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'Cabaret' Stars Pay Tribute to Richardson

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Mar 19, 2009 | 6:38am EDT

Actress Natasha Richardson has been honored by director Sam Mendes and actor Alan Cumming, who worked with her during her Tony-winning Broadway run in Cabaret.

Cumming and Richardson earned respective Tony Awards for Lead Actor and Actress in a Musical for their roles in the 1998 stage show, which was helmed by Mendes.

And now the American Beauty director has spoken of his heartbreak over Richardson's sudden passing, describing the star as a tremendous asset to the acting community.

In a statement released to WENN, Mendes says: "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. She was a one-of-a-kind, a magnificent actress.

"She was also an amazing mother, a loyal friend, and the greatest and most generous host you could ever hope to meet. It defies belief that this gifted, brave, tenacious, wonderful woman is gone."

And Cumming also paid tribute to his former co-star in an emotional posting on his blog.

He writes: "I, like everyone, am totally devastated by the sudden death of Natasha Richardson. The term 'life force' seems trite but that is what she was: a woman who powered through life and fascinated everyone she encountered.

"I have been thinking about the times I spent with her since I heard the news of her tragic accident, and the strongest memory I have is of her laughter, her unmistakable throaty laugh. I think that's a great way to remember someone.

"She was a brilliant actress. I will never forget her Blanche Dubois [in A Streetcar Named Desire]. It was almost too much, too real and raw. Liam (Neeson) and the boys and her whole family have lost an amazing woman. We all have. Goodbye, darling."

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