March 19, 2009

Mary Shelley : Natasha Richardson

Today, with sadness, we note the tragic and untimely passing of actress Natasha Richardson.

She was a brave and outstanding actress, playing difficult roles with aplomb and great success. She tackled Chekhov characters, Tennessee Williams’ Blanche DuBois and, in 1998, she won a Tony Award for her transformative interpretation of Sally Bowles in Cabaret, on Broadway.

Ms. Richardson came from a true and vast theatrical family dynasty, a long list of famous actors led by her grandfather, Sir Michael Redgrave, a giant of the British stage. Her parents were Vanessa Redgrave and the acclaimed director Tony Richardson. Aunt Lynn Redgrave played the maid to Ian McKellen’s James Whale in Gods and Monsters (1998).

In her first important film role, Natasha Richardson was cast as Mary Shelley in Ken Russell’s Gothic (1986), an overwrought retelling of the momentous summer at Villa Diodati where Mary conceived Frankenstein. The young Natasha held her own against the formidable Gabriel Byrne as Lord Byron and Julian Sands as Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Ms. Richardson is survived by her husband, Liam Neeson, and two sons.

New York Times obituary.

Trailer for Ken Russell’s Gothic (1986).


SJ said...

Gothic was the first movie I ever saw her in, and one of my favorite movies overall.
Hers is a sad and untimely death.
Thanks for acknowledging her here so respectfully.

rob! said...

It didn't really occur to me until this post she had such strong Frankenstein connections.

Nicely done, Pierre.

SStegall said...

The actor who played Byron was GABRIEL Byrne, not Daniel Byrne.

Pierre Fournier said...

You're right, of course. Correction made. Thanks!