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Liam Neeson


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Okay, you probably know by now: I'm falling for old british actors :laugh:

Liam Neeson

William John "Liam" Neeson OBE (born June 7, 1952 in Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland) is an Academy Award-nominated Northern Irish actor. He is best known for his role as Oskar Schindler in the 1993 film Schindler's List, and has since appeared in several popular film series, including the Star Wars prequel trilogy, The Chronicles of Narnia and Batman Begins. He has also continued to play real-life characters, including Michael Collins and Alfred Kinsey.


taken from wikipedia.org

Early life

Neeson was born in Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, the son of Katherine "Kitty" (née Brown), a cook, and Barnard Neeson, a caretaker at the local Catholic girls' school. He was called Liam, the Irish equivalent to William, after the local priest. He was the third child in the family and the only boy among four siblings; his sisters are Elizabeth, Bernadette and Rosaline. At age nine, Neeson began boxing lessons at the All Saints Youth Club. It was at age eleven that Neeson first stepped on stage. His English teacher gave him the lead role in a school play, which he accepted because the girl he fancied would be starring. From then on, he kept acting in school productions for the following years. His interest in acting and decision to become and actor was also influenced by Ian Paisley whose church Neeson would sneak into. Neeson has said of Paisley that "He had a magnificent presence and it was incredible to watch this six foot-plus man just bible-thumping away...It was acting but it was also great acting and stirring too."

Still boxing at sixteen, he had been Youth Heavyweight Champion of Ireland for three consecutive years, aided by his height.


After leaving university, Neeson returned to Ballymena and worked in a variety of small jobs, from fork-lift operator at Guinness to truck driver. He also worked at a teacher-training college in Newcastle for two years before again returning to his hometown. Neeson would get his first film experience in 1973, playing Jesus Christ in the religious film, Pilgrim's Progress. After a bet from co-workers at the architects' office where he worked, Neeson applied for an audition at the Lyric Players' Theatre in Belfast. After two years there, Neeson moved to Dublin and joined the Abbey Theatre in 1977. In 1980, film-maker John Boorman saw him on stage, acting as Lennie Small in Of Mice and Men, and offered him the part of Sir Gawain in the upcoming Arthurian movie, Excalibur. After Excalibur, Neeson moved to London, where he continued working on stage, small budget movies and TV series. He lived with the actress Helen Mirren at this time, whom he met working on Excalibur. Between 1982 and 1987, Neeson starred in five films; mostly notably alongside Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins in 1984's The Bounty.

In 1987, Neeson made a conscious decision to move to Hollywood in order to star in high-profile roles. That year, he starred alongside Cher and Dennis Quaid in crime thriller, Suspect. The role would bring Neeson the critics' applause but it was in 1990s Darkman that would bring his name to the public attention. Although the film gained success, Neeson's following years would not give him the same recognition. In 1993, he joined Ellis Island co-star, and future wife, Natasha Richardson in the Broadway play, Anna Christie. Director Steven Spielberg, impressed by his performance, offered him the coveted role of Oskar Schindler, in the upcoming film about The Holocaust, Schindler's List. His critically acclaimed performance later earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor; however, the award went to Tom Hanks for his performance in Philadelphia. Neeson also garnered BAFTA and Golden Globes nominations for Schindler's List.

Schindler's List established Neeson as a widely sought after leading actor. He later starred in period pieces Rob Roy (1995) and Michael Collins (1996), the latter earning him another Golden Globes nomination and a win for Best Starring Role at the Venice Film Festival. Neeson went onto star as Jean Valjean in the 1998 adaptation of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables and in The Haunting as Dr. David Marrow. In 1999, Neeson took on the role as Obi-Wan Kenobi's mentor, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, in George Lucas' much anticipated Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. His voice would later be used in Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Neeson was to appear in the third prequel, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith as a Force Ghost, but a motorcycle accident prevented this and instead the character was mentioned only. Due to his height (6 ft 4 in), Neeson cost George Lucas an additional $150,000 in set design on The Phantom Menace.

