March 19, 2009 07:45 AM

Jason Kempin/WireImage

Actress Natasha Richardson — mom to sons Micheál, 13 and Daniel, 12 — passed away last evening in New York City, following a traumatic brain injury suffered Monday during a ski lesson. Motherhood was a top priority for Natasha, who was married to Liam Neeson for 15 years. Scott Ellis, who directed the 45-year-old in January, remembered,

“Some actors when you work with them and they have children, you’re surprised to find out they have children. With Natasha, she was fierce about those kids. Motherhood was really, really important to her.”

For more on this story, please see her family’s statement and PEOPLE’s look back at her life in photos.

You May Like

EDIT POST