Thursday, March 19, 2009

Natasha Richardson

The news that actress Natasha Richardson died, after sustaining head injuries in a skiing accident, was devastating.

Natasha Richardson is survived by her husband, actor Liam Neeson. She is also Vanessa Redgrave's daughter, but unlike her mother, she remained apolitical.

I know Natasha Richardson's work in her roles in the 1993 TV adaptation of Tennessee Williams's drama Suddenly, Last Summer and the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap.

L to R: Natasha Richardson, Dame Maggie Smith, and Rob Lowe in Suddenly, Last Summer

In Suddenly, Last Summer, she played Catherine Holly, who is administered truth serum (sodium pentathlate) to uncover the lurid nature of her cousin's death. Rob Lowe played the doctor: this was part of his "rehabilitation" as an actor, after the sex video scandal. The great Dame Maggie Smith, as she's now known, played Catherine's aunt, who is crippled after a stroke. This TV adaptation is superior to the 1959 film starring Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift, and Katharine Hepburn.

Top: Lindsay Lohan as twins Hallie and Annie;
Bottom: Natasha Richardson and Dennis Quaid in The Parent Trap (1998)

I like the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap better than the 1961 version, and Natasha Richardson is a major reason why I like the remake. She plays the mother of twins Hallie and Annie, who were separated after their parents' divorce. In this role, she sparkled and demonstrated a light comedic touch.

That Natasha Richardson was brilliant as two very different characters in two different genres is testimony to her gifts as an actress.

May Liam Neeson, their two sons, and extended family have forbearance to get through during this painful time. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

1 comment:

Janna said...

I never really followed her career, but her death has really hit me - I think because it was so unexpected. My heart goes out to her family.