Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Friday, March 20, 2009


No, I never met her. I did meet her Mother once though. I had seen THE ROSE TATOO by Tenesee Williams 8 times. I met some of the cast & was invited to a cast party. Vanessa was lovely. Kind, engaging, humble. Like the really nice, pretty, lady down the block, who must have been a knockout in her youth! The only difference is you KNEW what she looked like in her youth, because you saw CAMELOT & BLOWUP on film & could watch them again & again!

But The Redgraves DO THEATRE. And so I am sad to have never seen Natasha in her greatest stage triumph: CABARET! Her costar in that production mourns her by saying he will always remember her full & throaty laugh. And that “really is the best way to remember someone!” And the great ALLEN CUMMING is right, that really is the best way!

Her film roles are few. PARENT TRAP was better because of her. “The Comfort of Strangers” is a marvelous film that still stands up. Her “Patty Hearst” was true perhaps because only a foreigner could play such a quintessentially American role.

She & her mother had recently done a one night only performance of Steven Sondheim’s A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC; which among its many many, charms, has the classic “11 o’clock number” SEND IN THE CLOWNS. The mother/daughter duo were looking to do it again in a full production at the time of this recent tragedy. Ironic that SEND in THE CLOWNS with its ultimate irony, pathos, & ill-timing should be possibly the last song Natasha learned the lyrics of.

The fact that the love of her life should be the great ,stoic, stalwart, pride of the Irish, film star, LIAM NEESON, just breaks all of our hearts a little bit more. When he played that unsung role of the young widower with the young child in one of the best films of the past decade; LOVE, ACTUALLY…little did he (or we) know that that role would be his to play in real life.

Life. You can have a wonderful strong, happy,marriage to a true partner. You can be a loving parent to two adorable children, who in turn adore you. You can live in New York City & have a grand country house in the suburbs, and a wonderful place in Europe.
And you can happily visit your handsome actor husband on the set of his new film, take a ski lesson, bang your head & POOF its all over!
Natasha KNEW how lucky she was! When Liam broke his pelvis in a motorcycle accident that should have been worse than it was Natasha said in an interview:
I wake up every day feeling lucky. Which of course is fear driven, because you know at any moment it can all be gone!

I think so many of us are intrigued & so moved by this story because we all know, at some very deep level, how brief, how fleeting, how turn-on-a-dime life can be and is! And that we all only have this moment, this day to love & appreciate one another.

Two young boys will go to bed tonight without a kiss from their beautiful mother. And a stage somewhere is dark and unilluminated. And the loss of the Redgraves & Neesons is everybody’s loss, in a grand and profound way

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At 3:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, Charlie. I was able to smile when reading Natasha's name for the first time. Thank you.


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