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Also Known As: William John Neeson Died:
Born: June 7, 1952 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: United Kingdom Profession: actor, forklift operator, architect's assistant

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

From real life legends like Oskar Schindler and Michael Collins to classic literature's Jean Valjean, actor Liam Neeson's masterful characterizations of flawed men capable of extraordinary things established him as a performer of great note, while managing to bring an uncommon humble grace to his profession. Though he started performing in the mid-1970s as part of an Irish acting company, Neeson earned international prominence years later when he played the flawed, but ultimately redemptive German industrialist in "Schindler's List" (1993), which earned him his first Academy Award nomination. Neeson would sink his teeth into "Michael Collins" (1996), playing an Irish hero revered by multiple generations, then settled into a series of lesser known, but no less accomplished performances in features, including a compelling performance in the title role of "Kinsey" (2004). But it was turns as Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn in "Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace" (1999), Zeus in the remake of "Clash of the Titans" (2010) and John "Hannibal" Smith in "The A-Team" (2010) that gave Neeson his widest appeal to moviegoers. Shockingly widowed in 2009 after his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, passed away after...

From real life legends like Oskar Schindler and Michael Collins to classic literature's Jean Valjean, actor Liam Neeson's masterful characterizations of flawed men capable of extraordinary things established him as a performer of great note, while managing to bring an uncommon humble grace to his profession. Though he started performing in the mid-1970s as part of an Irish acting company, Neeson earned international prominence years later when he played the flawed, but ultimately redemptive German industrialist in "Schindler's List" (1993), which earned him his first Academy Award nomination. Neeson would sink his teeth into "Michael Collins" (1996), playing an Irish hero revered by multiple generations, then settled into a series of lesser known, but no less accomplished performances in features, including a compelling performance in the title role of "Kinsey" (2004). But it was turns as Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn in "Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace" (1999), Zeus in the remake of "Clash of the Titans" (2010) and John "Hannibal" Smith in "The A-Team" (2010) that gave Neeson his widest appeal to moviegoers. Shockingly widowed in 2009 after his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, passed away after a ski-related concussion, a shell shocked Neeson continued to work steadily, becoming admired as much for the strength of character he exhibited in the wake of the family tragedy as he was for his acting talent. Whether appearing in big-budget blockbusters like "Battleship" (2012) and "The Dark Knight Rises" (2012) or smaller, artier fare like "Chloe" (2009), Liam Neeson consistently delivered quality work in both leading and supporting roles.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Monster Calls, A (2016)
2.
 Taken 3 (2016)
3.
 Silence (2015)
4.
 Nut Job, The (2014)
5.
 Lego Movie, The (2014)
6.
 Third Person (2014)
9.
 Non-Stop (2014)
10.
 Anchorman 2 (2013)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in Ballymena, Northern Ireland
1961:
At age nine, joined a boxing team run by a priest
1970:
Quit boxing as a middleweight, following a blackout after a bout
:
Planned to become a teacher, before answering an ad placed by the Lyric Players' Theatre in Belfast
1976:
Made professional stage debut in "The Risen People" at Lyric Player's Theatre in Belfast
1976:
Stayed with the Lyric Players' Theatre repertory company for two years
1978:
Joined the Abbey Theatre after moving to Dublin
1979:
Made educational film debut as Jesus of Nazareth in a film based on John Bunyan's "The Pilgrim's Progress" (filmed for evangelical Bible students in Ireland)
1980:
Played Lenny in the Abbey Theatre production of "Of Mice and Men"; spotted by director John Boorman who later cast the actor in "Excalibur"
1981:
Feature film debut, as Sir Gawain in Boorman's "Excalibur"
1984:
U.S. TV debut, the CBS miniseries "Ellis Island"
1984:
Co-starred as Blackie O'Neill in the syndicated miniseries "A Woman of Substance"
1986:
Reprised role of Blackie O'Neill in the syndicated miniseries sequel "Hold That Dream"
1985:
Acted in the TV-movie "Merlin and the Sword" (CBS)
1987:
Moved to Los Angeles, CA
1987:
Featured as a deaf-mute man falsely accused of murder and defended by Cher in "Suspect"
1988:
Landed featured role in "The Good Mother" opposite Diane Keaton
1990:
Made feature starring debut as the titular tortured antihero of "Darkman"
1992:
Broadway debut in a critically-acclaimed perfomance in "Anna Christie" opposite Natasha Richardson
1992:
Featured in Woody Allen's "Husbands and Wives"
1993:
Breakthrough screen role as Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List"; received Best Actor Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations
1994:
Co-starred with Natasha Richardson and Jodie Foster in "Nell"
1995:
Played title role in the Scotland set historical adventure "Rob Roy"
1996:
Played a father whose teenaged son is charged with murder in "Before and After"; co-starred Meryl Streep
1996:
Starred as the title revolutionary in Neil Jordan's controversial film "Michael Collins"
1998:
Returned to Broadway playing Oscar Wilde in David Hare's drama "The Judas Kiss"
1998:
Starred as Jean Valjean in Bille August's adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic tale of injustice "Les Miserables"
1999:
Cast in featured role as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in "Star Wars: Episode I ¿ The Phantom Menace"
1999:
Portrayed a professor who conducts psychological experiments in Jan De Bont's remake of "The Haunting"
2002:
Returned to Broadway in "The Crucible" opposite Laura Linney
2002:
Appeared in the highly anticipated Martin Scorsese film "Gangs of New York"
2003:
Played a widower in Richard Curtis' ensemble comedy "Love Actually"
2004:
Played the title role in Bill Condon's "Kinsey"; received Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award nominations
2005:
Cast opposite Orlando Bloom in Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of Heaven"
2005:
Played Batman's mentor Henri Ducard in "Batman Begins," directed by Christopher Nolan
2005:
Starred alongside Cillian Murphy, as the priest who fathers him in Neil Jordan's "Breakfast on Pluto"
2005:
Voiced Aslan in "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe"; feature based on the novel by C.S. Lewis
2007:
Co-starred with Pierce Brosnan in the Western "Seraphim Falls"
2008:
Reprised role as the voice of Aslan in "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian"
2008:
Played a retired CIA operative whose daughter is kidnapped in "Taken"
2010:
Co-starred with Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried in Atom Egoyan's erotic thriller "Chloe"
2010:
Portrayed Zeus, the leader of the Gods of Mount Olympus, in a remake of "Clash of the Titans"
2010:
Starred in the feature film adaptation of "The A-Team" as John 'Hannibal' Smith, originally played on the 1980s TV series by George Peppard
2010:
Reprised role as the voice of Aslan in "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader"
2012:
Starred in the adventure thriller "The Grey," directed by Joe Carnahan
2012:
Reprised role of Zeus in the fantasy adventure sequel "Wrath of the Titans"
2012:
Returned to Christopher Nolan's Batman franchise as Ra's Al Ghul in "The Dark Knight Rises"
2012:
Reprised role in action sequel "Taken 2"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Queen's University: -

