Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Goodbye my darling; Liam Neeson bids final farewell to Natasha

Liam Neeson waves to journalists as he arrives with family and friends to the funeral of his wife Natasha, March 22, 2009
Liam Neeson waves to journalists as he arrives with family and friends to the funeral of his wife Natasha, March 22, 2009
Actor Liam Neeson waves as he arrives to St. Peter's Church in Lithgow, N.Y., Sunday, March 22, 2009, for the funeral of his wife Natasha Richardson.
Family and friends of Natasha Richardson gather prior to her funeral in front of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Lithgow, N.Y. on Sunday, March 22, 2009. At center right is Vanessa Redgrave, Richardson's mother, and at second left is Richardson's sister Joely Richardson.
Family and friends of Natasha Richardson gather for a photo prior to the funeral of Richardson in front of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Lithgow, N.Y. on Sunday, March 22, 2009. At left is Vanessa Redgrave, Richardson's mother, and right is Liam Neeson, Richardson's husband.
Liam Neeson, center left, awaits the casket of his wife Natasha Richardson along with other pallbearers as they stand in front of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Lithgow, N.Y. on Sunday, March 22, 2009.
Actor Ralph Finnes, right, and a fellow mourner arrive at the funeral of Natasha Richardson, Lithgow, N.Y. on Sunday, March 22, 2009
Pallbearers carry the casket of actress Natasha Richardson to St. Peter's Cemetery in Lithgow, N.Y. on Sunday, March 22, 2009.
Pallbearers carry the casket of actress Natasha Richardson to St. Peter's Cemetery in Lithgow, N.Y., Sunday, March 22, 2009
Actors Liam Neeson, right, and Vanessa Redgrave, left, stand with family members before a funeral for his wife and her daughter, Natasha Richardson, at St. Peter's Church in Lithgow, N.Y., Sunday, March 22, 2009.
Actress Uma Thurman, center, and other mourners leave a graveside service for actress Natasha Richardson at St. Peter's Cemetery in Lithgow, N.Y. on Sunday, March 22, 2009
Liam Neeson and his mother-in-law Vanessa Redgrave walk through St. Peter's Cemetery in Lithgow, N.Y. on Sunday, March 22, 2009 after a funeral for his wife and her daughter, Natasha Richardson.
Natasha Richardson
Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson
Vanessa Redgrave dressed for her lead role in the film "Isadora', talks with her daughter Natasha, in 1967
Liam Neeson leaves Lenox Hill Hospital in New York
Antonio Neeson, second from right and his brother Daniel Jack Neeson, left, sons of actress Natasha Richardson leave Lenox Hill Hospital in New York
Natasha Richardson
British actress Vanessa Redgrave, center, poses with her daughters actresses Natasha Richardson, left, and Joely Richardson
Natasha Richardson
Vanessa Redgrave and her husband, film director Tony Richardson, with their first child, week-old daughter Natasha, 1963
Liam Neeson's wife Natasha Richardson
Natasha Richardson
Natasha Richardson
Natasha and Liam

Friends and family of Natasha Richardson yesterday bid a final farewell to the actress at a private funeral service in upstate New York.

The ceremony took place at St Peter’s Episcopal Church in Millbrook, near where Richardson shared a home with Ballymena-born husband Liam Neeson and their two children.

Neeson was among the pallbearers for his wife’s coffin as it was taken inside the building.

He arrived at the tiny, white clapboard church with his sons Micheal (13) and Daniel (12) and mother-in-law, Vanessa Redgrave.

Others at the funeral included actor Ralph Fiennes. Burial was due to take place in a nearby cemetery.

Richardson died in a hospital in New York on Wednesday after suffering a fatal head injury during a skiing accident in Quebec, Canada.

The 45-year-old fell during a lesson at the luxury resort of Mont Tremblant.

She initially showed no sign of injury but about an hour later was taken to a nearby hospital after feeling unwell. It was later confirmed her injuries were critical.

Neeson (56) flew from the set of his new film to be with his wife as soon as he heard of the accident.

He accompanied her as she was flown from Canada to a hospital in New York on Tuesday where she later died.


Above: Natasha Richardson Casket Leaves

A medical examiner in New York later confirmed that her death was due to a blunt impact to the head.

Questions have been raised over the initial response to the accident after it emerged that the first ambulance sent to the injured actress was turned back.

It was only later, when Richardson’s condition had deteriorated, that emergency services were able to examine her.

The actress’ body was moved to Millbrook, around 90 miles north of New York City, yesterday following a private wake in the city at which Neeson mourned alongside family and friends including Uma Thurman and Fiennes.

He also attended a dimming of the lights in Broadway in tribute to the stage and screen actress.

In preparation for the funeral, Richardson’s coffin was driven to the couple’s Hudson Valley farmhouse early on Saturday, emblazoned with an Irish claddagh symbol, signifying love, friendship and loyalty.

Instead of flowers, Richardson's family asked for donations to be made to the amfAR foundation for AIDS research.

The English-born actress, whose father Tony Richardson died of complications from the disease in 1991, was a long-time supporter of the charity and served on its board of trustees for the last three years of her life.

Many of Neeson’s relatives, including his mother, Kitty, still live in the Ballymena area and prayers were said during Mass at All Saints Church in the town.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz