It all happened so suddenly. In March 2009 Liam Neeson was working on a Toronto film set while his wife, Natasha Richardson, was skiing in Montreal. She then called him from the slopes to tell him that she had had a fall – which sounded at first like a minor dust-up. Yet a much more serious injury lingered beneath the surface.

Later, Neeson rushed from his workplace to Richardson’s bedside, shocked that she’d deteriorated so quickly from something that had seemed so minor. Doctors then showed him her prognosis, and Neeson knew he had to make a decision. But the actor wouldn’t tell anyone what he did for several years.

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