Jun. 7th, 1952
Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK
Liam Neeson's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
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Liam John Neeson, OBE (born June 7, 1952) is an Irish actor.
Neeson was born in Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, the son of Katherine "Kitty" Neeson (née Brown), a cook, and Bernard "Barney" Neeson, a caretaker at the Ballymena Boys All Saints Primary School. He was raised Roman Catholic and was named Liam after the local priest. The third of four siblings, he has three sisters: Elizabeth, Bernadette, and Rosaline. At age nine, Neeson began boxing lessons at the All Saints Youth Club and later became Ulster's amateur senior boxing champion. Neeson first stepped on stage at age 11 after his English teacher offered him the lead role in a school play, which he accepted because the girl he was attracted to was starring in it. From then on, he kept acting in school productions for the following years.
Neeson worked as a forklift operator for Guinness, truck driver, assistant architect and an amateur boxer. He had originally sought a career as a teacher by attending St. Mary's Teaching College in Belfast.
However, in 1976, Neeson joined the Belfast Lyric Players' Theater and made his professional acting debut in the play "The Risen People". After two years, Neeson moved to Dublin's Abbey Theater where he performed the classics. It was here that he was spotted by director John Boorman and was cast in the film Excalibur (1981), which dealt with the Arthurian legend. From there, he acted in a number of average films and Television Mini-series until he gained notice for his role as the mute in Suspect (1987).
Neeson did not play the lead in a movie until he appeared in Darkman (1990). Good performances in Leap of Faith (1992) and Husbands and Wives (1992) led to Neeson being picked for the starring role of Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg's (1993) Oscar winner Schindler's List. Neeson has since starred in a number of acclaimed films and a number of box office hits. Some of Neeson's best known films include Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Batman Begins, Michael Collins, Taken, Taken 2, Rob Roy, Kinsey, The Grey, Clash of the Titans, Kingdom of Heaven and The Chronicles of Narnia series. Neeson has been nominated for a number of awards including an Academy Award for Best Actor, a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and three Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama.
In 1993, he made his Broadway debut in "Anna Christie" in which he co-starred with 'Natasha Richardson'. For his role in this play, Neeson was nominated for a Tony. When he returned to the big screen, Neeson again co-starred with Richardson in the Jodie Foster movie Nell (1994).
In 2010, Neeson played Zeus in the remake of the 1981 film, Clash of the Titans. The film went on becoming a huge box office hit, grossing $475 million worldwide. Neeson also starred in Atom Egoyan's erotic thriller Chloe, theatrically released by Sony Pictures Classics on March 26, 2010. Chloe had enjoyed commercial success and became the Canadian director's biggest money maker ever. Later the same year, he played John "Hannibal" Smith in the spin-off movie from the television series The A-Team.
He was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in her 1999 New Year's Honours List.
Neeson married actress 'Natasha Richardson' (July 3, 1994). In August 2004, Neeson and his wife purchased an estate in Millbrook, New York. On (March 18, 2009), Richardson died when she suffered a severe head injury in a skiing accident at the Mont Tremblant Resort, north of Montreal. She and Neeson had two sons together, Micheál (b. 1995) and Daniel (b. 1996).