News of Natasha Richardson's death sent shock waves across the globe. The acclaimed actress passed away Wednesday at New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital following a skiing accident just two days prior. She was 45.
"Liam Neeson, his sons, and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha," read a statement the family released shortly after her death. "They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this time."
Stars who worked with both Natasha and her husband Liam Neeson expressed their sadness over the news and sent condolences to the family. Here are some initial star reactions to the news:
In a statement, Lindsay Lohan said: "She was a wonderful woman and actress and treated me like I was her own. I didn’t see much of her over the years but I will miss her." She added: "My heart goes out to her family. This is a tragic loss."
Martha Stewart was among the first to pay tribute. She wrote on her Twitter site: "Just heard the tragic news about poor Natasha Richardson. Her family must be devastated. My sincerest condolences to all."
Oprah said, "I just want to say how deeply saddened I am, we all are, by the sudden passing of actress Natasha Richardson yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband Liam Neeson, their two sons, the rest of their family and friends. Yet another reminder of how fleeting life can be and how precious. We need to value every moment."
Helen Mirren said, "Natasha was a great actress, a fantastic mother, a loving wife and a whirlwind of energy, with an infectious love of life expressed firstly by her wonderful deep laugh. Anyone who knew her will be in mourning today. I hope that Liam [Neeson, Richardson's husband] and her sons are helped in their pain by the great love and sympathy that is coming to them from people all over the world."
Kelly Ripa said, "She was a lady. I can't tell you enough what a good person she was, and fun and vivacious and the most full of life."
Demi Moore (via Twitter): "I am sending out prayers for Natasha Richardson and her family. A real reminder of how precious life is and how quickly it can be gone.
Sam Mendes, who directed Richardson in his 1998 Broadway production of Cabaret, said: "Natasha combined the best of (her parents) Vanessa Redgrave and Tony Richardson: the enormous depth and emotional force of a great actor on the one hand, and the intelligence and objectivity of a great director on the other. She was one of a kind, a magnificent actress. She was also an amazing mother, a loyal friend, and the greatest and most generous host you could ever hope to meet. It defies belief that this gifted, brave, tenacious, wonderful woman is gone."
Filmmaker Ken Russell, who directed Richardson in her 1986 debut, Gothic, said she had a "blend of tenderness and fire." He wrote in a newspaper: "She was one of the few modern actresses who was as smart as she was pretty, and as gentle as she was fierce." He continued: "I loved her unashamedly, and wish her remarkable and wonderful mother, who must be suffering greatly at the moment, all courage and strength."
Jane Fonda recalled meeting the young Richardson on the set of Julia, the 1977 film in which Fonda starred opposite Richardson's mother, Vanessa Redgrave. "She was a little girl but already beautiful and graceful. It didn't surprise me that she became such a talented actor," Fonda recalled on her blog. "It is hard to even imagine what it must be like for her family. My heart is heavy."