18 Mar 2009

Richardson 'critical' after skiing accident

8:13 pm on 18 March 2009

Actress Natasha Richardson is believed to be critically ill after a skiing accident in Canada.

The 45-year-old suffered head injuries at the Mont Tremblant resort on Monday.

Her husband and actor Liam Neeson flew to be by her side at a Montreal hospital.

Reports suggest she has since been transferred to a hospital in the United States.

Richardson fell on the training slopes but did not show signs of injury until an hour later.

The agent for actress Vanessa Redgrave, Richardson's mother, confirmed that Neeson had left the set of his latest film, Chloe, which is shooting in Toronto, to be with his wife. Redgrave is looking after the couple's two sons in New York.

A member of Richardson's family, who spoke to the BBC but has asked not to be named, said the whole family was "very distressed" by the incident.

The statement from the Mont Tremblant resort in Canada said the actress "fell in a beginners' trail while taking a ski lesson".

"She was accompanied by an experienced ski instructor who immediately called the ski patrol," it continued.

"She did not show any visible sign of injury but the ski patrol followed strict procedures and brought her back to the bottom of the slope and insisted she should see a doctor."

Part of the Redgrave acting dynasty, Richardson is the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave and director Tony Richardson, and the sister of Nip/Tuck star Joely Richardson.

She has starred in a number of Hollywood films and acted opposite an 11-year-old Lindsay Lohan in 1998's The Parent Trap.

But she is better known for her work on the stage, winning a Tony award in 1998 for her starring role in Sam Mendes' Broadway production of Cabaret.

Richardson and Neeson married in 1994 after appearing in the film Nell.