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'Acting helped me after Natasha's death' says grieving mum Vanessa

Liam Neeson's mother-in-law, Vanessa Redgrave, has spoken about dealing with grief following the death of her daughter, Natasha Richardson.

The veteran actress told how appearing in a new play about mourning the deaths of a husband and daughter, helped her own bereavement.

A benefit performance of Joan Didion's play, The Year of Magical Thinking, took place in New York at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine last October.

The 73-year-old's actress daughter died following a skiing accident last spring.

Asked if art could help in coping with grief and loss, Redgrave said: "When I did the final performance in New York it helped me.

"But help is a funny word. It turns out to mean so much more and so many things differently than what we think of when we hear the word 'help', you know?

"This is where the magic of an extraordinary writer comes in. Because nothing can help -- absolutely nothing.

"On the other hand, we all learn about terrible grief, all of us go through it at some point in our lives or another.

"And if someone can throw some light on what we have gone through or are going through or will go through always, you can call that, yeah, it's a big help."

Redgrave earned an Oscar nomination for her 1967 film Morgan: A Suitable Case For Treatment and collected the best supporting actress Oscar in 1977 for Julia, in which she portrayed a Jewish woman murdered by the Nazis.

Neeson (57), was on holiday with his wife and sons skiing in Canada at the time of her death.

Recently the Ballymena-born actor was reported to have pulled out of a new film after his grief apparently caught up with him.

The Oscar nominee has two sons, Michael (15) and Daniel (14).