Broadway Pays Tribute To Richardson

In life, Broadway was the place Tony Award-winning actress Natasha Richardson shone so brightly. Last night, her husband, Liam Neeson and mother Vanessa Redgrave were among family members who went to Broadway as theaters dimmed their lights in tribute to Richardson.

The lights went down for one minute at about 8 p.m. Thursday, the traditional starting time for Broadway evening performances. Also present were Richardson's sister, Joely, and actors Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Sam Mendes, who directed the 1998 revival of "Cabaret" - for which Richardson won her Tony Award - said "it defies belief that this gifted, brave, tenacious, wonderful woman is gone."

Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, the trade organization for Broadway theaters and producers, called Richardson "one of our finest young actresses."

"Her theatrical lineage is legendary, but her own singular talent shined memorably on any stage she appeared," she said.

While still shocking, family and friends now have some answers surrounding Richardson's death, CBS News correspondent Bianca Solorzano reports.

Richardson, 45, died Wednesday at Lenox Hill Hospital after falling at the Mont Tremblant resort in Quebec on Monday. An autopsy confirms Richardson died from blunt impact to the head. The traumatic brain injury is called "epidural hematoma" -- bleeding between the skull and the brain's covering. Some 50,000 people die from traumatic brain injury in the U.S. every year.

In lieu of flowers, Richardson's family asks that donations be made to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. Her father died of complications from the disease in 1991, and she was a longtime supporter of the charity and served on its board of trustees since 2006.


When she first fell, ski resort officials say ski patrollers called an ambulance, but Richardson said she felt fine.

An ambulance employee says when his paramedics arrived, Richardson was being brought down the slope.

"You should've received a confirmation. The call was cancelled. The woman refused transportation by ambulance," he said.

But an hour later Richardson developed a headache, and her condition quickly spiraled.

Dr. Philip Steig, a neurologist, says in traumatic head injuries, every minute is crucial.

"Once you pass that two to four hour threshold, if a patient deteriorates seriously to that point, the likelihood of making a recovery is low," Steig said.

Richardson leaves behind so much. A family of British acting royalty -- mother Vanessa Redgrave, sister Joely Richardson and aunt Lynn Redgrave, her husband, actor Liam Neeson and their two sons, 13-year-old Michael and 12-year-old Daniel.

Dr. Arno Fried, a neurosurgeon from Hackensack University (N.J.) Medical Center, visited The Early Show to shed more light on traumatic brain injury, especially in children. To watch the segment, click the Play button below.


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