As he spoke up about her passing in a recent interview, Irish actor Liam Neeson compared his connection with Natasha Richardson to that of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Actress Richardson passed away from head injuries sustained in a skiing accident in Canada in March 2009 when she was 45 years old.
In an interview with US program 60 Minutes held in his New York State farmhouse, where the couple was married in 1994, Neeson, 61, opened openly about his loss.
The cast member of Non-Stop recalls working with Richardson when they shared a stage in 1993’s Anna Christie.
She was stunning in every way. I recall that the flowing hair was quite alluring,” he remarked. “I had never experienced such intense connection with an actor or actress.
We resembled [Fred] Astaire and [Ginger] Rogers in many ways. Every night on stage, we simply had this great type of free dancing, you know?
When Richardson fell on a beginner’s slope while skiing in Quebec and struck her head, she suffered a catastrophic brain hemorrhage while Neeson was filming a movie in Toronto.
She apparently declined medical attention when offered on the scene since she was not wearing a helmet and went back to her hotel, where she fell ill.
She responded, “Oh dear,” the Star Wars actor recounted. I slipped and fell in the snow. That was how she put it.
I quickly flew up, he said. She was going to be taken to the — the great hospital in Montreal, so divert your flight there, the pilot was informed while I was in the air.
I took a taxi to the hospital, where I was shown her X-ray by a doctor who appeared to be no older than 17. And it wasn’t necessary to be a rocket scientist to understand what was going on.
“It was cartoon-like. As the blood struggles to escape, the brain is pressed up against the side of the skull.
I was informed she was brain dead, he continued. And when I saw this X-ray, I thought, “Wow.” She was plainly on life support, though.
I went up to her and confessed my love to her. said, “Sweetie, you’re not getting out of this alive.” Your head has been bashed.
This is what happened. I’m not sure whether you can hear me, but that’s what happened.
She and I had agreed to turn off the power if one of us went into a vegetative state. Therefore, when I first saw her with all of these tubes, I thought, “These tubes have to go.”
But she’s currently keeping three people alive because I donated three of her organs. Her liver, kidneys, and heart were all…”
The actor acknowledged that he is still having a hard time accepting her death.
“It never was real. Still, it’s not really,” he acknowledged.
“There are now times when I hear the door open in our New York home; she would always set the keys on the table and smile. Therefore, I continue to believe that I will hear her whenever I hear the door open.
“Grief comes at you like a wave, leaving you with a deep sense of instability. You have a three-legged table’s sensation. The earth is no longer stable. I still experience it occasionally as it fades and becomes less regular.
Neeson must get used to raising his boys Michael, 19, and Daniel, 18, alone, saying that it “could have been a hell of a lot worse”.