Liam Neeson OBE (born William John Neeson, 7.6.1952) is an Irish actor, perhaps best known for his roles in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Schindler's List.
Childhood: Liam Neeson was born in Ballymena, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland. His mother, Kitty, was a cook and his father, Bernard, was a caretaker at the local boy's primary school. He was one of four children and has three sisters, Elizabeth, Bernadette and Rosaline.
Liam Neeson first acted onstage when he was 11, when his teacher gave him the lead role in a school play. As a child, Neeson used to sneak into Ian Paisley's church. Paisley has commented on Neeson's "presence" whilst reading Bible passages in church.
Acting Career: After graduating from university, Liam Neeson's first film appearance came in 1973, when he played Jesus Christ in Ken Anderson's Pilgrim's Progress. He later applied for an audition at the Lyric Players' Theatre in Belfast. After two years there, he moved to Dublin and joined Dublin's Abbey Theatre.
John Boorman watched Neeson in a stage production of Of Mice and Men and offered him a role in Excalibur. He met the actress Helen Mirren on the set of the film and lived with her around this time. The highest profile film that Liam Neeson appeared in, in this era, was The Bounty, which also starred Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins.
Neeson moved to Hollywood in 1987 in order to raise his profile as an actor. The move seemed to work and he landed a role in Suspect, along with Dennis Quaid and Cher. He was praised for his role in the film and in 1990, his appearance in Sam Raimi's Darkman brought his name to public attention.
Steven Spielberg saw Liam Neeson performing onstage in a production of Anna Christie and offered him a lead role in Schindler's List, the award winning film, which also starred Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes. Neeson himself was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar but lost out to Tom Hanks' performance in Philadelphia.
In 1995, Neeson starred in Rob Roy and another period piece, Michael Collins the year after. His performance in Michael Collins earned him a Golden Globe nomination. Two years later, Liam Neeson was cast as Jean Valjean in an adaptation of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables. In 1999, he played Dr. David Marrow in The Haunting.
In 1999, Liam Neeson was cast as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn for the first film in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor were also cast in the film as Obi Wan Kenobi and Padmé Amidala, respectively.
Returning to the stage, Liam Neeson earned himself a Tony Award for his role in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, which also starred Laura Linney.
In 2002, Liam Neeson joined Harrison Ford in the submarine-based thriller K19: The Widowmaker, followed by an appearance in Martin Scorsese's lauded Gangs of New York, which starred Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz. The following year, Neeson took a role in Richard Curtis' romantic comedy, Love Actually. The film, which was a huge financial success, had a strong cast, including Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy, Rowan Atkinson, Emma Thompson and Keira Knightley.
Liam Neeson was awarded with yet more awards nominations for his role in Kinsey, in which he plays the lead role, Alfred Kinsey. He lost out on the award to Leonardo DiCaprio, for his role in The Aviator.
The renowned director Ridley Scott cast Neeson in Kingdom of Heaven, opposite Edward Norton, Orlando Bloom and Jeremy Irons. Neeson then went on to work with Cillian Murphy in the film adaptation of Patrick McCabe's novel Breakfast on Pluto. He also voiced the lion, Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as well as its sequel, Prince Caspian.
Personal Life: Liam Neeson married Natasha Richardson in 1994. The couple had previously worked together on the film Nell. Natasha is the daughter of Tony Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave and her sister is the actress Joely Richardson.
From Bono to Michael Fassbender, here are some of Ireland's best loved celebrities on St. Patrick's Day.
To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, we pay tribute to some of the most significant Irish men and women in Hollywood and beyond, because for such a small country, so many legends have been created there. Here's a look at some of the singers, actors and presenters that make Ireland proud.
10 of Ireland's greatest superstars:
Michael Fassbender is half-Irish, half-German
Continue reading: Celebrating 10 Of Ireland's Finest Stars
The Red Nose Day special will air on BBC One, March 24.
Rickman died aged 69 in January of last year, after a short, private battle with pancreatic cancer.
