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Thread: Natasha Richardson

  1. #1
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    blog Natasha Richardson



    I have to take a moment to express my sadness and grief over the passing of one of the most talented actresses I ever had the pleasure of working with. Natasha Richardson died yesterday after suffering a head injury from a freak skiing accident at the young age of 45.

    But I'm not here to tell you how she died. I'm here to tell you how I got to see her live.

    I had the incredible opportunity to work on the Broadway production of Streetcar Named Desire a few years ago with Natasha playing the role of Blanche. When she first walked in to rehearsal I was both in awe and very much intimidated. She's as gorgeous in person as she is in print/film and she simply oozed talent and confidence.

    I figured the only interaction I would ever have with her was a quick "hello" as she disappeared into her private room off the rehearsal hall. I was basically an office girl, assistant to the stage managers, who typed up schedules and made phone calls.

    No one was allowed in the rehearsal room except for the stage manager, director and actors called for the scene so I spent my first week just listening through a closed door. I never thought I'd have this chance to be so close to the process of putting up a classic Tennessee Williams play for Broadway so I soaked in as much as I could.

    Then one day the stage manager came to check on me during a short break and asked me if I'd run lines with Ms. Richardson.

    My first response was, embarrassingly, total fear. I've run lines with hundreds of actors but none of her stature. I was completely convinced I would screw everything up and she'd throw her script at my head while yelling at me to get out.

    Seriously, I couldn't have been more wrong.

    These were the most romantic days of my theater life. It was right out of an old movie. I sat in the corner of her private room while she gracefully lounged on her day bed, smoking Virginia Slims (after all, Blanche smokes like a chimney) and ran lines. She was nothing but polite and her only concern was getting those lines right. But she didn't need me. I rarely had to correct her and it was as if she was born to play the role.

    Then they'd call her back into the hall and I'd go back to my office thinking "did that just happen?"

    Once the show moved to Studio 54, my job was done. I was a stagehand for another play at the time so I couldn't be there for Streetcar tech rehearsals. I figured that was that and she'd never remember me again, but I wasn't upset. It was like I had a really great dream and only I needed to know about it.

    However, the stage manager found me after opening one day and handed me a framed show poster (the image above was taken from that) and tank top that says "Desire" on the front and "A Streetcar Named" on the back. She said...

    "This is from Natasha."

    The poster has hung on my wall ever since and I wear the shirt often, of course bragging that Natasha gave it to me. Granted, she probably gave one to everyone...but she didn't forget about me and that was enough.

    My deepest condolences go out to her entire family and anyone who ever had the pleasure of working with her, because I am certain they are as sad as I.

    Rest in peace Natasha.


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    I'd rather be rich than stupid.
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  2. #2
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    Post Re: Natasha Richardson

    That is a lovely tribute Oda.
    Everything I've read about Natasha Richardson agrees with your glowing remarks.
    Heaven has gained a wonderful soul.

  3. #3
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    Re: Natasha Richardson

    Thank you so much mtj. I'm glad she's remembered so well.
    I'd rather be rich than stupid.
    RYPEPPER.COM
    Daughter of Annie and Mike

  4. #4
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    Re: Natasha Richardson

    Ry is not 'soft' on actors. It's much more common for me to hear that someone is not so hot rather than a pleasure. Natasha was on of the exceptions. Never heard a bad word about her from Ry and it was a pretty stressful production. I think an arrest of another cast member may have been made... or maybe just should have been made.
    Only an expert can deal with the problem

  5. #5
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    Re: Natasha Richardson

    Oda, I'm in tears, just beautiful.

  6. #6
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    Post Re: Natasha Richardson

    What a lovely photo of a lovely & elegant woman. And what a beautiful tribute...that must have been an amazing experience. Natasha & Liam must have been a lovely couple, they never were in the tabloids or 'scandal sheets".
    Such a tragic death of someone so young and talented.

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