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Natasha Richardson hospitalized: ski resort

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - British actress Natasha Richardson, who is married to actor Liam Neeson, fell while skiing at a Canadian resort and was taken to a Montreal hospital, the resort said on Tuesday.

There were conflicting reports of her condition. The hospital said Richardson had left the country.

London's Evening Standard newspaper said Richardson, 45, had suffered a "traumatic head injury" at the resort of Mont Tremblant, about 75 miles north of Montreal.

The resort said she appeared to be in good condition after the fall, which happened during a lesson, but later felt unwell. She was taken first to a local hospital and then to Montreal's Hopital du Sacre-Coeur.

A spokeswoman for the Montreal hospital declined to confirm whether the actress had been admitted but said she had been told by an agent for the family that Richardson had left the country. She said she did not know the actress's condition.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said Richardson -- accompanied by medical staff -- had left on a private plane on Tuesday afternoon and might be headed for New York City. It did not give any source for its report.

The Mont Tremblant resort said that after the fall, which took place when Richardson was having a private lesson, her instructor called members of a ski patrol who accompanied her to the bottom of the hill.

"She seemed to be fine and had no obvious injuries," resort spokeswoman Lyne Lortie told French-language public broadcaster Radio-Canada. The patrol members escorted her back to the hotel and recommended she see a doctor.

"She walked back to her room, she insisted on going back to her room. About an hour later the instructor -- who had stayed with her to make sure everything was all right -- noticed that Ms Richardson was not feeling well and called an ambulance," Lortie said.

Richardson's British and U.S. agents declined to comment.

Corin Redgrave, Richardson's uncle, told the Standard newspaper: "I have heard this morning from a family representative about Natasha's accident and am very saddened."

Britain's BBC said a member of Richardson family, who asked not to be named, said the whole family was "very distressed".

Lortie said she was surprised by reports of a serious head injury because Richardson "spoke without any confusion, she knew where she was, she was in full control of herself ... there was no visible injury, no sign of impact".

Richardson is a member of the Redgrave British acting dynasty. She followed her mother, Vanessa Redgrave and her father, film director Tony Richardson, into a career on stage and screen in England and in the United States.

Perhaps best known internationally for playing a young Lindsay Lohan's mother in the 1998 remake of "The Parent Trap", and for her role in the Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy "Maid in Manhattan", Richardson was equally at home on the stages of London and Broadway.

She won a Tony award in 1998 for her performance in the musical "Cabaret". Richardson met Neeson on the set of the Jodie Foster movie drama "Nell" and the couple married in July 1994. They have two young sons.

Neeson, who was filming in Toronto, flew to be with his wife in Montreal, some media reports said.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa, Kate Kelland in London and Bob Tourtellotte in Los Angeles)

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