Page last updated at 21:44 GMT, Sunday, 22 March 2009

Family bid farewell to Richardson

Pallbearers carry the casket of actress Natasha Richardson to St Peter's Cemetery in Lithgow, upstate New York, on Sunday
Richardson was buried near the grave of her maternal grandmother

A private funeral service has been held for actress Natasha Richardson who died after a skiing accident.

Husband Liam Neeson was among the pallbearers who carried her coffin into a small church in upstate New York.

The actor arrived with their sons Micheal, 13, and Daniel, 12, and Richardson's mother Vanessa Redgrave and sister Joely Richardson.

After a private wake on Friday her coffin was driven to the Hudson Valley farmhouse she shared with her family.

Graveside ceremony

It was emblazoned with an Irish claddagh symbol, signifying love, friendship and loyalty.

Natasha Richardson
Richardson's family have asked for donations instead of flowers

From the acting profession, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Laura Linney, Uma Thurman and Timothy Dalton were among the mourners at the service, which was held at St Peter's Episcopal Church in Millbrook, 90 miles north of New York city.

After a graveside ceremony, Richardson was buried in a cemetery close to her maternal grandmother, Rachel Kempson, who died while visiting her granddaughter and Neeson in 2003.

Instead of flowers, Richardson's family asked for donations to be made to the amfAR foundation for Aids research.

The 45-year-old English-born actress, whose father Tony Richardson died of complications from the disease in 1991, was a long-time supporter of the charity and served on its board of trustees for the last three years of her life.

On Thursday the New York medical examiner's office said Richardson died of epidural haematoma caused by a blunt impact to the head.

Richardson died in a New York hospital last Wednesday after being injured in a fall during a skiing lesson at the resort of Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Canada.

Doctors said she might have survived had she received immediate treatment.

Theatres in London's West End and on Broadway dimmed their lights in tribute to the respected stage actress on Thursday and Friday night.

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Liam Neeson and family attend the funeral



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