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Richardson's casket taken to upstate home

A MAHOGANY casket bearing Natasha Richardson's body was taken yesterday to the country home where she married Liam Neeson in 1994, according to a published report.

The actress' coffin - emblazoned with an Irish claddagh symbol, signifying love, friendship and loyalty - was driven from a Manhattan townhouse to the couple's farmhouse in upstate Millbrook, the New York Daily News reported. Screen and stage stars had paid their respects at a private viewing the night before.

The newspaper said state police and local sheriff's deputies kept reporters at a distance as a silver-colored hearse turned into the couple's home, in a scenic stretch of hills and horse farms near Millbrook. It is about 90 miles (150 kilometers) north of New York City in the Hudson Valley.

Richardson's maternal grandmother, the actress Rachel Kempson, died while visiting her granddaughter and Neeson there in 2003.

Last night, there was a "road closed" sign on the entrance to the rural road to the couple's property.

There has been no official word on a funeral, but reports have suggested one is planned today in Millbrook.

Richardson, 45, died Wednesday at a New York hospital after falling and hitting her head while skiing in Canada.

Neeson greeted a stream of celebrity mourners at a private viewing Friday at the American Irish Historical Society's headquarters in a Manhattan townhouse. Actors Ralph Fiennes and Ethan Hawke, actresses Uma Thurman and Sarah Jessica Parker, the designer Kenneth Cole and shock jock Howard Stern were among those who paid their respects.


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