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Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson has become one of today's leading international motion picture actors. Whether it is his Academy Award nominated role of Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg's highly acclaimed Schindler's List (1993), his award-winning portrayal of legendary Irish Republican hero in Michael Collins (1996), or his role as controversial sex therapist Alfred Kinsey in the critically acclaimed Kinsey (2004), Neeson continues to display an acting range matched by few.

Neeson recently finished shooting Richard Eyre's The Other Man opposite Laura Linney, and he is currently filming Five Minutes of Heaven for BBC Northern Ireland. In May 2008 Neeson appeared in Disney's box office success The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, where he reprised his role as the voice of the Lion, Aslan, in the sequel to the 2005 hit "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

In 2006, Neeson graced the screen in the classic revenge drama Seraphim Falls opposite Pierce Brosnan. In 2005, he appeared in Ridley Scott's Crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven. He also co-starred that year in Batman Begins, directed by Christopher Nolan.

Neeson's portrayal of Alfred Kinsey in Bill Condon's Kinsey, co-starring Laura Linney, garnered him a Best Actor award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Prior to that, Neeson co-starred with Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, and Keira Knightly in the Working Title film Love Actually (2003), written and directed by Richard Curtis.

Neeson returned to Broadway in 2002, co-starring with his friend Laura Linney in Arthur Miller's classic The Crucible. Mr. Neeson's performance as John Proctor earned both he and Miss Linney a Tony Award nomination.

In 2001, he starred opposite Harrison Ford in the true story of Russia's nuclear submarine tragedy entitled K-19: The Widowmaker, and starred opposite Sandra Bullock in the black comedy Gun Shy (2000).

Neeson starred in the box-office phenomenon Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) in the role of Qui-Gon Jinn, the Master Jedi Knight who bestows his Force-ful wisdom upon Obi-Wan Kenobi and the young Anakin Skywalker. That same year, he starred opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones in Jan De Bont's The Haunting (1999).

In addition, he starred as Jean Valjean in the screen adaptation of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, also starring Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman and Claire Danes. Also that year, Neeson played Oscar Wilde in David Hare's new play, The Judas Kiss, which opened in London's West End and subsequently on Broadway.

Neeson starred in the title role in Neil Jordan's Michael Collins (1996), for which he received Best Actor honors at the Venice Film Festival, a Golden Globe Best Actor nomination, and London's prestigious Evening Standard Award for Best Actor. The film also received the highest honor in Venice -- The Golden Lion Award.

It was in 1993 when Neeson received worldwide attention for his starring role in the Academy Award winning film Schindler's List. In addition to winning an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, he was nominated for a Golden Globe and BAFTA Award.

The Irish-born actor had originally sought a career as a teacher after attending Queens University, Belfast and majoring in physics, computer science and math. Neeson set teaching aside and in 1976 joined the prestigious Lyric Players Theatre in Belfast, which Neeson calls the best training any actor could have. He made his professional acting debut in Joseph Plunkett's The Risen People. After two years with the Lyric Players, he joined the famed National Theatre of Ireland, the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Neeson appeared in the Abbey Theatre Festival's production of Brian Friel's Translations, and in a production of Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars for the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, England.

In 1980, John Boorman spotted Neeson playing Lennie in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and cast him in the epic saga of the Arthurian legend, Excalibur. Following this motion picture debut, Neeson has appeared in more than 40 films demonstrating a wide range of characters, including Dino DeLaurentiis' epic remake of The Bounty (1984), directed by Roger Donaldson, also starring Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins; the critically-acclaimed Lamb (1986) for which Neeson received an Evening Standard Drama Award nomination for his haunting portrayal of a priest tormented by doubts about his faith; Andrei Konchalovsky's Duet for One (1986), also starring Julie Andrews; as a political terrorist in A Prayer for the Dying (1987) with Mickey Rourke and Bob Hoskins; and as a Jesuit priest in Roland Joffe's The Mission (1986), also starring Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons.

Neeson received critical acclaim starring opposite Cher as a deaf and mute Vietnam veteran in Peter Yates' courtroom drama Suspect (1987); as the passionate Irish sculptor opposite Diane Keaton in The Good Mother (1988); and as scientist Peyton Westlake, whose disfiguring accident forces him into hiding in Sam Raimi's fantasy-thriller Darkman (1990).

Neeson next starred in David Leland's gritty contemporary drama Crossing the Line based on William McIlvanney's acclaimed novel, The Big Man, about an unemployed Scottish miner desperate for money that is thrust into the high-stakes world of bare-knuckle boxing.

In 1992, he starred as both a Nazi engineer in David Seltzer's adaptation of Susan Isaac's best-selling novel Shining Through opposite Michael Douglas; and as a disgraced policeman accused of murder in the erotic thriller Under Suspicion.

Neeson then continued to star in a succession of films, most notably playing the sensitive art historian vying for the affections of Mia Farrow and Judy Davis in Woody Allen's controversial Husbands and Wives (1992).

His other credits include Ethan Frome (1993) with Joan Allen, Michael Apted's Nell (1994), starring opposite Jodie Foster and Natasha Richardson; Before and After (1996) with Meryl Streep; and the title role in Michael Canton-Jones' Rob Roy (1995), co-starring Jessica Lange.

Neeson made his Broadway debut in 1993 receiving a Tony Award nomination in the Roundabout Theater's revival of Eugene O'Neill's 1921 drama Anna Christie, co-starring Natasha Richardson.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2009.
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Liam Neeson Facts

Birth NameWilliam John Neeson
BirthdayJune 7, 1952 (71)
BirthplaceBallymena, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Height6' 4" (1m93)  How tall is Liam Neeson compared to you?

Selected Filmography

The Nut Job
Gangs Of New York
A Monster Calls
The Lego Movie
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
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