Actor Liam Neeson remembered late wife, actress Natasha Richardson, in a revealing interview with Anderson Cooper on CBS’ 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday. This is the first in-depth interview the actor has given about his beloved wife’s tragic passing in March 2009. The two thespians first met on the set of Excalibur in 1981. However, they did not become romantically involved until their co-starring roles in the 1994 film Nell starring Jodie Foster. Neeson and Richardson married soon after completion of the film and shared an enduring love and “explosive chemistry” together throughout their 15-year marriage, which was cut short by Natasha Richardson’s untimely death in 2009 following a skiing accident in Quebec, Canada.
In the poignant interview, the film star reveals intimate details of their life together and Richardson’s final hours, including the last phone conversation he had with his late wife just hours before her death. He compared their chemistry to that of iconic dance team Astaire and Rogers. “She and I were like Astaire and Roger,” Neeson gushed. “We had just this wonderful kind of dance, free dance on stage every night.” Additionally, the actor praised Richardson’s beauty and “motherly” nature towards not only her own family but with people in general. In describing the grief he has encountered following Richardson’s death, the anguish and disbelief in the actor’s features were palatable. The actor recounted to Anderson the final phone call they shared and how Richardson described her accident as “a tumble in the snow.” Within in a few short hours following this call, Richardson was rushed to the hospital complaining of a headache. Her loving husband would rush to her side only to learn that his wife was comatose and brain-dead.
Liam Neeson’s heart-wrenching remembrance of late wife Richardson in the recently aired interview also included a revelation about their “mutual pact” that if either of them were to be rendered incapacitated and reduced to a vegetative state they agreed to end life support measures. However, the actor remarked to Anderson how part of Richardson continues to live on, not only in mind but also in body. Turns out, Richardson was an organ donor and her death provided new life for three recipients who received her heart, liver, and kidneys.
Neeson and Richardson produced two sons over the course of their 15-year marriage, Michael and Daniel, age 19 and 18 respectively. He refrained from mentioning details regarding his sons’ grief over losing their mother. In describing his own profound grief since Richardson’s passing, the actor commented on how it comes in waves. There are periods when it will lull and become more infrequent, but her loss is always with him. Additionally, the film star continues to visit her grave frequently.
When Liam Neeson reminisced about his late wife Natasha Richardson during Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview, it was in glowing and philosophical terms. He recalled Richardson as an active, vibrant, and full-of-life wife and mother, who was a tremendous spirit and whose talents are greatly missed. In retrospect, the film star wonders if Richardson knew her time on earth would be short and that is why she always made the most out of life. As for how he is coping today, Neeson commented on how “unreal” it continues to feel–at the time of her death and now. He still expects her to walk through the door and call out “Hello” five years after her death.
By Leigh Haugh