March 21, 2009
natasha richardson's loved ones gathered Friday for her wake.
Husband liam neeson, mother Vanessa Redgrave, sister Joely Richardson and sons Michel Richard Antonio, 13, and Daniel Jack, 12, were among the mourners who attended a private viewing at the American Irish Historical Society in Manhattan.
Richardson's mother and sister held each other as they entered the Fifth Avenue building across the street from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Neeson and the boys arrived in a black Mercedes.
ralph fiennes, Sara Jessica Parker, Uma Thurman, Mike Nichols, Diane Sawyer, Rupert Everett, Ethan Hawke and Matthew Modine were among the close friends who turned out to pay their respects to the family.
The stream of visitors also included designer Kenneth Cole, Laura Linney, Fisher Stevens, Howard Stern, Stanley Tucci and Julianna Margulies.
"She looked incredibly beautiful," Mathilde Krim of the American Foundation of AIDS Research said of Richardson, who served on amFAR's board of trustees. The actress' father, director Tony Richardson, died of AIDS in 1991.
The entire Upper East Side block was cordoned off, and media and other onlookers were kept at a distance behind police barricades.
The Tony Award-winning actress, who died Wednesday, was transported from the Greenwich Village Funeral Home to the Historical Society Friday morning, the funeral home director told Newsday.
Today's private gathering follows the more public tribute Thursday evening, when the lights of Broadway went dark in her honor. Theaters in London's West End also dimmed their lights Friday in Richardson's honor.
REUTERS/Mike SegarFuneral services will be held Sunday in upstate New York, after which her remains will be interred near the famous couple's second home in the town of Millbrook.
Of course, with the outpouring of grief comes more scrutiny surrounding the circumstances that led to Richardson's untimely death.
Ambulance dispatch records obtained by the New York Times show that Richardson was not hospitalized until nearly four hours after suffering the brain injury that ultimately killed her.
Yves Coderre, director of operations for Ambulances Radisson, which provided the emergency transport, had told the Toronto Globe and Mail that when paramedics initially arrived at the Mont Tremblant resort, which is about 90 minutes north of Montreal, at approximately 1 p.m., they were informed they were not needed.
Per the New York Times, Richardson, who was first taken to the local Centre Hospitalier Laurentien in Ste. Agathe, was not examined by a doctor until 4:20. The ambulance, after being summoned a second time at 3 p.m., started off for the hospital-25 miles away from Mont Tremblant-at 3:42 p.m.
The Globe and Mail reported that Richardson may not have arrived at the larger Hpital du Sacr-Coeur de Montral until close to 7 p.m.
A Mont Tremblant spokeswoman had said that Richardson was walking around and laughing in the moments immediately following her fall on a beginner's slope during a private lesson, but the paramedics who were turned away have reported seeing the 45-year-old actress, from a distance, sitting on a stretcher.