In the original 2003 film Rickman starred as a married man, tempted by his young, attractive co-worker, who he eventually buys an expensive necklace for as a Christmas present.
Continue reading: 'Love Actually' Mini-Sequel Will Not Include A Tribute To Alan Rickman
Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and Kindun (1997). And now he has adapted the Shusaku Endo novel into this profound exploration of religion. As seen through the eyes of a 17th century Jesuit priest in Japan, it's a dark, contemplative film that sometimes feels a bit too murky for its own good. But it also has bracing insight into our need to believe.
At the centre of the story is the disappearance of Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson) as Japan cracks down on foreign religions in 1640, brutally persecuting local converts. Back in Portugal, two of Ferreira's proteges, Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Garrpe (Adam Driver), volunteer to go in search of him. But the journey is dangerous, requiring them to trust exiled Japanese drunk Kichijiro (Yosuke Kubozuka) to sneak them into a rural village near Nagasaki. There they find an underground group of devout Catholics who are hiding from the cruel Inquisitor Inoue (Issei Ogata). After they split up to search for Ferreira, Rodrigues is captured by Inoue and interrogated by his interpreter (Tadanobu Asano), who is determined to show him that Christianity can never take root in Japan.
The film has an eerie resonance in today's divisive global climate, where everyone seems determined to protect their own culture from any outside influence, especially a religion that seems to run counter to long-held traditions. But the film's deeper themes explore the idea that we all have a yearning to understand the world and our existence in a way that makes sense to us. So debating the relative benefits of Christianity and Buddhism is actually beside the point. When the movie lets these ideas simmer under the surface, it has real power, especially in Rodrigues' experiences, which are gruelling both physically and emotionally.
Continue reading: Silence Review
A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like. Instead, it's a darkly emotional journey taken by a young boy who is grappling with huge issues he doesn't quite understand. In other words, it's a film for adults that centres on a child. It's also one of the most moving films in recent memory, with a powerful cast and a remarkably resonant sense of authenticity even in its big effects-based sequences.
In northern England, 12-year-old Conor (newcomer Lewis MacDougall) is running his home while his mother (Felicity Jones) undergoes treatment for cancer. He's rather annoyed that his grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) keeps butting in to take over, and also that his father (Toby Kebbell) lives in America and can only drop in for short visits. Overwhelmed by all of this, Conor imagines the gigantic yew tree in a nearby churchyard coming to life and visiting him at night. This monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) spins a series of fables about princes and dragons, exploring complex themes Conor can't quite grasp because they don't have the simple morality of obvious heroes and villains. And now the monster tells Conor that he has to recount the final story himself, and that it has to be the truth.
Yes, this film is exploring the wrenching nature of mortality and grief, and how it feels to discover for the first time what it means to each of us personally. Thankfully, writer Patrick Ness (adapting his own novel) and director J.A. Bayona (The Impossible) are clever enough to make a film that will touch grown-ups and children in very different ways. The basic story works as an adventure odyssey with strong dramatic kicks. And while youngsters are caught up in the rich depth of ideas that are momentous but just out of reach, the audience members with experience in this area will find some scenes almost overwhelmingly emotional.
Continue reading: A Monster Calls Review
The actor gushes about his latest co-star.
Liam Neeson has opened up about working alongside Andrew Garfield on their new film 'Silence' - the latter's second movie based on religion this year. 64-year-old Neeson might be an Oscar nominated acting veteran, but that doesn't mean he can't be struck by youthful talent.
Liam Neeson praises Andrew Garfield
'He's an extraordinary young actor', Liam Neeson mused. 'His commitment to this part, to the film and to Martin was quite extraordinary.' He went on to add that he was deeply impressed by another film that Garfield was a part of this year. 'I recently saw 'Hacksaw Ridge' too. Oh my God!' He exclaimed. 'Two films about faith, my gosh. He's very very special.'
Continue reading: Liam Neeson: Andrew Garfield Is An 'Extraordinary' Actor
Conor's life has never been easy, his mother is loving but any other family members are distant from the young boy. He's bullied at school and is increasingly turning into a loner. One night Conor goes to sleep but it awakened by a noise at the window.
