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Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson

Liam John Neeson commonly known as Liam Neeson was born 7 June, 1952 in Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. He was the third of forth children of Katherine Kitty Neeson, a cook and Bernard Barney Neeson, a caretaker at the Ballymena Boys All Saints Primary School.

Liam Neeson

His acting potentiality was developing since he was 11, as he acted the lead role in a school play and kept acting in school productions from the following years. He also had talent for football, which was discovered by Sean Thomas at Bohemian F.C. in Queen’s University Belfast. Liam joined this university of Northern Ireland in 1971 as a physics and computer science student.

After graduating he did various casual jobs, such as he worked for Guinness Brewery as a fork-lift operator, as a truck driver, an assistant architect and an amateur boxer. Before choosing acting career, he intended to be a teacher and for that he also went to teacher training college for two years in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

But eventually Liam Neeson joined the Lyric Players’ Theatre in Belfast in 1976 and the following year got his first film. He played the role of Jesus Christ and Evangelist in the religious film Pilgrim’s Progress.

Later he joined the Abbey theatre, the national theatre of Ireland, after he acted several Project Production from 1978. And here he got his first high-profile film role in Excalibur (1980), when he was spotted by director John Boorman.

Through the 1980s Liam Neeson appeared in a handful of films and British TV series – including The Bounty (1984), A Woman of Substance (1984), The Mission (1986), and Duet for One (1986) – but it was not until he moved to Hollywood to pursue larger roles that he began to get noticed. His turn as a mute homeless man in Suspect (1987) garnered good reviews, as did supporting roles in The Good Mother (1988) and High Spirits (1988) – though he also starred in the best-to-be-forgotten Satisfaction (1988), which also featured a then-unknown Julia Roberts – but leading man status eluded him until the cult favorite Darkman (1990), directed by Sam Raimi. From there, Neeson starred in Under Suspicion (1991) and Ethan Frome (1993), was hailed for his performance in Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives (1992), and ultimately was picked by Steven Spielberg to play Oskar Schindler in Schindler’s List (1993). The starring role in the Oscar-winning Holocaust film brought Neeson Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor.

Also in 1993, he made his Broadway debut with a Tony-nominated performance in “Anna Christie”, in which he co-starred with his future wife Natasha Richardson. The next year, the two also starred opposite Jodie Foster in the movie Nell (1994), and were married in July of that year. Leading roles as the 18th century Scottish Highlander Rob Roy (1995) and the Irish revolutionary leader Michael Collins (1996) followed, and soon Neeson was solidified as one of Hollywood’s top leading men. He starred in the highly-anticipated Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) as Qui-Gon Jinn, received a Golden Globe nomination for Kinsey (2004), played the mysterious Ducard in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (2005), and provided the voice for Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005).

Neeson found a second surprise career as an action leading man with the release of Taken (2008) in early 2009, an unexpected box office hit about a retired CIA agent attempting to rescue his daughter from being sold into prostitution. However, less than two months after the release of the film, tragedy struck when Richardson suffered a fatal head injury while skiing and passed away days afterward. Neeson returned to high-profile roles in 2010 with two back-to-back big-budget films, Clash of the Titans (2010) and The A-Team (2010), and returned to the action genre with Unknown (2011), The Grey (2011), Battleship (2012) and Taken 2 (2012), as well as the sequel Wrath of the Titans (2012).

Neeson was awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1999 Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for his services to drama. He has two sons from his marriage to Richardson: Michael Richard Antonio Neeson (born June 22, 1995) and Daniel Jack Neeson (born August 27, 1996).

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