Neeson narrated the 2001 documentaries Journey Into Amazing Caves and The Endurance: Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure. After being nominated for a Tony Award for his role opposite Laura Linney in The Crucible, Neeson teamed up with Harrison Ford in Kathryn Bigelow's submarine thriller K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) as Captain Mikhail Polenin and appeared in Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York (with Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz and Daniel Day-Lewis). He also played a recently widowed writer in Richard Curtis' ensemble comedy Love Actually (2003). His role as Alfred Kinsey in Kinsey again put Neeson up for nomination for a Golden Globe Award but he lost out to Leonardo DiCaprio for The Aviator.

In 2004, Neeson hosted episode of the NBC sketch show Saturday Night Live. He starred as a redneck trucker, Marlon Weaver, in an "Appalachian Emergency Room" sketch and a hippie in a one-off sketch about two stoners (the other played by Amy Poehler) who attempt to borrow a police dog in order to find their lost stash of marijuana. Despite vowing not to play any characters who were Irish stereotypes, Neeson did play a stereotypically Irish man named Lorken McArdle in the home makeover show parody "You Call This A House, Do Ya?" In 2005, Neeson could be seen playing Godfrey of Ibelin, in Ridley Scott's epic adventure Kingdom of Heaven, Henri Ducard/Ra's Al Ghul in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins and as Father Bernard in Neil Jordan's adaptation of Patrick McCabe's novel, Breakfast on Pluto. Also in 2005, he voiced the role of a kindly priest on The Simpsons, who converted Bart and Homer to Catholicism. That same year, he gave his voice to the lion Aslan in the blockbuster fantasy film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

In 2007, Neeson starred in the American Civil War epic Seraphim Falls alongside Pierce Brosnan and Angelica Huston. He is also set to star as Abraham Lincoln in a film directed by Steven Spielberg. In preparation for the role, Neeson visited Washington, D.C. and read Lincoln's personal letters. He also visited Ford's Theatre, where the President was shot. He will again give his voice to Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008). Neeson's voice will also be featured in the video game, Fallout 3. The executive producer of the game, Todd Howard, said "This role was written with Liam in mind, and provides the dramatic tone for the entire game". This is Neeson's second time voicing a video game character; his first was as Henri Ducard in the 2005 adaption of Batman Begins.

Personal life

Since July 3, 1994, Neeson has been married to actress Natasha Richardson, daughter of the late director Tony Richardson and screen legend Vanessa Redgrave. She is also a sister to Joely Richardson and a member of the theatrical Redgrave family. They have two sons, Micheál Richard Antonio (born June 22, 1995) and Daniel Jack (born August 28, 1996). The family home is in exurban Millbrook, New York. Neeson turned down the 'Freedom of the town of Ballymena' offered to him by Ballymena Borough Council, because of objections made by members of the Democratic Unionist Party about his comments that he had felt like a 'second-class citizen' growing up as a Roman Catholic in the town. Neeson continues to practice the Catholic religion and has raised his children Catholic.

Neeson was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in her 1999 New Year's Honours List.


taken from imdb.com


1. The Other Man (2008) (in production) (rumored)

2. Lincoln (2009) (pre-production) .... Abraham Lincoln

3. Fallout 3 (2008) (VG) (filming) (voice)

4. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008) (post-production) (voice) .... Aslan

5. Taken (2008) .... Bryan

6. Xavier (2006) (TV) .... Narrator

7. Seraphim Falls (2006) .... Carver

8. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) (voice) .... Aslan

... aka The Chronicles of Narnia (International: English title: short title)

9. Breakfast on Pluto (2005) .... Father Liam

10. Batman Begins (2005) (VG) (voice) .... Henri Ducard

11. Batman Begins (2005) .... Henri Ducard

... aka Batman Begins: The IMAX Experience (USA: IMAX version)

12. "The Simpsons" .... Father Sean (1 episode, 2005)

- The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star (2005) TV episode (voice) .... Father Sean

13. Kingdom of Heaven (2005) .... Godfrey de Ibelin

... aka Königreich der Himmel (Germany)

... aka Reino de los cielos, El (Spain)

14. Kinsey (2004) .... Alfred Kinsey

15. Love Actually (2003) .... Daniel

16. Gangs of New York (2002) .... 'Priest' Vallon

... aka Gangs of New York (Germany)

17. "Liberty's Kids: Est. 1776" (2002) TV series .... John Paul Jones (unknown episodes)

