As you’ve no doubt heard, Natasha Richardson — famous to lame children of the ’90s like me for her role in the Lindsay Lohan remake of The Parent Trap — died yesterday. I’m not sure why this is affecting me so much, but I am deeply sad about this. I originally heard that she was in serious condition, and then I freaked out yesterday afternoon when I read that she was brain dead, and then I almost cried on the bus when I got a News Alert that she had died.
The papers say that she died in a skiing accident, which makes me imagine her recklessly flying through trees or skiing out-of-bounds on some intense moguls. But what really happened is so much sadder. According to the NYT:
Ms. Richardson, who was not wearing a helmet, had fallen during a beginner’s skiing lesson, a resort spokeswoman, Lyne Lortie, said Tuesday. “It was a normal fall; she didn’t hit anyone or anything,” Ms. Lortie said. “She didn’t show any signs of injury. She was talking and she seemed all right.”
Can you imagine? She was taking a beginner’s ski lesson, and she was okay at first. Stuff like that kills me.
I think I’m sad about this for two major reasons. First of all, she seems like good people. She came from a long line of famous theater folk (even I’ve heard of the Redgraves) and was really well-respected in the theater community. And she’s married to Liam Neeson, who also seems like good people. They were so freaking cute:
I keep imaging the funeral scene from Love Actually, where Neeson’s character gives a eulogy that makes me sob every time and then sends his wife off, at her request, “through the immortal genius of the Bay City Rollers.” It’s life imitating art in the worst way.
The second reason this upsets me so much is that it disrupts the notion that freak accidents don’t happen people you know. When Heath Ledger died, it scared me because he was basically the first celebrity of my generation to die of a drug overdose. When our family friend’s infant child dies of SIDS, it showed me that these things are real. I of course didn’t actually know Natasha Richardson (or Heath Ledger), but somehow their deaths hit close to home.
Anyway. I’m very sad, and my thoughts and prayers go out to Natasha’s family.
[Posted by Mallory]