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Richardson's Uncle Dedicates Performance to His Niece

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Mar 21, 2009 | 6:23am EDT

The uncle of actress Natasha Richardson paid a moving tribute to his late niece, dedicating his theater performance on Friday night to the star.

Corin Redgrave, brother of Richardson's mother, Vanessa Redgrave, returned to the London stage for his role in Trumbo following the Patty Hearst star's death on Wednesday.

He revealed his devastation over the loss of a treasured family member, saying: "She was the most adorable niece, most adorable person. Generous, kind, funny with a brilliant talent.

"I will miss her terribly and my thoughts at this time are with Vanessa, Liam and the children."

His tribute came on the same night as theaters across the British capital dimmed their lights to honor the star.

Venues in the West End held a two-minute switch-off just before curtain-up time "as a mark of respect for both Natasha Richardson and her immediate family, and for the Redgrave family as a whole who have made such a unique contribution to British theatre."

Nica Burns, president of the Society of London Theatre, added that it was "a gesture of condolence at this sad time."

Richardson lost her fight for life after suffering a traumatic brain injury while learning to ski in Montreal earlier this week.

And it has emerged that the star turned down the offer of a protective helmet during the fateful lesson.

A staff member at Mont Tremblant tells British newspaper The Sun, “We are heartbroken that we didn’t do more to persuade her to wear one. A helmet would have cost her just ten dollars (Canadian).

“Every skier is encouraged to wear a helmet, especially beginners like Natasha. But it is not legally enforced and they can always refuse.

"I remember Natasha coming into the shop before her lesson. She seemed cheerful, bright and extremely beautiful. She said she wasn’t a good skier and was a little nervous.”

Richardson will be buried in a private family ceremony near her Millbrook Dutchess County home in New York on Sunday.

The actress' family has requested fans donate to the amfAR foundation for AIDS research, which Richardson was a patron of, instead of sending flowers.

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MORE NEWS: Richardson to Be Buried on Sunday

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