I would like to wish a very happy birthday to one of my favourite actors…
Today – 7th June – is the 59th birthday of William John ‘Liam’ Neeson.
Courtesy of IMDb, Neeson was born in Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. After university he moved to Dublin where he joined the Abbey Theatre. His first major film role was in 1977 in Ken Anderson’s Pilgrim’s Progress. The earliest film I have seen him in is 1981’s Excalibur, directed by John Boorman.
A seasoned actor, he received critical success in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List in 1993. For his role as Oskar Schindler, he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar plus BAFTA and Golden Globes nominations.
Neeson has also had notable roles in 1986’s The Mission, 1990’s Darkman, 1996’s Michael Collins and 1999’s Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. In The Phantom Menace he took on the role of Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, the mentor of the Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi.
In the 2000s, his films included K-19: The Widowmaker (2002), Gangs of New York (2002), Love Actually (2003), Kinsey (2004) and Kingdom of Heaven (2005). He also took on the role of Henri Ducard in Batman Begins (2005) and Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005).
In 2008, he starred as one of the ‘Best Fathers in Movie History’ in Taken. Though it received mixed reviews, against a production budget of $25 million (approx £15 million) it has a worldwide lifetime gross of $226,830,568 (approx £138 million).
Last year, he reprised his role as Aslan plus, amongst others, Zeus in Clash of the Titans and Hannibal in The A-Team.
He will next be seen in The Grey (January 2012), Wrath of the Titans (March 2012) and Battleship (May 2012).