18. K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) .... Mikhail Polenin

... aka K*19: The Widowmaker (USA: poster title)

... aka K-19 - Showdown in der Tiefe (Germany)

... aka K-19: Terreur sous la mer (Canada: French title)

19. Martin Luther (2002) (TV) (voice) .... Narrator

... aka Empires: Martin Luther (USA: video title)

20. "Evolution" .... Narrator (7 episodes, 2002)

- Darwin's Dangerous Idea (2002) TV episode .... Narrator

- Extinction! (2002) TV episode .... Narrator

- Great Transformations (2002) TV episode .... Narrator

- The Evolutionary Arms Race (2002) TV episode .... Narrator

- The Mind's Big Bang (2002) TV episode .... Narrator

(2 more)

21. The Man Who Came to Dinner (2000) (TV) .... Host

22. Gun Shy (2000) .... Charles 'Charlie' Mayeaux

... aka Gunshy (Australia: video title)

23. The Haunting (1999) .... Dr. David Marrow

... aka Maldición, La (USA: Spanish title)

24. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) .... Qui-Gon Jinn

... aka Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace (USA: video box title)

... aka The Phantom Menace (USA: short title)

25. Misérables, Les (1998) .... Jean Valjean

... aka Misérables, Les (Germany)

26. Michael Collins (1996) .... Michael Collins

27. Before and After (1996) .... Ben Ryan

28. Rob Roy (1995) .... Robert Roy MacGregor

29. Nell (1994) .... Dr. Jerome 'Jerry' Lovell

30. "Subaru Primal Quest, San Juan Islands" (1994) (mini) TV mini-series .... Narrator

31. Schindler's List (1993) .... Oskar Schindler

32. Ruby Cairo (1993) .... Dr. Fergus Lamb, Feed the World

... aka Deception (USA: video title (recut version))

... aka The Missing Link: Ruby Cairo

33. Ethan Frome (1993) .... Ethan Frome

34. Leap of Faith (1992) .... Sheriff Will Braverman

35. Husbands and Wives (1992) .... Michael Gates

36. Revolver (1992) .... Man

37. Shining Through (1992) .... Franze-Otto Dietrich

38. Under Suspicion (1991) .... Tony Aaron

39. The Big Man (1990) .... Danny Scoular

... aka Crossing the Line (USA)

40. Darkman (1990) .... Peyton Westlake / Darkman

41. Next of Kin (1989) .... Briar Gates

42. High Spirits (1988) .... Martin Brogan

43. The Good Mother (1988) .... Leo Cutter

... aka The Price of Passion (South Africa: English title: video title)

44. The Dead Pool (1988) .... Peter Swan

... aka Dirty Harry in The Dead Pool (USA: poster title)

45. Satisfaction (1988) .... Martin Falcon

... aka Girls of Summer (Canada: English title)

46. Suspect (1987) .... Carl Wayne Anderson

47. A Prayer for the Dying (1987) .... Liam Docherty

48. Sworn to Silence (1987) (TV) .... Vincent Cauley

49. Sweet as You Are (1987) (TV) .... Martin Perry

50. Duet for One (1986) .... Totter

51. Lamb (1986) .... Michael Lamb

52. Hold the Dream (1986) (TV) .... Blackie O'Neill

53. The Mission (1986) .... Fielding

54. "Miami Vice" .... Sean Carroon (1 episode, 1986)

- When Irish Eyes Are Crying (1986) TV episode .... Sean Carroon

55. "If Tomorrow Comes" (1986) (mini) TV mini-series .... Insp. André Trignant

56. Arthur the King (1985) (TV) .... Grak

... aka Merlin & the Sword (USA: video title)

... aka Merlin and the Sword (Philippines: English title: theatrical title)

57. The Innocent (1985) .... John Carns

58. "A Woman of Substance" (1984) (mini) TV mini-series .... Blackie O'Neill

59. "Ellis Island" (1984) (mini) TV mini-series .... Kevin Murray

60. The Bounty (1984) .... Seaman Charles Churchill

61. Krull (1983) .... Kegan

... aka Dragons of Krull

... aka Dungeons and Dragons

... aka Krull: Invaders of the Black Fortress

... aka The Dungeons of Krull

62. Charlie Was a Rich Man (1981) (TV)

63. Excalibur (1981) .... Gawain

64. Nailed (1981) .... Young Catholic

65. "BBC2 Playhouse" .... Blacksmith (1 episode, 1980)

