anything else.
Liam Neeson during the "Venganza Bajo Cero" Madrid premiere on July 15, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. / Source: Getty Images
In 2020, Neeson spent several months in Melbourne filming his latest action movie, "Backlight." While there, he revealed that he fell in love with the country and one of its residents in particular.
The Hollywood star revealed to "Sunrise" hosts David Koch and Natalie Barr that he loved the city and the Australian crew, saying they were fantastic and had a great sense of humor.
"I made a couple of pals...I fell in love, but she was taken," said Neeson. His admission was significant because he had not publicly addressed his love life since Richardson's passing.
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