The Story of Liam Neeson, Who Became a Single Father After His Wife Passed Away
To most moviegoers, Liam Neeson is known as a fearless action hero who can rescue his daughter from captivity and save passengers on a plane. But true movie fans know him as the one who played Oskar Schindler. However, today we’re not here to talk about his successful film career but about the tragic side of the actor’s life. In 2009, due to an unfortunate accident, he lost his beloved wife and has since not chosen to connect his fate with anyone else, instead devoting himself to work and his children.
Liam and Natasha, 2008
The love story of the Irish actor and the English actress began when they starred together in the play Anna Christie on Broadway in 1993. At the time, 29-year-old Natasha Richardson was married to producer Robert Fox but was already in the process of getting a divorce. Although Liam was known as a ladies’ man at the time, his reputation did not affect Natasha. “I’m pleased that women fall in love with him, because I know why,” she said.
Richardson fell deeply in love with Neeson, who considered himself a confirmed bachelor. In one interview, Liam said, “I’d never had that kind of an explosive chemistry situation with an actor, or actress.” They tied the knot in 1994 on a small farm in the northern part of New York state. “I can’t believe I was lucky enough to meet my soul mate,” Richardson later said.
Liam and Natasha, 1993.
In that same year, they starred together in the movie Nell. In 1995, they welcomed their first son, Michael. The next year, their second son, Daniel, was born.
Natasha with her sons, 2008.
Their relationship was wonderful, and they were an example for other celebrity couples. But everything was shattered by a terrible tragedy that occurred in March 2009. Richardson sustained a head injury while skiing without a helmet on a beginner’s trail in the Canadian city of Quebec. At first, the actress did not attach much importance to the injury because she did not feel anything serious. “We spoke to her, and she just said, ’Oh, darling, I’ve taken a tumble in the snow,’” Neeson recalled in 2014.
But a few hours later, she suddenly became ill, lost consciousness, and fell into a coma. She was taken to a hospital in Montreal. And Liam, who was filming the movie Chloe in Toronto at the time, immediately flew to the hospital to be with his wife. When the actor arrived at his beloved’s side (just a few hours after the accident), the doctors told him that Richardson’s brain was already dead and she was on life support.
It turned out that the actress had suffered a fatal head injury. When the doctors showed Neeson the X-ray of Natasha’s brain, he understood everything, “Sweetie, you’re not coming back from this. I don’t know if you can hear me, but what’s happened has happened. And we’re bringing you back to New York. Your whole family and friends are coming.”
After the funeral, the actor said that he and Natasha had previously made an agreement: if one of them ever fell into a vegetative state, the other would turn off life support systems. “So when I saw her, saw all these tubes, I immediately remembered the agreement.” In the end, Natasha donated 3 of her organs (heart, kidneys, and liver), thus saving the lives of 3 people.
Liam and Natasha, 2005
To cope with his grief, Liam Neeson immersed himself in work (since 2009, he has appeared in almost 50 films) and dedicated himself to raising his sons. At the time of their mother’s death, they were only 12 and 13 years old. “I just don’t — I just don’t wallow too much. You know? And I just didn’t want to — especially for my boys — seem to be wallowing in sadness or depression,” the actor stated.
However, Neeson found it difficult to come to terms with the loss of his beloved. In one interview, he said that even 13 years after Natasha’s death, when he hears the front door open, he still expects his wife to walk in and hear her voice, as well as the sound of her keys being thrown on the table.
Some scenes in the movies he appears in remind him of his loss. “And, then, it’s — grief’s like — it hits you. It’s like a wave. You just get this profound feeling of instability. You feel like a 3-legged table. Just suddenly, you just — the Earth isn’t stable anymore. And then it passes and becomes more infrequent, but I still get it sometimes,” the actor said.
Liam and Natasha, 2008
Neeson misses his wife so much — she is always on his mind. He shares, “That’s the weird thing about grief. You can’t prepare for it. You think you’re gonna cry and get it over with. I’m out walking. I’m feeling quite content. And it’s like suddenly, boom. It’s like you’ve just done that in your chest.”
He adds, “Tasha, she’s buried up near our house. Her grandmother too. I go see Tasha once or twice a week. Just to talk. I like it.”
Liam and Natasha, 2007
In addition to work, Liam Neeson’s beautiful sons help him cope with the thoughts of his late wife. After Natasha Richardson’s death, Neeson’s mother-in-law, actress Vanessa Redgrave, was involved in raising the children. Neeson says that his family is in good hands. “I have a great support team. And if I have to go away on a project, my mother-in-law moves in with us,” the actor said.
Vanessa Redgrave with her grandkids, 2010
Liam has talked about how he often dreams of his late wife being alive to witness their sons growing up, gaining muscle mass, and exploring dangerous paths. He wishes that she could share this experience with their sons. Additionally, the actor noted that he used to constantly worry about his boys getting addicted to harmful habits that could permanently change their lives and family.
At the same time, Liam assures that he trusts his children because they are smart boys. The actor is very proud of his sons and notes that they know their dad will always be there for them no matter what.
Liam with his sons, 2011
Having come of age, Liam’s eldest son, with his father’s blessing, took his mother’s last name, officially becoming Michael Richardson. He simply wanted to feel his mother close to him, as she was a fantastic woman. By the way, Michael followed in his parents’ footsteps, starting a career in Hollywood, although his father was initially against it.
Liam with his son Michael, 2015
Liam and Natasha’s younger son also tried his hand in the entertainment industry, studying acting and digital media. He worked behind the scenes several times, producing films, but eventually switched to fashion. In 2017, he launched his own line of eco-friendly clothing called Pine Outfitters.
Liam with his sons Daniel (center) and Michael (on the right), 2014
After his wife’s death, Liam Neeson never found a woman whom he could love as much as he loved Natasha Richardson. Although he had several brief flings, they never turned into serious relationships.
In 2016, Liam shared a message with fans in which he remembered his late wife. He urged everyone to cherish their partners and make the most of every day together. He wrote, “Because, one day, when you look up from your phone, they won’t be there anymore. What I truly learned most of all is, live and love everyday like it’s your last.”
Learn more about Liam Neeson in our other articles: