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.
Having heard Neeson was filming nearby, staff at Big Star Sandwich in Vancouver offered the star a free meal - and were surprised to see him actually show up!
Workers at a Canadian sandwich shop have pulled off a marketing masterstroke by bagging a visit from acting superstar Liam Neeson, simply by offering him free food!
Staff at the Big Star Sandwich Co. in the city of Vancouver discovered that the 64 year old Northern Irish actor was working on his new film Hard Powder in the nearby area, and decided to chance their arm by offering a free feed for the star on Tuesday (May 2nd).
They put out a chalkboard sign on the pavement outside the shop that read: “Liam Neeson eats here for free”. The other side read, “Come in and get Taken by our sandwiches”, referring to the popular franchise of films in which Neeson punches a lot of people who threaten his family.
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
The actor had been photographed looking extremely gaunt in recent months.
After months of speculation, Liam Neeson has finally revealed the reason behind his dramatic weight-loss and it was all due to Martin Scorsese. The actor stars in Scorsese’s new drama Silence, in which the director required him ‘to look a bit more gaunt’, causing Neeson to shed 20 pounds.
Liam Neeson lost 20 pounds for his upcoming role in Silence.
Speaking at the Los Cabos Film Festival in Mexico on Sunday Neeson revealed that he and co-star Adam Driver were asked to drop weight by the Oscar winning director. "Martin wanted us all to look a bit more gaunt, [which costars Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield] did as well,” Neeson said (as reported by Collider).
Continue reading: Liam Neeson Reveals Scorsese Role Was Behind Dramatic Weight Loss
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
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. The majestic order of honourable, strong Jedi, do all they can to keep the peace in a galaxy slowly tearing itself apart through trade disputes and separatist uprisings. All the while, they are becoming aware of the steady growth of an ancient group of darker, hate filler Jedi known as The Sith, are returning. In amongst their troubles, a young boy is discovered; a boy who could be more powerful than any Jedi that has ever lived. If a legendary prophecy can be believed, he is the one who will destroy the Sith and bring balance back to the Force - the energy which binds all life together.
Liam Neeson is set to narrate a documentary series to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.
Liam Neeson will narrate a series to commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. The three-part documentary series, entitled 1916: The Irish Rebellion, will be broadcast on Irish television next year. The documentary will also be shown in Irish embassies across the world.
Liam Neeson will narrate1916: The Irish Rebellion.
Continue reading: Liam Neeson Will Narrate Documentary Series On 1916 Easter Rising
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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