'She Taught Me How To Love Unconditionally': Liam Neeson On His Marriage To Natasha Richardson


'She Taught Me How To Love Unconditionally': Liam Neeson On His Marriage To Natasha Richardson



Anyone, who has watched Love Actually, remembers the tragic storyline of Liam Neeson’s character, who lost his wife and found himself having to bring up her son on his own. Even though the film was released back in 2003, little did Neeson know that this tragic storyline would repeat itself in his real life.

Long before the tragedy, Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson’s 16-year marriage has been a kind of role model that inspired Hollywood movies and productions.



They met in 1993 when performing on Broadway in Anna Christie. At that time, Richardson, who was then 29, was married to producer Robert Fox, but that didn’t seem to stop the actors. Neeson later told on 60 Minutes:

I’d never had that kind of an explosive chemistry situation with an actor, or actress. We had just this wonderful kind of dance—free dance on stage every night. She and I were like Astaire and Rogers.



The spark was obvious not just to them but to the audience as well as the show was a great success. Liam and Natasha even received Tony nominations for their roles. Natasha’a marriage was already falling apart at that time, and very soon, their romance became public knowledge. Later Natasha spoke about it, saying,

What can I say? Obviously, I fell very much in love with him.


Even though Neeson was known as a bit of a lady-killer at the time, Natasha wasn’t scared easily. She said she knew why women fell in love with him. On her 30th birthday, Neeson sent her a card right from the set of Schindler’s List, in which he played Oskar Schindler. It said:

You’re catching up with me. Lots of love, Oskar.

Natasha was apparently insulted by the lack of romance in the note and confronted him, asking the dreaded by all men question about where the relationship was going.


Amazingly, right at that moment, Liam realized he had fallen in love with her. He later said:

That was when I knew I really loved this person. I thought, ‘This is real and genuine and is something that has to be protected.’


Happily ever after

In 1994, they got married on a farm not far from New York. They were so committed to each other that when Neeson was cast in the movie Nell, Natasha did everything to get a role in that movie too.

Less than a year after they got married, they welcomed their first son, Micheál, in the spring of 1995, followed by his brother Daniel, in 1996.


The tragedy happened just out of the blue. The couple traveled to Quebec, Canada in 2009 with their sons for a skiing holiday. Natasha was taking private skiing lessons and fell on a beginner’s slope, hitting her head. It turned out to be a fatal injury. Liam rushed to the hospital, and upon his arrival, the doctors told him she was brain dead. Later Neeson explained:

She and I had made a pact. If any of us got into a vegetative state that we’d pull the plug. So when I saw her and saw all these tubes and stuff, that was my immediate thought. But [she] donated three of her organs, so she’s keeping three people alive at the moment.

Reminder for all of us

Eight years after her passing away, Liam is understandably still missing her. He said that her death was never real to him:

There’s periods now when I hear the door opening, especially the first couple of years… anytime I hear that door opening, I still think I’m going to hear her.


His favorite thing about Natasha was that she was so caring and generous. He said she’d taken care of everybody and had a strong motherly instinct.

In 2016, Neeson wrote a touching post on Facebook, paying tribute to his late wife. He said the hardest thing in the world was losing someone you loved and urged everyone to cherish their beloved ones because any day could be the last. He wrote:

My wife died unexpectedly. She brought me so much joy. She was my everything. Those 16 years of being her husband taught me how to love unconditionally. We have to stop and be thankful for our spouses. 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 every day like it’s your last. Because, one day, it will be.


Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson’s touching love story and devotion should be an inspiration and a reminder for all of us to appreciate every single moment with our loved ones and be grateful for what we have.

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