Thursday, March 19, 2009

RIP Natasha Richardson

You know how sometimes you hear a news report about a celebrity injury and think "oh they'll get better"? The reports about Richardson's skiing accident were so inconsistent that throughout the two days I kept expecting her to appear on TV and say "oh for heaven's sake people, I'm fine!"

But no. She died last night and it's so shocking and sad. She was young, she was fiercely talented and she leaves behind a grieving husband and two teenage sons. I saw her on stage twice (once in Closer, once in Streetcar) but the role for which she will always be remembered is Sally Bowles in the Broadway revival of Cabaret. I didn't get to see her in the role (she'd left the production the weekend before my first ever trip to NYC), I have the cast recording and her performance of the songs on there is so new, so unexpected and to be quite honest, so pitch perfect that to have just her take on the title number as her sole legacy would be a huge achievement.

However, it's just one entry in a distinguished career and it really underlines how tragic her early unexpected death is. In addition to the talent, Richardson also possessed something sadly lacking in a lot of today's stars: class. She was supremely classy and I've never forgotten how sweet and funny she was at the stage door for Closer, even with fans more interested in talking to her about her husband. She will be missed.

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