His father is one of the most famous actors in the world, with a surname millions would recognise instantly. But Liam Neeson’s son has reportedly chosen to give up that moniker in a moving tribute to his late mother Natasha Richardson.
According to the Mail Online, 23-year-old Micheal Neeson is now going by the name Micheal Richardson in honour of his late mother, who tragically died following a skiing accident in 2009.
Natasha’s mother, famed actress Vanessa Redgrave, reportedly told the news outlet: “He’s taken, officially, the name of his mother. He’s Micheal Richardson, not Micheal Neeson.”
However, the 81-year-old Letters to Juliet star added: “That wasn’t because he wanted to avoid his father’s fame, which is enormous. He wanted to hold his mother close to him – because she was a remarkable actress. Absolutely remarkable.”
Micheal was just 13-years-old, while his brother Daniel was a year younger, when their mother died on a skiing holiday in Canada in 2009 at the age of 45. She was reportedly taking part in a skiing lesson at the time, and despite getting up again after her fall, she later died in hospital.
Micheal previously admitted he lived in denial for some time after his mother’s death, as he pushed it as far back in his mind as possible in an attempt to deal with his overwhelming grief.
“In my mind, subconsciously, I either pushed it out or stored it deep inside,” he told The Sunday Times at the time. “And so, within the next week I was like, ‘Okay, on with my life’.”
However, he was eventually forced to face it as he admitted: “Things just started going downhill. The people I was with, we were partying a lot. It was dark. I hit rock bottom.”
Meanwhile, Liam himself previously spoke out about his wife’s tragic death, revealing he was filming nearby in Toronto when he got the call.
“I spoke to her and she said, ‘Oh darling. I’ve taken a tumble in the snow.’ That’s how she described it,” he told 60 Minutes.
“When I was in the air the pilot was told, ‘Listen, divert your flight to Montreal because she’s gonna be taken to the – the big hospital in Montreal’. I got a taxi to this hospital and uh – this doctor, he looked all of 17, showed me her X-ray. And you didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to see what was happening.”
He went on: “I was told she was brain dead. And seeing this X-ray it was, like, ‘Wow.’ But obviously she was on life support and stuff. And I went in to her and told her I loved her. [I] said, ‘Sweetie, you’re not coming back from this. You’ve banged your head. It’s – I don’t know if you can hear me, but that’s – this is what’s gone down. And we’re bringing you back to New York. All your family and friends will come.’ And that was more or less it.”