Injured Richardson in New York hospital
The famous family of acclaimed actress Natasha Richardson gathered at a hospital here Wednesday, amid reports that a head injury she suffered during a ski accident left her near death.
TV footage and news photos showed Richardson's family arriving at New York City's Lenox Hill hospital, with a pack of media outside the doors.
Richardson, 45, was reported to have flown on a private jet accompanied by her husband, Irish actor Liam Neeson, 56.
Her mother, acting legend Vanessa Redgrave, her sister Joely Richardson and her two sons were seen entering the hospital overnight, although the hospital has refused to confirm she is there.
New York media reported that Richardson was on life support.
"She is brain-dead," the New York Daily News quoted a family source as saying.
Richardson was transferred from a Montreal hospital on Tuesday, "at the request of the family," said Josee-Michelle Simard, a spokeswoman for Sacre-Coeur hospital in Montreal said.
Richardson's precise medical condition at the time of her release from the Canadian hospital was not immediately clear.
"We know that she has had an accident but we really do not know any more details," Kika Markham, Richardson's aunt, told the British media. "We are very concerned."
Monday's mishap occurred at the Mont Tremblant ski resort where Richardson fell during a ski lesson on a beginner's trail, according to a statement by the Mont Tremblant ski resort in the Laurentian Mountains.
"She did not show any visible sign of injury," the resort said. But following strict procedures, the local ski patrol and her instructor accompanied her back to her hotel and "insisted she should see a doctor."
An hour later, Richardson "was not feeling good" and an ambulance was called to take her to the Centre Hospitalier Laurentien in Ste-Agathe, Quebec. She was later transferred to Sacre-Coeur hospital in Montreal, the resort said.
Officials said the family was to make a statement on Wednesday.
Neeson, who has been married to Richardson since 1994, flew to be with his wife following the accident from a movie set in Toronto, a publicist for the film "Chloe" told local media.
In 1998, Richardson won a Tony award for her role in the musical "Cabaret," and she has appeared in films "The Parent Trap," "Maid in Manhattan" and "Evening."
Other movie credits include "The Handmaid's Tale," "Gothic," "A Month in the Country," and "Nell" in which she appeared with Neeson, whose most celebrated screen turn was in the movie "Schindler's List."
Born in May 1963, Richardson was educated in London and trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in the city, which has groomed a host of British actors.
Her extensive stage experience includes a number of Shakespearean roles, among them Ophelia in "Hamlet" and Helena in "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
The Redgrave clan is one of Britain's most famous stage and screen dynasties.
Vanessa, Corin and their sister Lynn are the children of Rachel Kempson and Michael Redgrave, who played in such British classics as the 1938 "The Lady Vanishes" and 1969 "Goodbye, Mr Chips."
Natasha Richardson's sister Joely is also an actress, who is currently starring in the television drama Nip/Tuck.