Friday, March 20, 2009

R.I.P. Natasha Richardson

After the much greater shock of her accident and horrifically sudden, tragic death, it came as a smaller shock to me to realize that I've never actually seen Natasha Richardson act, either on screen or on stage. And yet she was an actress I always instantly recognized and automatically accorded a high level of respect. Maybe it was her pedigree - after all, it's hard for anyone interested in film or theater to be unaware that she was the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave, niece of Lynn Redgrave, and wife of Liam Neeson. Maybe it was her vague resemblance to Emma Thompson (with a sprinkling of Kim Cattrall). But more than that, I think it was the air she projected - an air of elegance, grounded by humor and humanity, that seemed entirely consistent with what I read and knew about her. Natasha, in a word, had class, a quality that's as rare as it is undervalued. May her family find solace for their grief in each other, and in the well wishes of her admirers.