Within hours of the news of actress Natasha Richardson's death as result of head injuries during a skiing lesson, kind words from colleagues and friends poured in from around the show business world.
"She was a little girl but already beautiful and graceful," Jane Fonda, who co-starred with Richardson's mother Vanessa Redgrave in 1977's Julia, wrote of meeting the actress, then 14, in her blog. "It didn't surprise me that she became such a talented actor. It is hard to even imagine what it must be like for her family. My heart is heavy."
Stage/screen director Sam Mendes, whose Broadway Cabaret production garnered Richardson a Tony award in 1988, said the actress sapped up the best talents of Redgrave and her father, director Tony Richardson.
"Natasha combined the best of Redgrave and Richardson: the enormous depth and emotional force of a great actor on the one hand, and the intelligence and objectivity of a great director on the other," the director said. "She was one of a kind, a magnificent actress... it defies belief that this gifted, brave, tenacious, wonderful woman is gone."
Martha Stewart chimed in via Twitter: "Just heard the tragic news about poor Natasha Richardson. Her family must be devastated. My sincerest condolences to all."
Richardson herself, by all accounts was a stoic, strong woman with a humble outlook despite her birthright to fame and celebrity.
"We've all been through it in one way or another and so we've had to be strong," she said of her relationship with her family. "Also we embrace life -- we are not cynical about life." (Photo: WENN)