Liam Neeson Shared The Last Words He Spoke To His Late Wife Natasha Richardson After Her Ski Accident

The couple was married for 16 years before her tragic passing.

Liam Neeson, Natasha Richardson DFree, Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

For many people, actor Liam Neeson has become a household name, earning acclaim for his diverse roles in films that span multiple genres.

The now 71-year-old "Taken" star has kept moments from his life away from the public eye, but one thing that Neeson has been vocal and open about is his late wife Natasha Richardson, who passed away 14 years ago.

Neeson revealed the heartbreaking last words he spoke to his wife before her death.

In March 2009, Richardson, who famously starred in the 1998 remake of "The Parent Trap" with Lindsay Lohan, was involved in a fatal ski accident after taking a tumble during a beginner lesson with her eldest son, Micheál. The former actress had been married to Neeson for 16 years before her untimely death. The couple shared two sons, Micheál and Daniel.


Following the accident, Richardson suffered a traumatic brain injury after telling Neeson that she'd "taken a tumble in the snow." When Richardson first fell, she'd refused medical attention and was escorted back to her hotel room to call Neeson, who was in Toronto filming a movie.

Unfortunately, three hours later, Richardson was rushed to a New York City hospital where doctors discovered blood had been pooling in her brain, causing a fatal pressure.

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Neeson was promptly called, and he rushed to be by his wife's side but was sadly too late. He was told by the doctors that his wife was brain dead and he made the difficult decision to pull the plug. 


During a televised interview with Anderson Cooper five years after her death, the "Love Actually" actor revealed the last words he spoke to his wife before laying her to rest. 



“Sweetie, you’re not coming back from this. You’ve banged your head. It’s… I don’t know if you can hear me, but that’s… this is what’s gone down," Neeson recalled to Cooper. "We’re bringing you back to New York. All your family and friends will come.”

He continued, telling Richardson that he loved her deeply and admitted that the two had previously made a pact where if one of them was in a "vegetative state" the other would pull the plug. 


"That was my immediate thought. These tubes have to go. She's gone," Neeson said, adding that he ended up donating three of her organs and made the beautiful point that she's now keeping three people alive with her heart, kidneys, and liver, even though her physical form is no longer with him and their sons.

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Neeson previously admitted that he 'did not know' how he stayed afloat after Richardson's death.

In a February 2023 interview with Rolling Stone, recalling his wife's death, Neeson said that he did not "know how to answer" a question regarding how he stayed afloat in the aftermath of Richardson's death.

"Life goes on. Natasha's mother, Vanessa [Redgrave], and her sister [Joely Richardson] kind of moved in, and I had a wonderful assistant, Joanna," he told the outlet. "People just came to help, you know? In a big way. And I'll never, ever forget that."


In the wake of Richardson's passing, Neeson became a single dad. While speaking with GQ Magazine, via ABC News, in 2014, Neeson explained that couldn't help but worry about his sons, who were both teenagers at the time.



"My boys are teenagers. They're experimenting. They're flexing muscles and sometimes dangerous avenues, and you think, 'If Tasha was here, someone could share this,'" he said. "But yeah, we're doing all right, you know?"

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Despite his wife's tragic passing, Neeson also opened up about taking the time to visit Richardson's grave and speak to her.

According to Evening Standard, Neeson, who lives in Upstate New York, said, "I speak to her every day at her grave which is about a mile and a half down the road. I go down there quite often, so I do speak to her as if she’s here. Not that she answers me."

It also seems Neeson encourages his sons to keep their mother's memory alive, with his eldest, Micheál, 28, having changed his last name from Neeson to Richardson in 2018 to honor his late mother's legacy.

Richardson's mother, Vanessa Redgrave, 81, reportedly told the Daily Mail about the name change, "That wasn’t because he wanted to avoid his father’s fame, which is enormous. He wanted to hold his mother close to him — because she was a remarkable actress. Absolutely remarkable."

In 2015, Micheál candidly opened up about the difficult years that followed his mother's death. At the time he had been 13, while his brother Daniel was 12. 


"In my mind, subconsciously, I either pushed it out or stored it deep inside," he told The Sunday Times. "And so, within the next week, I was like, 'Okay, on with my life.' Things just started going downhill. The people I was with, we were partying a lot. It was dark. I hit rock bottom."

"Everybody said, 'This kid has lost his mum, that’s where the problem comes from.' And I was like, 'No, it isn’t, I just like to party.' But looking back I realize it was a delayed reaction."

Behind the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, celebrities are not immune to the harsh realities that can happen. But Neeson's resilience and dedication to keeping his late wife's memory alive, along with his sons, proves that while life is fragile and short, the love of family is forever.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.