Award-winning movie star Liam Neeson, born on June 7, 1952, is considered one of the greatest Irish actors. With a career that spans over four decades, Neeson has delivered several iconic movie performances, which have established him as an international celebrity. From critically acclaimed movies to action thrillers, Neeson has received praise for his roles across genres. He is also known for his philanthropy and activism and is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. Celebrate the birthday of this popular action movie star right here with some insights and trivia from his life and career.
William John Neeson
June 7, 1952
Liam Neeson was born on June 7, 1952, in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. He is the son of Katherine Neeson, a cook, and Bernard Neeson, a primary school caretaker. Raised a Catholic, he has three sisters. He attended St. Patrick’s College in Ballymena where he first developed a love for acting.
Neeson’s acting career began in 1976 when he joined the Lyric Players’ Theater in Belfast. It was in 1977 that he made his film debut, playing Jesus Christ in the movie “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” In 1980, he was offered the part of Sir Gawain in the movie “Excalibur.” He starred in several notable performances in movies including “The Bounty” (1984) and “The Mission” (1986). In 1987, he moved to Hollywood and earned critical acclaim for his role in the legal mystery thriller “Suspect.” His first lead role came in 1990 when he was cast in the box-office hit “Darkman.” Neeson was then cast in “Schindler’s List,” for which he was nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars, the British Academy Film Awards, and the Golden Globe Awards.
He was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in “Anna Christie” alongside Natasha Richardson, whom he would later marry in 1994. She died in a skiing accident in 2009. He earned his second Golden Globe nomination in 1996 for his role in the biographical film “Michael Collins.” In 2004, he got another Golden Globe nomination for his performance in the biographical drama “Kinsey.” The year 2008 marked a major transition in Neeson’s career when he starred in the action movie “Taken,” and its sequels “Taken 2” and “Taken 3.” In 2021, he starred in another action thriller “The Ice Road.” Neeson is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. He is also a devoted father to Michael and Daniel.
Neeson achieves a career breakthrough when he is offered the role of Sir Gawain in “Excalibur.”
He makes his debut as the lead actor in the superhero movie “Darkman.”
He earns critical acclaim and several nominations for Best Actor, including at the Oscars and the Golden Globe Awards, for his portrayal of Oskar Schindler in the movie “Schindler’s List.”
He is nominated for his first Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway play “Anna Christie.”
He becomes an action star in the blockbuster action movie “Taken,” and its sequels “Taken 2” and “Taken 3.”
He earns critical acclaim for his role as a Jesuit priest in Martin Scorsese’s epic historical drama “Silence.”
Why We Love Liam Neeson
He defies age
Neeson reinvented his career as an action star with “Taken” when he was 56 years old. He continues to act in successful action-packed movies. With no intention to retire, he will continue to excite his fans around the world. He is a true professional who brings depth and intensity to his performances.
His success story is inspirational
Neeson had to fight his way to the top as a successful actor. Coming from a humble background, he struggled through adversities before gaining international recognition.
He is a gentleman
Neeson has won the hearts of millions of fans with his warmth and charm. Off-screen, he is known for being a true gentleman.
5 Surprising Facts
He is into fly fishing
Neeson learned to fly fish some 20 years ago and enjoys the activity every once in a while.
He is Irish, British, and American
Neeson is a citizen of three countries (Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.) but identifies himself as a proud Irishman.
He drove a forklift truck
Before he became a famous actor, Neeson held several odd jobs, including driving a forklift truck for the Guinness beer company.
His boxing glory days
He joined a boxing club when he was nine; he was a juvenile champion of Northern Ireland and competed until he was 16.
He turned down a Bond role
In the 1990s, Neeson was approached to play the iconic spy in “Golden Eye” but he turned it down on account of his wife who said: “Darling, if you’re offered James Bond, and you’re going to play it, you’re not going to marry me.”
Liam Neeson FAQs
What’s Liam Neeson’s most famous movie?
Neeson’s most famous movie is “Schindler’s List,” according to Rotten Tomatoes.
Has Liam Neeson ever won an Oscar?
No, Neeson has not won an Oscar.
Does Liam Neeson have a girlfriend?
No, he hasn’t dated anyone since his wife died in 2009.
Liam Neeson’s birthday dates