A Look Back at Natasha Richardson's Best Roles, 5 Years After Her Tragic Death

There've been many tragic deaths in Hollywood over the last decade, but few have hit harder than the loss of Natasha Richardson back in 2009. The beloved actress's death from a freak head injury shocked the world and devastated her family, including husband Liam Neeson and the couple's two teenage sons. Now, nearly five years later, Neeson has spoken publicly for one of the first times about his wife's accident, revealing that the grief still hits him "like a wave," and that even now, Richardson's death still doesn't feel real.

It's a heartbreaking interview, and one can only imagine how painful it must be for Neeson to relive that tragic day, even all this time later. Hopefully, the actor can take comfort in knowing that his late wife's legacy still lives on, in the form of the films, TV shows, and Broadway productions.

In honor of Richardson's memory, let's take a look back at the actress's best, most memorable roles.

by Rachel Simon


In the 1998 Broadway revival of the legendary show, Richardson starred as Sally Bowels, the English teenage cabaret performer who begins a relationship with an American writer. The actress earned a Tony for her acclaimed performance.

'A Month in the Country'

In Richardson’s second ever film role, the actress played Alice, a married woman who falls for war veteran Tom Birkin (Colin Firth). While the film floundered at the box office, it helped launch the careers of its stars, including Richardson, Firth, and a then-unknown Kenneth Branagh.

Image: Warner Bros.

'Patty Hearst'

Richardson won raves for her performance as media heiress Patty Hearst in this 1988 biopic. While the movie itself was panned, Richardson’s portrayal of the brainwashed Hearst had reviewers calling her “remarkable” and “smashing.”

Image: Atlantic Releasing


In Nell, an Oscar-nominated drama about a woman (Jodie Foster) raised in isolation, Richardson played Dr. Paula Olsen, an autism specialist who reluctantly falls for a fellow researcher (Liam Neeson). Richardson and Neeson had met a year earlier while appearing on Broadway, and their chemistry together is evident on-screen in Nell.

Image: 20th Century Fox

'The Parent Trap'

Richardson’s most famous role was undoubtedly in 1998’s The Parent Trap, a blockbuster comedy that launched the career of star Lindsay Lohan and fooled all children of divorce into thinking their parents’ re-marriage was only a romantic yacht ride away. As Elizabeth, a London wedding gown designer, Richardson made simple lines like “you’re not Annie… you’re Hallie!” some of the most memorable in ’90s cinematic history.

Image: Buena Vista

'Maid in Manhattan'

Maid in Manhattan may not have been a particularly good movie, but it was a successful one. The Jennifer Lopez rom-com earned $155 million, thanks in large part to the charms of its ensemble cast, including Ralph Fiennes, Stanley Tucci, and Richardson, as a hotel guest whose identity Lopez’s maid “borrows.”

Image: Columbia

'The Wildest Dream'

Although Richardson only contributed her voice to this 2010 documentary, her work on the adventure film received rave reviews, with critics calling it “exceptionally strong.” The Wildest Dream was Richardson’s last film before her death.