Interesting facts about Liam Neeson

liam neeson

Liam Neeson is an actor from Northern Ireland.

His full name is Liam John Neeson.

Neeson was born on 7 June, 1952 in Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

His father, Bernard “Barney” Neeson, was a school caretaker while his mother Katherine “Kitty” Neeson (née Brown), was a cook.

The third of four siblings, he has three sisters: Elizabeth, Bernadette, and Rosaleen.

Raised as a Roman Catholic, he was named Liam after the local priest.

At age 9, Neeson began boxing lessons at the All Saints Youth Club and later became Ulster’s amateur senior boxing champion.

He abandoned boxing and entered Queen’s University Belfast with the intention of studying physics and computer science.

liam neeson young

After a year he left college and worked as a forklift driver for a time, but he then began studying to become a teacher.

In 1976, Neeson joined the Lyric Players’ Theatre in Belfast where he performed for two years.

He got his first film experience in 1977, playing Jesus Christ and Evangelist in the religious film Pilgrim’s Progress (1978).

In 1978, 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) as Sir Gawain, his first high-profile film role.

excalibur

After Excalibur, Neeson moved to London, where he continued working on stage, in small budget films and in television.

Through the 1980s 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.

In 1986, he starred alongside Cher and Dennis Quaid in Suspect in a role that brought him critical acclaim.

In 1988, he starred alongside Clint Eastwood in the fifth Dirty Harry film “The Dead Pool” in the role of Peter Swan, a horror film director.

Neeson claimed his first leading role in the superhero thriller Darkman (1990).

In 1992 he made his Broadway debut in a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s Anna Christie, costarring with Natasha Richardson.

Director Steven Spielberg offered Neeson the role of Oskar Schindler in the film about the Holocaust, Schindler’s List, after seeing him in Anna Christie on Broadway. The starring role in the Oscar-winning Holocaust film brought Neeson Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor.

schindlers list

Soon after these accolades, Neeson became an in-demand leading actor. He starred in the subsequent period pieces Rob Roy (1995) and Michael Collins (1996), the latter earning him a win for Best Starring Role at the Venice Film Festival and another Golden Globe nomination.

In 1998 he appeared as Jean Valjean in a film adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. That year he also returned to the stage to portray Oscar Wilde in The Judas Kiss in London and on Broadway.

In 1999, Neeson starred as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Director George Lucas cast Neeson in the role because he considered the actor to have great skills and presence, describing him as a “master actor, who the other actors will look up to, who has got the qualities of strength that the character demands.”

star wars episode I the phantom menace

Neeson narrated the 2001 documentaries Journey into Amazing Caves, a short film about two scientists who travel around the world to search for material for potential cures, and The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Adventure.

In 2002 he portrayed an immigrant gang leader in Martin Scorsese’s historical epic Gangs of New York.

After appearing as a widower in the comedy Love Actually (2003), he portrayed zoologist and student of sexual behaviour Alfred Kinsey in Kinsey (2004).

In 2005, Neeson played Godfrey of Ibelin in Ridley Scott’s epic adventure Kingdom of Heaven. In the same year he played the mysterious Ducard in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, and provided the voice for Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

In 2006, he starred in the American Civil War epic Seraphim Falls.

Neeson found a second surprise career as an action leading man with the release of Taken (2008); an unexpected box office hit about a retired CIA agent attempting to rescue his daughter from being sold into prostitution; its box-office success led to sequels in 2012 and 2014.

taken

Then he appeared in Chloe (2009), in which he played a husband whose wife hires a prostitute to test his fidelity, and the action-adventure Clash of the Titans (2010), in which he played Zeus.

In 2010, Neeson also starred in The A-Team, an action drama based on the 1980s television series, and appeared as an escaped convict in the thriller The Next Three Days.

In 2011, he starred in Unknown, a German-British-American co-production of a French book, it was filmed in Berlin in early 2010.

In 2012, Neeson starred as John Ottway in Joe Carnahan’s The Grey. The film received mostly positive reviews and Neeson’s performance as Ottway received critical acclaim.

the grey

In 2013, he was featured in the drama Third Person as a novelist engaged in an extramarital affair.

In 2014, Neeson voiced characters in the omputer-animated heist-comedy The Nut Job and The LEGO Movie. That same year he appeared in A Million Ways to Die in the West and in the mystery action thriller Non-Stop.

In 2015, he starred in the action thriller Run All Night.

In 2016, Neeson reunited with director Martin Scorsese for the historical drama Silence. Neeson lost twenty pounds for his role. The film’s premiere was held at the Vatican.

In 2017 he starred in Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, about the FBI official known as “Deep Throat,” who acted as an informant to reporters from The Washington Post during the Watergate scandal.

Neeson was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in her 2000 New Year Honours.

Liam Neeson has an estimated net worth of $75 million.

liam-neeson-2

Neeson met his future wife, actress Natasha Richardson, while performing in a revival of the play Anna Christie on Broadway in 1993. Together they had two sons, Michael (born 1995) and Daniel (born 1996). On 18 March 2009, Richardson died when she suffered a severe head injury in a skiing accident at the Mont Tremblant Resort, northwest of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Admitted in 2014 that he had to quit alcohol, after having began to quietly drink heavily following Natasha Richardson’s death in 2009, and eventually drinking up to two to three bottles of wine per night.

A heavy smoker earlier in his career, Neeson quit smoking in 2003, while working on Love Actually.

In August 2009, Neeson said that he had been naturalised as a United States citizen.

In March 2011, he was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF.

Schindler’s List (1993) is ranked #3 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time.

He recalled his most embarrassing moment in acting as when, relatively early in his career, he auditioned for the role of Fezzik, the giant in The Princess Bride (1987). Director Rob Reiner had a look of disgust on his face when he realized that Neeson was “only” 193 cm (six-feet-four). André the Giant ended up getting the role.

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