Liam Neeson’s son Micheál Neeson is changing his name to Micheál Richardson

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Do you guys ever do that horrible thing where you’re remembering one of your favorite movies and you’re thinking about a certain actor’s performance and then suddenly you remember that the actor you were thinking about died a few years back? That happened to me when I was thinking of Good Will Hunting the other day and suddenly I remembered: Robin Williams is dead. The same thing happens to me all the time whenever I think of Liam Neeson, it takes me a moment and then I remember “oh, God, Natasha Richardson is dead.” It’s awful when my grief for these actors sneaks up on me. Well, Natasha and Liam’s sons were just 12 and 13 when Natasha passed away in 2009. Liam kept the boys in New York, but he also kept them connected to the Redgrave-Richardson family, most of whom live in England. And now… Micheal Neeson, 23, is changing his name to Micheal Richardson.

Liam Neeson‘s son Micheál is remembering his late mother Natasha Richardson with a deeply personal gesture. Micheál, 23, has changed his last name from Neeson to Richardson, PEOPLE confirms.

The Parent Trap actress died at age 45 in 2009 of blunt force trauma after she fell while she was skiing at Mont Tremblant in Quebec. Neeson and Richardson’s sons Micheál and Daniel were 13 and 12, respectively, when she died.

Richardson’s actress mother Vanessa Redgrave, 81, reportedly said of the name change, according to The Daily Mail, “That wasn’t because he wanted to avoid his father’s fame, which is enormous. He wanted to hold his mother close to him — because she was a remarkable actress. Absolutely remarkable.”

[From People]

This made a tear come to my eye. What a lovely gesture to change his name to his mother’s maiden. And for those cynics who might claim that the “Richardson” name is just as famous as the Neeson name… yeah, so what? He’s clearly not doing this FOR fame or to AVOID fame – both names are quite famous. It’s not like he’s changing his name to Micheal Redgrave-Richardson-Neeson and yelling “I COME FROM A FAMOUS FAMILY!” I genuinely believe that he just wants some kind of symbolic connection to his mom. And it breaks my heart. Gah! I need Uncle Ralph Fiennes to step in and tell some stories about his dear friend Natasha too.

75th Venice Film Festival Premiere of film Vox Lux Venice Italy

Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson at..........

Photos courtesy of Getty, Avalon Red.

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37 Responses to “Liam Neeson’s son Micheál Neeson is changing his name to Micheál Richardson”

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  1. KNy says:

    For a second I was worried there was a falling out between Liam and his son, but thank goodness it’s all about honoring his mother.

  2. Sayrah says:

    Very sweet gesture. Her death was so sad.

  3. holly hobby says:

    Wow the Richardson-Neeson boys are fine! As for changing the name, good for him!

  4. ValiantlyVarnished says:

    And now I’m verklempt. 😭

  5. FHMom says:

    He must miss her dearly. What a beautiful gesture.

  6. stormsmama says:

    I just watched a movie with Emma Roberts called wild child and Natasha is so wonderful as the head master and I had that same- Oh! No! she’s dead!- realization :( Such a huge loss

    • Dee Kay says:

      I love Wild Child with all my heart, I think it is the best dumb fun teen movie ever, and Natasha Richardson glows in it. I think it was her last film. She was luminous.

      • StormsMama says:

        I really enjoyed it!

        Tangentially relevant: if you liked that you might enjoy a movie I watched the other day – a pizza movie also starring Emma Roberts. Her male co Star is hayden Christensen (is that his name?) and it’s adorable. Alyssa Milano is in it too and she’s great.

  7. Lightpurple says:

    If you haven’t seen it, watch the film version of The Handmaid’s Tale with Natasha, Aiden Quinn, Elizabeth Montgomery, Faye Dunaway and Robert Duvall.

  8. someone says:

    The strange thing is – I am as old now as Natasha Richardson was when she died. At the time (9 years ago) I didn’t realize how young she was. 45 seemed “older” to me. Now I stop and think how much more Natasha could have done – 45 is so young!

  9. Babadook says:

    Please don’t drop the fada (the little line above the A: á) from his name in print. I believe the name is Micheál, not Michael. It’s an Irish name pronounced ‘Mi-hall’.

  10. Sash says:

    That is such a beautiful tribute for his mother.

