Legends from Hollywood and Broadway were expressing sympathy and offering condolences to the family of actress Natasha Richardson, who died March 18, 2009, after a skiing accident in Canada. Richardson, 45, was married to actor Liam Neeson and had two sons.
Oscar-winning British actress Helen Mirren said, "Natasha was a great actress, a fantastic mother, a loving wife and a whirlwind of energy, with an infectious love of life expressed firstly by her wonderful deep laugh. Anyone who knew her will be in mourning today. I hope that Liam and her sons are helped in their pain by the great love and sympathy that is coming to them from people all over the world."
Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep said, "Tash was the warm sun in the center of a large constellation of family, friends, all of those lucky enough to know her. She is irreplaceable in our lives; she gave us so much, so generously her legacy is the love that connects us all."
Ralph Fiennes, pictured with Natasha at the premiere of their movie "White Countess," said "For everyone who knew and loved her, Natasha's death is a terrible, devastating loss. She was a star. A great actress, a beautiful woman, a fiercely loyal friend, a brilliant and generous companion. She was an adoring and loving wife and mother. She was unique."
"Tasha is irreplaceable," said actress Mia Farrow. "I cannot think of anyone kinder, more generous, thoughtful, smarter or more fun. She is godmother of two of my children. The Neesons and Vanessa (Redgrave, Richardson's mother) have always made me feel a part of their wonderful family. My thoughts and prayers are with them."
Oscar winner Jodie Foster, who co-starred with Richardson and Liam Neeson in the 1994 drama "Nell," said, "Natasha was brilliant, beautiful, funny, talented beyond measure, as emotionally raw as she was razor sharp. ... May Liam, her beautiful boys and her loving family hold her close as they move through this tragic moment."
Sam Mendes, seen here with his wife, Kate Winslet, at last month's Oscar ceremony, directed the Broadway musical "Cabaret" for which Richardson won a Tony Award in 1998. He said of Richardson, "She was one of a kind, a magnificent actress. ...She was also an amazing mother, a loyal friend and the greatest and most generous host you could ever hope to meet."
Actress Lindsay Lohan, who co-starred with Richardson in a remake of "The Parent Trap" in 1998, said, "She was a wonderful woman and actress and treated me like I was her own. ...My heart goes out to her family. This is a tragic loss."
On her talk show, TV host and actress Oprah Winfrey has this to say:
"I just want to say how deeply saddened I am, we all are, by the sudden passing of actress Natasha Richardson yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband Liam Neeson, their two sons, the rest of their family and friends. Yet another reminder of how fleeting life can be and how precious. We need to value every moment."
Kelly Ripa, co-host with Regis Philbin on the syndicated talk show "Live With Regis and Kelly," said, "She was a lady. I can't tell you enough what a good person she was, and fun and vivacious and the most full of life."
Natasha Richardson performs in "Cabaret" in 1998. "As a stage actress she was really coming into her own, she was becoming a major star and taken extremely seriously on the stage and also her film work... was excellent," said Tim Walker, theater critic for Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper. "She had a sort of luminous presence on the stage."
John C. Reilly and Richardson on opening night of "A Streetcar Named Desire," in 2005. "She was quite careful about what she did," British theater critic Michael Coveney said. "But what she did, she went into with a full heart and a passion. She was very discerning, very serious about the film roles she chose."