Notes

Made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in December 1999

Neeson suffered a broken pelvis when his motorcycle collided with a deer near his upstate New York home on July 11, 2000.

"Doing ['Schindler's List'] made me aware of the importance of what you say on a 20-foot screen that 20 million people are going to see. There's a responsibility. It's not that I wanted to play good guys all the time. But it made me wary of doing a piece of trash just because it had a large budget. Not that there's anything wrong with entertainment, and Hollywood will churn that out regardless. It's just that I was suddenly made aware of the responsbilities I have as an actor."---Liam Neeson quoted in Los Angeles Times, November 20, 1994.

"It comes to the point where you feel raped, where nothing is private and everybody and his fucking mother knows something about my personal life. You come away feeling cheap and tacky."---Neeson on the tabloid press to USA Today, April 3, 1995.

"I'm the luckiest guy in the world. I get a chance to do something I love and they pay me lots of money for it. This is an honor to sit with you in this beautiful hotel in Los Angeles. It should be wintertime, man. I should be working in some factory in Belfast. But I'm not. I give thanks for that."---Neeson quoted in Movieline, May 1999.

"There's actors who want to know what their character had for breakfast last Tuesday. I'm not from that school. I had this amazing costume, half samurai, half Arthurian, and just having that on I got the guy. I knew how he stood. So do I know this world? Yes, I do. But if I have to describe it, I can't."---Neeson on how he as an actor approached Qui-Gon Jinn, his character in "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" to Movieline, May 1999.

In perhaps a pique of anger, he reportedly told Jeannie Williams of USA Today that he was quitting movie work. Neeson later backtracked claiming it had been prompted by overwork.

"I don't set out to play real people; what usually motivates me is the quality of the writing. But yeah, I guess I may subconsciously seek them out. These are people who stand for something, something that is good to remind audiences of; they had a code of ethics that you perhaps don't find anymore."---Neeson on playing historical characters such as Oskar Schindler and Alfred Kinsey to The Observer, October 13, 2002.

"We're all groping our way through life and hoping we'll be accepted and tolerated. And, God bless people like Kinsey who can kind of shine a light into a murky area of our humanity."---Liam Neeson talking about Alfred Kinsey, who he portrayed in "Kinsey" to Cynthia McFadden of ABC's Primetime Live, October 14, 2004.

"I thought I'd be the pipe-smoking, roaring-fire, cardigan-wearing dad, and I became totally frozen," he admits. "I looked at my wife with pleading eyes: 'You go first!' She went first."---Neeson, on how he reacted when he sons asked him about sex, quoted to People, November 22, 2004.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Helen Mirren. Actor. Met while making "Excalibur," together from 1981 to 1985.
companion:
Julia Roberts. Actor. Met while making "Satisfaction," together from 1988 to 1990; later co-starred in "Michael Collins".
companion:
Barbra Streisand. Actor, singer. Dated briefly.
companion:
Jennifer Grey. Actor. Dated briefly.
companion:
Brooke Shields. Actor, former model. No longer together.
wife:
Natasha Richardson. Actor. Met when they appeared together on Broadway in "Anna Christie"; married on July 3, 1994; mother of Micheal and Daniel Neeson.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Barney Neeson. Custodian. Deceased; worked in a boys' primary school.
mother:
Kitty Neeson. Cook. Worked in a girls' grammar school.
mother-in-law:
Vanessa Redgrave. Actor.
sister:
Elizabeth Neeson.
sister:
Bernadette Neeson. Teacher. Has six children.
sister:
Rosaleen Neeson.
son:
Micheal Richard Antonio Neeson. Born on June 22, 1995; mother, Natasha Richardson.
son:
Daniel Jack Neeson. Born on August 28, 1996; mother, Natasha Richardson.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Liam Neeson: The First Biography" St. Martin's Press

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