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Natasha Richardson Skiing Accident

Natasha Richardson Skiing AccidentActress Natashia Richardson, who suffered brain trauma in ski accident, flown back to New York.

An emergency medical team at her side, actress Natasha Richardson was flown home to New York Tuesday after suffering a life-threatening brain injury while skiing in Canada.

The Tony award-winning actress was taken from Sacre-Coeur Hospital in Montreal and left the country at 12:30 p.m., hospital spokeswoman Josee-Michelle Simard said.

Simard would not discuss Richardson's condition or address Internet reports that Richardson, the daughter of legendary actress Vanessa Redgrave, was brain dead.

Meanwhile, word of accident sent shockwaves down Broadway, where her friends were praying she would pull through.

Richardson, who won a Tony in 1998 for playing Sally Bowles in "Cabaret," is "theater royalty" said William Ivey Long, who designed her costumes.

"Natasha is strong, but when you hear about something so horrible you think about those vulnerable characters," she has played, Long said.

"Not only is Natasha one of the greatest actresses of her generation, but she is a treasured member of the Roundabout family and a wonderful friend," added Todd Haimes, artistic director of the Roundabout Theatre Company.

Richardson has another strong tie to Broadway - she met her husband, actor Liam Neeson, when they starred together in "Anna Christie."

The 45-year-old actress was preparing to co-star with her mother in a Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music" when she was hurt.

A novice skier, Richardson was hurt after she wiped out at 3 p.m. Monday on the bunny slope at the Mont Tremblant ski resort in Quebec.

A spokeswoman for the resort said Richardson did not appear to be seriously hurt.

"She was awake and alive and laughing and breathing," said Catherine Lacasse. "She refused to see a doctor. She said she was fine and everything was okay."

Richardson was accompanied by the instructor and the ski patrol to her room, where she once again refused to call a doctor.

"She said she was fine," Lacasse said. "She had a headache, she had no signs of impact, no bleeding."

An hour later, Richardson had a pounding headache and "agreed to call an ambulance," Lacasse said.

Neeson left the set of "Chloe," the movie he was filming in Toronto, and flew to Montreal after learning of his wife's accident, relatives said.

"We know that she has had an accident, but we really do not know any more details," said Kika Markham, the wife of Richardson's uncle, Corin Redgrave, told the Associated Press. "We are very concerned."

Richardson was not wearing a helmet when she fell into what appeared to be soft, wet snow, Lacasse said.

"We recommend it, but there's no law that obliges people to wear helmets," she said.

Richardson was taken first to a hospital near the resort and then taken to Montreal, officials said.

Richardson and Neeson, who starred in "Schindler's List" and in "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace," have had an enduring Hollywood marriage. They have been married for 15 years and have two children.

Richardson, whose father was Oscar-winning director Tony Richardson, has also starred in movies, including "The Handmaid's Tale," "Patty Hearst" and "The Parent Trap."

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