- My Dear Palestrina (1980) TV episode .... Blacksmith

66. Christiana (1979) .... Evangelist

67. Pilgrim's Progress (1979) .... Evangelist

68. "Play for Today" .... Dermot (1 episode, 1978)

- Dinner at the Sporting Club (1978) TV episode .... Dermot

Other works

3/98: Played Oscar Wilde in "The Judas Kiss" play by David Hare (The Playhouse, London, England)

3/02: Plays John Proctor in "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller (Virginia Theatre, New York City).

1993: Played in Broadway revival of "Anna Christie".


Height: 6' 4" (1.93 m)

Spouse: Natasha Richardson (3 July 1994 - present) - 2 children

Trade Mark

In his career's recent years, Neeson has very often taken roles in which he is a mentor/trainer/father figure to a younger man, as in, for example, Batman Begins (2005), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Gangs of New York (2002), and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999). His character often must die early in the movie and/or the student's life so that the young man can apply the Neeson character's lessons to his own ongoing struggle.

Frequently portrays characters based on real people. (e.g. Rob Roy, Oskar Schindler, Michael Collins, Alfred Kinsey)

On 11 July 2000 he fractured his right pelvis and chipped his left pelvis and sustained multiple abrasions to his legs after hitting a deer while riding his 1989 Harley-Davidson motorcycle in Connecticut. He was thrown off the motorcycle just before it smashed into a nearby tree. A passing motorist found him crawling along the roadside. Due to this accident he was unable to appear as a "Force Ghost" in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002), and is only heard as a disembodied voice in the scene following Anakin's slaughter of the Tusken Raider Camp.

Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#74). [1995]

Was named an Officer of the Order of British Empire (OBE) by Britain's Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother on New Year's Eve, 1999

Children, with Natasha Richardson, Michael Antonio (b. 1995) and Daniel Jack (b. 1997).

Loves fly-fishing

Was a boxer as a teen-ager in Northern Ireland, which resulted in getting his nose broken at the age of 15. Nevertheless, he went on to win the Irish Youth Championship. A brief blackout after one of his fights, however, caused him to give up the ring for good.

Won a libel case against newspapers who claimed that his marriage was in trouble. [October 1998]

Ranked #69 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]

Has dated actresses Helen Mirren, Julia Roberts, Brooke Shields, Barbra Streisand and singer Sinéad O'Connor.

First worked with future wife actress Natasha Richardson on the TV mini-series "Ellis Island" (1984) (mini).

Son-in-law of actress Vanessa Redgrave and Tony Richardson.

Was considered for the role of James Bond in GoldenEye (1995).

Attended Queen's University of Belfast for a short while to study physics and computer science, but flunked out.

Nominated for Tony award for Best Leading Actor in a play for role in "The Crucible", May 2002.

Was connected to David Lean's production of "Nostromo", but he withdrew before pre-production began and Lean's subsequent death.

He was considered for the role of Van Helsing in Dracula (1992) (and reportedly he very much wanted the role), however, he was turned down when Anthony Hopkins showed an interest in the role and ultimately got it.

Brother-in-law of Joely Richardson.

Has worked together repeatedly with Laura Linney, including in Kinsey (2004), Love Actually (2003), and in a Broadway revival of "The Crucible", having played husband and wife in Kinsey (2004) and "The Crucible". The two have joked about feeling like "an old married couple".

Wanted to be in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) so badly, he didn't even bother reading the script.

Graduated from the Gaiety School of Drama in Dublin, Ireland.

A member of the Dublin Shakespeare Theatre Festival where his past credits include "Hamlet", "King Richard II" and "All's Well That Ends Well".

He recalled his most embarrassing moment in acting as, 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" six-feet-four and André the Giant ended up getting the role.

Though he was eager to be a part of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) (the first of the Star Wars prequel trilogy), he reportedly hated working on the film, once shooting started, remarking that he "felt like a puppet".

Was chosen for the role of Gawain in Excalibur (1981) primarily because director John Boorman wanted a large man in the role for the duel between Gawain and Lancelot (Nicholas Clay). It was on this film where he met Helen Mirren, who was playing Morgana.

