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Gossip Guru: Richardson's Life Support Turned Off

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Mar 18, 2009 | 12:51pm EDT

Actress Natasha Richardson's life support machine has been switched off, according to veteran gossip columnist Liz Smith.

The 45-year-old Brit has been in critical condition at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York since Tuesday. She was flown there from Montreal, Canada after suffering a skiing accident on Monday.

Family members, including her husband Liam Neeson and mother Vanessa Redgrave, have maintained a vigil by her bedside, as various news reports surfaced, suggesting the actress was "brain dead" and being kept alive by a machine.

No official statement has been released, but respected writer Smith, who has close ties to the movie and theatre industries, is reporting Richardson's death on her new blog Wowowow.com.

The 86-year-old writes, "Word is in at 1:30 PM WEDNESDAY they have taken Natasha off of life support. This is not unexpected.

"Insiders felt yesterday, on learning they were flying Natasha in to Lenox Hill, that this meant her condition was hopeless and they (family members) were just finding a place to be together with her and to say good-bye.

"As one insider remarked: 'Nobody goes to Lenox Hill who is really sick; if she’d had a chance to live, they’d have found another great brain hospital!'"

Smith signs off by stating, "This is all just utterly horrible to write!"

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