Natasha Richardson

A descendant of British acting royalty, Natasha Richardson -- born May 11, 1963, to Academy Award winner Vanessa Redgrave and Oscar-winning director Tony Richardson -- balked at identification with the family name, opting to forge her career on her own merits.

Richardson launched her bid for stardom by training at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London (her hometown) and soon put her thespian skills to work in regional theatre. Later, she alternated between movies and extensive stage work, scoring a Tony Award in 1998 for her outstanding turn as nightclub entertainer Sally Bowles in the Broadway revival of "Cabaret."

On the silver screen, Richardson's notable efforts include A Month in the Country (1987), Nell (1994), The Parent Trap (1998) and Maid in Manhattan (2002). Her life was tragically cut short when she suffered head trauma in a skiing accident and died March 18, 2009.