Liam Neeson: Natasha's Death Still Not 'Real'

5 years on, actor says he still expects her to walk through the door

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 24, 2014 1:14 PM CST

(Newser) – It's been nearly five years since Natasha Richardson died after a freak skiing accident, and last night Liam Neeson remembered his late wife on 60 Minutes. Highlights from the interview, per the Independent and Us:

  • Her death "was never real. It still kind of isn't," Neeson told Anderson Cooper. "There’s periods now in our New York residence 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."
  • He recalled what it was like to be told his wife was brain dead. "She and I had made a pact, if any of us got into a vegetative state that we’d pull the plug," he says. "That was my immediate thought ... 'OK, these tubes have to go. She’s gone.'"
  • During their final moments together, "I went in to her and I told her I loved her, said 'Sweetie, you’re not coming back from this, you’ve banged your head,'" he said. Neeson actually spoke to her by phone before she lost consciousness, before the seriousness of her injury became apparent: "She said, 'Oh, darling. I've taken a tumble in the snow.' That's how she described it."

  • He remembered happier times, too, when they met while doing a Broadway play: "She was a radiant beauty. Yeah, cascading hair. ... There was—that was very, very attractive," he said. "I'd never had that kind of an explosive chemistry situation with an actor, or actress. She and I were like [Fred] Astaire and [Ginger] Rogers. We had just this wonderful kind of dance, free dance on stage every night, you know?"
  • The grief "hits you," he said. "It’s like a wave. You just get this profound feeling of instability. The Earth isn’t stable anymore and then it passes and it becomes more infrequent, but I still get it sometimes."
  • One person who helped: Bono, a friend of the family. He came over for dinner shortly after Richardson died, Neeson said. "And I remember he was sitting beside [Neeson and Richardson's son] Micheal and, just out of the blue, he said, 'What age are you Micheal?' He said—Micheal said, 'Thirteen.' And [Bono] said, 'Yeah, that's the age I was when I lost my mum.' That was it. And it—I—I could've kissed him for it. He was, like, saying, 'You know, I lost my mom at this age and I'm doing OK. And you will do OK, too.'"

In this Dec. 4, 2006 file photo, actors Natasha Richardson, left, and her husband Liam Neeson arrive to the premiere of "Dreamgirls" at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York.   (AP Photo/Paul Hawthorne, file)
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The interview.   (CBS News)

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