  11. Electric Tuba says:

    Aw kaiser ya got me tearing up too. That’s really sweet

  12. Case says:

    Her death was so tragic. This is a lovely way for him to remember and honor his mother.

  13. Abby says:

    I have such a hard time every time I remember she’s gone. Gah.

    Similarly, I feel that way when I think about Heath Ledger, Robin Williams and Cory Monteith, watching them on screen and knowing they are gone too soon.

    I am glad he’s changing his name for these reasons, not a falling out.

  14. Molly Fulton says:

    I think it’s a sweet way to stay connected to his mom – but sorry Vanessa, not because she was a great actress, but because she was his mother!

    • Jessica says:

      I don’t think that’s what she was saying. In the context it seems to be that people thought he dropped it because he wanted to avoid the neeson name which is a famous acting name and I guess the point is that she’s saying Richardson name is just as well regarded. She’s just honouring her daughter.

      And anyway I read that this guy says he’s is very close to Vanessa so I am sure she is well aware of his reasons to change his name.

  15. minx says:

    Handsome young man.
    My husbands’ parents died when he was very young and he legally changed his name to his mother’s, he liked it much more. And I got the benefit of that lol.

  16. tealily says:

    For a second I panicked that Liam Neeson had died and I forgot about it! Unfortunately Natasha Richardson is no less sad. :(

  17. Jessica says:

    That is so lovely. She was a brilliant actress who consistently did quality acting. I feel for her sons who lost her so young. That whole family is quite brilliant. I recently saw Schindler’s list and Neeson is a very good actor took feel like that’s forgotten because he does so many action movies these days.
    And can we also talk about his grandmother for a minute? Vanessa Redgrave is a remarkable actress. I feel like Redgrave is not as talked about as much as Judi Dench and Helen Mirren, even though she’s arguably the most influential of that generation. Ask actors like Meryl Streep and others of that generation who they were influenced by and Redgraves name comes up. I feel like because she refused a damehood and was a leftist when that was not as fashionable in Hollywood she’s not given her full due. I saw her on stage in The year of magical thinking and it was the single most extraordinary nuanced and emotionally powerful performance I have ever seen. My boyfriend ( we were both 20 at the time fell in love with this magical 70 something actress. She’s such a transformative actress.

  18. PeggingOut says:

    With that face, he doesn’t need a last name to confirm his paternity.

    • Em says:

      I actually think he looks a lot more like his moms side of the family ( the redgraves) if you look at pics of Vannesa and her siblings when they were young he really resembles them. Liam has that boxers nose and wasn’t really that pretty.

  19. Kealeen says:

    God, he looks so much like his grandmother.

  20. Sparkly says:

    I always felt a weird kinship with his family. Natasha died of head trauma while I was still grieving my own mother’s loss from head trauma. Both were young, vibrant, beautiful women taken far too soon. I think this is a very sweet gesture.

  21. Shannon says:

    That’s a very sweet tribute. Why would anyone think it was for fame? Natasha Richardson was famous, but ‘Richardson’ alone is actually a pretty common last name *shrug*

  22. Kristy says:

    I never comment, but I had to because my husband’s male friend did this years ago to honor his own late mother. It’s such a sweet tribute!

  23. Other Renee says:

    It is a very sweet thing to do. Her death was indeed tragic. I always feel sad when I watch a movie or an old TV show and realize that all or most of the cast is dead. Like “The Golden Girls” — only Betty White is left. When I catch an episode of that show, they all look so vibrant. I realize that people grow old and pass on, but it still makes me sad.

  24. Truthie says:

    My 19 year old is going down this road. He just enrolled in college with my last name, not his father’s. It’s a change he has been wanting for years.

  25. paddingtonjr says:

    Every year I watch Love Actually while getting ready for Christmas and, since her death, I always pause for moment during the funeral scene to think about Natasha. She was so beautiful and talented and she and Liam exuded so much chemistry together in Nell. I remember thinking how awfully sudden and random her death was; I have fallen on ice and snow and even hit my head once or twice, but survived unscathed. I felt so bad for her family, especially Liam and their sons. He has done a wonderful job raising them alone and keeping them out of the spotlight. What a beautiful tribute from son to mother.

  26. Em says:

    Really sweet gesture. He’s so pretty, he is really taken after his grandmother in looks. He literally looks like her when she was young.

  27. ladytron2000 says:

    That is one good looking kid!

  28. Jessie says:

    This is so touching <3