Natasha Richardson is Dead

by Anne Thompson
March 18, 2009 9:31 AM
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From the LAT:

Actress Natasha Richardson is dead

A spokesman for the family of Natasha Richardson says she has died. Richardson, 45, part of the Redgrave dynasty of British actors and the wife of Liam Neeson, was flown from Montreal to New York on Tuesday after a skiing accident.

Here's A.P.

A.P. knows how to handle stories like this. So does Variety, which posted at 5:06 PM PT. After the LAT sent me a news alert, I followed the link which led me to the front page of and a breaking news banner: "A spokesman for Natasha Richardson's family says she has died," with no live links to any story, old or new. I did a search on the site for "Natasha Richardson" and got nothing at all on her accident. That is inexcusable. Their job is to service their readers with online breaking news.

Frustrated, I Googled "Natasha Richardson" and clicked on what looked at first like A.P.'s old story, but was an updated one. They were ready to go with the new news as soon as it arrived. The story was posted on their front page at 5:28 PM PT. It's not a question of how quickly they filed the story (the writer, John Horn, used to write for A.P.); they should have had links in place.

UPDATE: Here are some fitting tributes to Richardson's life and work by Richard Corliss and Michael Phillips.

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