Liam Neeson
William John Neeson
Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Birth date
June 7, 1952
Active Years

Liam John Neeson OBE (born 7 June 1952) is an Irish actor, who has been nominated for an Oscar, a BAFTA and three Golden Globe Awards. He has starred in a number of notable roles including Oskar Schindler in Schindler's List, Michael Collins in Michael Collins, Peyton Westlake in Darkman, Bryan Mills in Taken, Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Alfred Kinsey in Kinsey, Ra's al Ghul in Batman Begins, and the voice of Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia film series.

He starred in other notable films such as Excalibur, The Dead Pool, Nell, Rob Roy, Les Misérables, The Haunting, Love Actually, Kingdom of Heaven, Clash of the Titans, The A-Team, Unknown, The Grey, and Taken 2 as well as smaller arthouse films (e.g. Deception, Breakfast on Pluto, and Chloe). He was ranked at number 69 on Empire magazine's 100 greatest movie stars of all time in 1997.

He was born in Ballymena, County Antrim and educated at St Patrick's College (now St Patrick's, Dundonald), Ballymena Technical College and Queen's University Belfast. He moved to Dublin after university to further his acting career, joining the Abbey Theatre. After a time in London, he moved to the United States, where the wide acclaim for his performance in Schindler's List led to more high-profile work. He is widowed and lives in New York with his two sons.

Early Life

Neeson was born on June 7, 1952, in Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and is the son of Katherine "Kitty", a cook, and Bernard "Barney" Neeson, a caretaker at the Ballymena Boys All Saints Primary School. He was raised Roman Catholic at the Ballymena Boys All Saints Primary School. At age nine, Neeson began boxing lessons at the All Saints Youth Club, and later became Ulster amateur senior boxing champion. At age eleven, Neeson first stepped on stage. His English teacher gave him the lead role in a school play, which he accepted because the girl he was attracted to would be starring. From then on, he kept acting in school productions for the following years.

His interest in acting and decision to become an actor was also influenced by minister 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."

Neeson was enrolled in 1971 as a physics and computer science undergraduate student at Queen's University Belfast in Belfast, Northern Ireland, before leaving to work for the Guinness Brewery.

He discovered a talent for football at Queens University. He was spotted by Sean Thomas at Bohemian F.C.. There was a club trial in Dublin. He only played one game as a substitute against Shamrock Rovers and was not offered a contract to continue playing.



After leaving university, Neeson returned to Ballymena where he worked in a variety of casual jobs, from a fork-lift operator at Guinness to a truck driver. He also attended teacher training college in Newcastle for two years before again returning to his home town.


Year Title Role Notes
1978 Pilgrim's Progress Jesus Christ / Evangelist
1979 Christiana Greatheart
1981 Excalibur Gawain
1983 Krull Kegan
1984 A Woman of Substance Blackie O'Neill
Ellis Island Kevin Murray
The Bounty Charles Churchill
1985 Lamb Michael Lamb
The Innocent John Carns
1986 Hold the Dream Blackie O'Neill
If Tomorrow Comes Insp. Andre Trignent
The Delta Force Delta Force commando Uncredited role
The Mission Fielding
Duet for One Totter
1987 Sworn to Silence Vincent Cauley
Suspect Carl Anderson
A Prayer for the Dying Liam Docherty
1988 Satisfaction Martin Falcon
High Spirits Martin Brogan
The Dead Pool Peter Swan
The Good Mother Leo Cutter
1989 Next of Kin Briar Gates
1990 Darkman Peyton Westlake / Darkman
The Big Man Danny Scoulars
1991 Under Suspicion Tony Aaron
1992 Shining Through Franz-Otto Dietrich
Husbands and Wives Michael Gates
Leap of Faith Sheriff Will Braverman
1993 Ethan Frome Ethan Frome
Ruby Cairo Dr. Fergus Lamb
Schindler's List Oskar Schindler
1994 Nell Dr. Jerome "Jerry" Lovell
1995 Rob Roy Rob Roy MacGregor
1996 Michael Collins Michael Collins
Before and After Ben Ryan
1998 Les Misérables Jean Valjean
1999 The Haunting Dr. David Marrow
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace Qui-Gon Jinn
2000 Gun Shy Charlie Mayo
The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition Narrator (voice) Documentary
2002 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones Qui-Gon Jinn (voice) Uncredited cameo
K-19: The Widowmaker Mikhail Polenin
Gangs of New York "Priest" Vallon
Martin Luther Narrator (voice) Documentary
2003 Love Actually Daniel
Coral Reef Adventure Narrator (voice) Documentary
2004 Kinsey Alfred Kinsey
2005 Kingdom of Heaven Godfrey of Ibelin
Batman Begins Ra's al Ghul
Breakfast on Pluto Father Liam
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Aslan (voice)
2006 Home Himself Documentary
2007 Seraphim Falls Carver
2008 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Aslan (voice)
The Other Man Peter
Taken Bryan Mills
2009 Five Minutes of Heaven Alistair Little
Ponyo Fujimoto (voice) English dub
After.Life Eliot
Chloe David
2010 Clash of the Titans Zeus
The A-Team John "Hannibal" Smith
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Aslan (voice)
The Next Three Days Damon Pennington
The Wildest Dream Narrator (voice) Documentary
2011 Unknown Dr. Martin Harris
2012 The Grey John Ottway
Wrath of the Titans Zeus
The Patriot of America Colonel Edward Thompson (voice) Documentary
Battleship Admiral Shane
The Dark Knight Rises Ra's al Ghul Cameo
Taken 2 Bryan Mills
2013 Third Person Michael
Khumba Phango (voice)
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues History Channel Rep Cameo
2014 The Nut Job Raccoon (voice)
The Lego Movie Bad Cop / Good Cop
Pa Cop (voices)
The Prophet Mustafa (voice)
Non-Stop Bill Marks
A Million Ways to Die in the West Clinch Leatherwood
A Walk Among the Tombstones Matthew Scudder
2015 Taken 3 Bryan Mills
Run All Night Jimmy Conlon
Entourage Himself Cameo
Ted 2 Customer
A Christmas Star Narrator / Radio DJ (voice)
2016 The Huntsman: Winter's War Narrator (voice) Uncredited
Operation Chromite Douglas MacArthur
A Monster Calls Monster (voice)
Silence Father Cristóvão Ferreira
2017 Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House Mark Felt
Daddy's Home 2 Actor in Missile Tow (voice) Cameo
2018 The Commuter Michael McCauley
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Completed
Widows Post-production
Hard Powder Nels
2019 MIB Filming
Normal People Tom Filming

External links