(22 Mar 2009)
Friends and family gathered in a small Hudson Valley town on Sunday to say a final farewell to Tony Award-winning actress Natasha Richardson.
Liam Neeson, in a dark suit and sunglasses, was at the head of the casket as he and five other pallbearers carried his wife's coffin into St. Peter's Episcopal Church, near the home where the two married in 1994.
He and Richardson's mother, actress Vanessa Redgrave, waved to the dozens of reporters crowded behind a police barricade on the dirt road leading to the tiny white clapboard church.
The grieving family, including the couple's two sons, Micheal, 13, and Daniel, 12, then paused to allow the media to photograph them in front of church before the service.
Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Laura Linney, Uma Thurman and Timothy Dalton were among the friends who filed into the church on the chilly spring afternoon.
After a graveside service under a large green tent, the 45-year-old actress was buried in a nearby cemetery, about 80 miles (128 kilometres) north of New York City.
She was laid to rest near the grave of her maternal grandmother, the actress Rachel Kempson, who died while visiting her granddaughter and Neeson at their home in nearby Millbrook in 2003.
Neeson and the Redgrave family, including Richardson's sister, actress Joely Richardson, visited Kempson's grave after the burial.
Richardson died on Wednesday at a Manhattan hospital after falling while skiing Monday at the Mont Tremblant resort in the Canadian province of Quebec.
The New York City medical examiner's office said Richardson suffered from an epidural hematoma, which causes bleeding between the skull and the brain's covering.
She wasn't wearing a helmet when she fell.
Richardson is descended from one of Britain's great acting dynasties but built her own reputation in films such as "Patty Hearst" and "The Handmaid's Tale," as well as for her work on the stage.
She won a Tony for her role in the 1998 revival of "Cabaret."
She co-starred with future husband Neeson in the 1993 revival of Eugene O'Neill's "Anna Christie."
The two married at their secluded Millbrook home the next year.
The famous couple was well known in this area, which counts many celebrities among its part-time residents.
The ceremony on Sunday caps off a grim week during which Neeson greeted a stream of friends and family during a private viewing on Friday at the American Irish Historical Society.
Celebrities paying respects this week included Diane Sawyer, Ethan Hawke and Sarah Jessica Parker.
Theatres on Broadway and London's West End dimmed their lights this week in honour of Richardson.
Her final feature film, "Wild Child," has been released internationally but not in the US, and Universal Pictures said a US release date had not been scheduled.
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Wow since Natasha passed, I'm now seeing her funeral and I'm sad all over again..she was so beautiful, kind, gentle and sweet as is Liam ..to see him wave at the media while being so heart broken tells you what kind of man he is as all his and Natasha's family....so very sad...I shall keep her in my heart forever.
She was so beautiful and young Liam I'm still so sorry for your loss for you to take time for photographers on such a sad day tells me what a good man you are you and your family continue to be in my prayers.
I am related to the Redgraves , through ancestry. From one Redgrave to another , I wish you all love ,Peace, and faith during this difficult time.I know that I was proud to Enjoy this gracious woman's work, and her fierce loyalty to Liam. Her son's ,and her entire family. RIP Natasha!
May God Strengthen each and every grieving soul.
Sorry, just finding out that this had happened. My condolences. Both Brilliant, Actor and Actress. The people are there because they love you both and wish the best for your family. I must say that if I had not seen this video, I would not have known. Especially loved the little fellow jumping up and down. That's enough to encourage you and your family right there. Give him a special hug for me! Just had major surgery and he surely put a smile on my face! GOD Bless.
Mrs. Richardson's funeral reminds me of my Aunt Christie,😢😢😢 who had died from cancer last Wednesday, and I went to her funeral, also dressed in black. I'll miss my aunt, who is now in Heaven with my grandfather and her previous cats.
I don't know how I got here, but I have something to say anyway. Now that I've seen this crisis actor funeral I do not think this so-called woman, "Natasha", even died at all. Didn't he take one look at her in hospital and say "pull that plug"? He's famous for saying that in fact. These people must be very bored with their make believe lives.
annieladysmith yes, liam did pull the plug on his wife. But liam and natasha made a promise to each other. They promised that if one of them ever ended up in a vegetable state(natasha was brain dead) they would pull the plug.
Even if I didn't like the newer "Parent Trap" movie, my favorite things about it are Natasha Richardson's brilliant acting, and Shonen Knife's Alternative Indie cover of a folk song "Top of the World" by the Carpenters originally.
I'll never forget how gracious Liam Neeson was, and apparently the entire family and funeral party, in allowing mourners pictures and even waving at them. It was a mutual mourning, it feels. And now my Alan is gone.
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