Joely Richardson says the death of her sister Natasha was "life-changing".

The 'Nip/Tuck' actress - whose older sibling tragically died following a skiing accident in 2009 - admitted she wasn't aware of how much of a "touchstone" Natasha was until she passed away, as the loss "smashed" her family apart.

Joely - the daughter of legendary star Vanessa Redgrave - said: "Everything in our family had smashed to the ground and, for a little bit, the pieces just lay there, broken.

"I'm tempted to say her death was life-changing. That's such a weird juxtaposition, but in every sense it was. I hadn't known a day without her, but at the same time I was unaware of how much she was my touchstone until she wasn't there.

"All the dreams you have, the Common language, the shared history. Everything was leveled when she left us."

However, Joely explained she is struggling to come to terms with her sister's death because all she can see is "endings".

She added in an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine: "She always had my back. She was the most alive person anyone had ever met.

"If you lose people when you're young, you know there's so much ahead. There's regeneration. If you lose people in middle age, all you see is endings."