June 30, 1998 12:00 AM

Liam Neeson, who says he’s feeling “great,” nonetheless has been unable to shake the memory of the life-threatening motorcycle accident that nearly left him paralyzed this summer. So when his friend Christopher Reeve called and asked the “Schindler’s List” star, 48, and his wife, Natasha Richardson, to host this week’s “A Magical Evening: Mission Impossible,” to benefit the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, Neeson couldn’t refuse, he told PEOPLE. “Life can change in a heartbeat, a blink of an eye. It happened to me and with it comes some sort of wisdom that I have yet to define what it is.” Guests at the event, which reportedly raised $2 million (including $35,000 that Marsha Williams bid for her husband, Robin, to have dinner with Mets star catcher Mike Piazza), included actors Matthew Modine, Vanessa Redgrave, Billy Baldwin, Patty Hearst and Joely Richardson, astronaut Buzz Aldrin and politician Robert Kennedy Jr. “Sex and the City” star Kim Cattrall, who met Reeve in 1994 when they made “Above Suspicion” (in which, ironically, Reeve played a paraplegic), told PEOPLE that she has never seen her former costar depressed. “But I’ve seen him frustrated. I think it’s part of being human. But the thing about him and about (his wife) Dana is that they’ve really turned a tragedy into almost a celebration of life.”

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