What is revealed to Conor is a monster who starts talking with the boy. He says he'll tell the boy a series of stories in return for the boy eventually telling his own. As nights pass, the monster and the boy become closer friends but as the monster begins to get Conor into trouble, he must face up to a few issues in his life that he's been avoiding.
A Monster Calls is an adaptation of the Patrick Ness book of the same name. The book was originally published in 2011 but had its roots actually came from famed children's author Siobhan Dowd who wrote Bog Child. Dowd began work on the A Monster Calls before her death but unfortunately ran out of time, at which point Ness picked the novel up.
A Monster Calls stars Liam Neeson, Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones & Sigourney Weaver.
Salma Hayek believes her career in Hollywood is temporarily at a standstill as the studios are no longer interested in working with her.
Salma Hayek, in a recent interview, claimed Hollywood studios are no longer interested in her working for them. Fortunately, the Frida actress’ career is not suffering so she’s not too worried about what she perceives as Hollywood’s apparent lack of interest.
Salma Hayek at the 68th Annual Cannes Film Festival in May 2015.
Continue reading: Salma Hayek Claims Hollywood Studios “Don’t Want” Her Anymore
Nielsen, a company more well-known for TV ratings, has compiled a list of the most influential celebrities in terms of how people respond to them, and found that people buy what Neeson tells them. Wouldn't you?
Ever wondered who the most influential celebrity is? ‘Influence’ could mean many things in this context: in the movie or television industry, on politicians, in social media. But in terms of advertising clout – that is, the most effective celebrity at selling a certain product – then that person is Liam Neeson, apparently.
A recently conducted survey by Nielsen, a company which nominally tracks and analyses TV viewing figures but is moving into measuring public attitudes towards well-known figures, found that the Taken actor is the most likely celebrity to make somebody buy something. Whether that’s because he’s usually waving a gun in somebody’s face or about to punch them, we don’t know.
Liam Neeson is the most influential celebrity
For anyone that really wants to know what a musical of 'Game of Thrones' might look like, this Red Nose Day sketch will either satisfy your appetite, or leave you wanting more.
For the first ever US Red Nose Day on NBC, all the stops were pulled out. What happens when you combine Chris Martin, Liam Neeson, and a large section of the cast of 'Game of Thrones'? Well, you get a behind-the-scenes mockumentary of 'Game of Thrones: The Musical', featuring some of your favourite characters singing such hits as 'Rastafarian Targaryen'.
Peter Dinklage sang about how his character, Tyrion, is still alive despite the odds
The six-minute sketch contained a lot of the current (surviving) cast of the show, like Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Kit Harington, as well as actors like John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy/Reek), Iwan Rheon (Ramsey Bolton) and Charlotte Hope (Myranda). There was also an appearance from some of the long-past actors like Mark Addy (King Robert Baratheon in Season One), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed) and Rose Leslie (Ygritte), who received a serenade from Kit Harington. Diana Rigg (Olenna Tyrell) also made a brief appearance to discuss how the whole concert was a terrible idea.
Continue reading: 'Game Of Thrones' Musical Is Made A Reality... Sort Of...
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. A trade dispute on the planet Naboo has led to a full-scale invasion of the planet. Two members of the of the honourable Jedi Order, Master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) travel to the Trade Federation flagship to negotiate an end to the blockade. While they are there, however, they uncover a secret invasion of the entire planet which threatens to endanger millions of lives. Their quest to save the planet and keep the peace will lead them to a young boy with incredible potential. And the fate of the entire galaxy will be thrown into danger.
Continue: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Trailer
Liam Neeson and Maggie Grace - Shots of a variety of stars including Liam Neeson as they attend the 'Taken 3' fan event screening which was held at the AMC Empire 25 theater in New York City, New York, United States - Wednesday 7th January 2015
Liam Neeson spotted out in Tribeca, New York City
Date of birth
7th July, 1951
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