Auditioned for, and was accepted by, the Bristol Old Vic Drama School in England, but decided to attend the Gaiety School of acting instead so he could stay active with the Dublin Shakespeare Festival while in school.

Is an honorary board member of the CDS (Conference of Drama Schools) in England, which also includes Sir Anthony Hopkins, Brian Cox, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole and Jeremy Irons (to name a few). The board oversees all drama schools in England.

Was very active with the Royal National Theatre in London during the nineties where he performed a wide range of Shakespeare's works.

Was twice nominated for Broadway's Tony Award as Best Actor (Play): in 1993 for a revival of Eugene O'Neill's "Anna Christie," and in 2002 for a revival of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible."

It was his role in Shining Through (1992) as a high Nazi party official that got him noticed by Steven Spielberg, and that eventually led to him being cast as Oskar Schindler in Schindler's List (1993).

Is one of seven actors who has played a character from the "Star Wars" and "Batman" films. William Hootkins, who played an X-Wing pilot in Star Wars (1977), played Lt. Eckhardt in Batman (1989). 'Garrick Hagon', who played Biggs, played a mugging victim. Billy Dee Williams, who played Lando Calrissian, originated the role of Harvey Dent. Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, also voiced The Joker in "Batman" (1992). Clive Revill, the first actor to play Darth Sidious, voiced Alfred Pennyworth before being replaced by Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Brock Peters, who voiced Darth Vader in the radio adaptation of the original trilogy, voiced Lucuis Fox on the television series. Neeson played Qui-Gon Jinn and Henri Ducard/Ra's-Al-Ghul. He is the only "Star Wars" actor who shares his Batman role with a "Star Trek" actor. In the "Batman" animated series, Ra's-Al-Ghul is voiced by David Warner, who appeared in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991).

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

Was Oliver Stone's very first choice for the role of King Phillip of Macedonia in Alexander (2004).

Friend of actor Henry Herman.

Was considered for the part of Dracula in the cult classic The Monster Squad (1987).

In an interview with the BBC, he said that Northern Irish Protestant minister Ian Paisley influenced his decision to become an actor. He use to sneak into the church in his hometown of Ballymena and watch Mr. Paisley preach. "He had a magnificent presence and it was incredible to watch this six foot-plus man just bible-thumping away. It was acting but it was also great acting and stirring too.".

Personal Quotes

I never did think of myself as handsome--terribly attractive, yes, but not handsome.

I think I realized there were two communities in Northern Ireland when I was about nine or 10, not because there was any trouble but because in certain years my parents would keep us indoors on the 12th of July. I couldn't figure that out, because all my mates were out dancing in the streets and I wanted to go out and join them. So it was then that I sensed a "them and us" attitude.

No, I don't get obsessed with acting. Because in the past when I have got obsessed about it, it really got in the way of the creative process. I've learned to hang the character on the coat-peg at the end of the day, and when I leave in the morning I pick it up again. And I had to work at that because the other way lies a strange sort of madness.

Laid-back? My wife said that? Well, I guess I am. It takes a lot to get me riled.

[on the widespread unemployment of actors and their fear of it] The truth is I love the insecurity part of it, it keeps me on my toes. I think you become bland and predictable without the stress and angst. There's a certain lethargy that sets in.

Before Schindler's List (1993), I wouldn't have believed movies had a lot of power for social change. But having seen what happened with "Schindler's List", and touring the world with it, it really made me realize the power of images.

Some mornings you wake up and think, "Gee, I look handsome today." Other days I think, "What am I doing in the movies? I wanna go back to Ireland and drive a forklift".

Acting is invigorating. But I don't analyze it too much. It's like a dog smelling where it's going to do its toilet in the morning.

In Los Angeles, it's like they jog for two hours a day and then they think they're morally right. That's when you want to choke people, you know?

I grew up in Northern Ireland, of course. Lived all through the Troubles; saw violence, the results of violence, at first hand. It's always terrified me and fascinated me. So it was a gut reaction, something about how that rage can eat you alive. I can understand that. I haven't known it myself, but I knew guys who did. Some of them aren't on this planet any more because of it.

Pictures vom Livejournal, hires hunks and vintage meat (what a name!)

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