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Meet Liam Neeson & Natasha Richardson's Grown Children — One Changed His Name to Honor Their Late Mom

Titi Dokubo
Apr 25, 2022
07:30 P.M.
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Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson fell in love at the wrong time because she was still married. However, shortly after her marriage ended, the two became a couple and had a marriage that lasted for 15 years.


Unfortunately, Natasha Richardson passed away, leaving Liam Neeson with two children to raise without a mother. Being a single father was scary, but Liam Neeson did a great job.

His children had to grow up fast, and despite his fears, they eventually became adults their parents would be proud of. Both of their kids followed in their parents' footsteps in acting.

Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson at the 12th Annual Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards circa 1993 | Source: Getty Images


Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson's love story began in 1993 when they performed opposite each other in "Anna Christie" on Broadway. At the time, Richardson was married, but that did not she and Neeson.

Neeson said he felt explosive chemistry between them that he had never felt before. Their chemistry made people love their show so much that they earned a Tony nomination.

During that period, Richardson's marriage ended, and even though falling in love with Neeson happened at the wrong time, she could not help herself. Richardson was not fazed despite Neeson's reputation for being a ladies' man. She said,

"I'm pleased that women fall in love with him, because I know why."


Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson at the screening of "A Streetcar Named Desire" on Broadway on April 26, 2005 | Source: Getty Images

On her 30th birthday, Neeson sent her a card while he was on the set of "Schindler's List." Richardson felt the card was not romantic and responded to him by asking him about their relationship.

Her response made Neeson realize that he had fallen in love with her. Shortly after that, the couple married on a farm in upstate New York in the summer of 1994.


Life moved fast for the couple as they became parents to Micheál, their first son, in 1995 and welcomed Daniel, their second son, 18 months later.

Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson at the "Chanel" Costume Institute Gala Opening on May 2, 2005 | Source: Getty Images



On March 16, 2009, Richardson decided to take ski lessons at a ski resort in Québec, Canada. Around noon, as she was on the hill with an instructor, she toppled over on nearing the bottom of a beginners' trail.

The fall caused her to bang her head against the still hard-packed snow. "The Parent Trap" actress shrugged it off, but her instructor was wary and sought a second opinion from the ski patrol.

The ski patrol called for an ambulance, but Richardson insisted she was fine and signed a waiver declining medical assistance. She made light of the situation when she called Neeson to inform him of the accident.


Portrait of Natasha Richardson for the movie "Patty Hearst" in 1988 | Source: Getty Images

Richardson's anxiety levels increased in no time. She had a headache and showed signs of confusion. The resort called for an ambulance again, and they took her to a nearby hospital.


Richardson's vital signs improved, and with the help of oxygen, she breathed better. However, she was still confused, and the hospital realizing things could be worse, put her into another ambulance bound for a Montréal trauma center.

Natasha Richardson at the Gotham Magazine Celebrates Natasha Richardson on December 5, 2005 | Source: Getty Images


On receiving word that his wife was in serious trouble, Neeson quickly left the production. They did not recognize him when he arrived at the hospital and refused to let him past the emergency room.

A nurse sympathized with him and let him go through a back door. The actor found his wife hooked up to life support, and the doctors informed him that she was brain-dead. Neeson recalled they made a pact to 'pull the plug' if the other wound up in a vegetative state.

Natasha Richardson at the 4th Annual Tribeca Film Festival for the premiere of "Asylum" | Source: Getty Images


Knowing this, Neeson spoke to his wife for the last time. He professed his love for her and told her she would not return from the injury.

He also informed her that he would take her back to New York for family and friends to pay their last respects before pulling the plug. The late actress left behind two young sons.

"I was a mama's boy".

Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson at the BFI 52 London Film Festival for the premiere of "The Other Man" on October 17, 2008 | Source: Getty Images



More than a decade after Richardson's death, her children have grown into fine adults. Their eldest son, Micheál, was born on June 22, 1995.

He followed in both his parents and made his film debut in 2013 when he starred in "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues." He has also starred in "Vox Lux," "Big Dogs," "Broken Symphony," and "Paradise."

Micheál Neeson at the premiere of "Vox Lux" at the 75th Venice Film Festival on September 4, 2018 | Source: Getty Images


In 2019, Micheál starred alongside his father "Cold Pursuit," and in 2020, they acted together in "Made in Italy." Micheál changed his last name in 2018 from Neeson to Richardson to honor his mother. He said,

"It was mainly like a homage to my mother, a way to carry her with me. Going into this industry, carrying her last name, it definitely inspires me, and it is also comforting."

Micheál Neeson and Joely Richardson at the New York premiere of "Red Sparrow" on February 26, 2018 | Source: Getty Images


Neeson approved of his son's decision and is proud of it. Also, Neeson did not want a situation where people would always ask his son about their relationship. The "Taken" actor who believed his son did the right thing said,

"It was a lovely gesture. Natasha's family, mother, and sisters were very touched by it. I'm proud of it."

Micheál's maternal grandmother Vanessa Redgraves also supported his decision. She said that even though customs dictated that people bear the man's name, she does not object to her grandson's decision because the name is as good as any.

Photo of Micheál Neeson leaving the gym with a friend on March 5, 2015 in London | Source: Getty Images


Micheál recalled that his mother was terrific, and he wishes he could have conversations with her now that he is an adult. He said,

"I was a mama's boy growing up, and she was really my best friend."

Liam Neeson and Micheál Neeson at the Maison Mais Non launch party on June 2, 2015 | Source: Getty Images



The couple's second son, Daniel, was born on August 27, 1996. He studied acting and digital media but primarily worked behind the cameras on the production side of filmmaking, unlike his father and brother.

In 2016, Daniel, who never thought he would get into fashion design, launched his eco-friendly clothing line called Pine Outfitters.

Being a massive athlete who loved to play sports, he always wanted to be a hockey player or a producer in the entertainment industry. However, his clothing line would deliver a classy style of clothing.


Daniel is also glad he can do something different from his family. Also, in 2016, he started his second company, "Willowglen Landscaping," and in 2017, he co-founded DNA Spirits.

Unlike his older brother, Daniel opted to retain his father's name, Neeson. He recalls that his mother, one of his biggest role models, always encouraged him to follow his passions. He said,

"She was always about 'don't ever feel like you have to be forced down a tunnel to fit in. Do what you want to do, but do it to your best and be generous with it.'"

Micheál Neeson, Natasha Richardson, and Daniel Neeson at the opening night of "Billy Elliot The Musical" on Broadway on November 13, 2008 | Source: Getty Images



As a single father, Neeson had fears for his sons when they were teenagers, and one of those was the possibility of them getting hooked on drugs.

He recalled that as they experimented and flexed their muscles, he was worried despite bringing them up with the correct values. He wished his wife was around to share the worries with him.

Neeson was also thankful that his sons were used to him being away for long periods, as one of them was even born on location.

Liam Neeson and his sons, Daniel Neeson and Micheál Richardson at the New York Rangers Vs. Boston Bruins game on March 23, 2016 | Source: Getty Images


However, he was also grateful for having a great support system that helped him balance work and fatherhood. The actor also revealed that being a father helped him grow as a man. He said,

"They really do help, in all sorts of quiet, subtle ways."

He revealed that he is sometimes powerless in his role as a father. Neeson also said that his sons seldom came home when they were supposed to, but he had to get used to that.


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