Liam Neeson

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Liam Neeson at the American Film Festival in Deauville (2012)

William John "Liam" Neeson OBE (born June 7, 1952 in Ballymena , Northern Ireland ) is a British - Irish actor from Northern Ireland who has also been a citizen of the United States since 2009 . He became famous for the role of Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg 's Schindler's List .



Neeson was born the son of a school caretaker and a cook . He comes from a Catholic family and is the third of four children. During his school days he performed regularly in school performances. In his youth, Neeson was also very active in sports and won the Northern Irish championship in boxing . This martial arts also brought him a broken nose , which he owes his characteristic nose shape. Originally he wanted teachers to be studied at the Queen's University Belfast , the subjects mathematics , physics , computer science and theater studies . However, he broke off his studies and worked, among other things, as a forklift driver in a Guinness brewery.


In 1976 Neeson joined the Lyric Players' Theater company in Belfast , where he made his stage debut in Joseph Plunkett's drama The Risen People . Two years later he moved to the Abbey Theater in Dublin . There saw him in 1980 John Boorman the role of Lennie in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men ( Of Mice and Men ) play and then hired him for the role of the knight Gawain in the fantasy film Excalibur .

From then on he played in numerous films, repeatedly in supporting roles alongside well-known and successful actors, such as in The Bounty (1984) alongside Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins , in Mission (1986) alongside Jeremy Irons and Robert De Niro , in High Spirits (1988) with Peter O'Toole , Beverly D'Angelo , Steve Guttenberg and Daryl Hannah , and in Husbands and Wives (1992) by and with Woody Allen and Blythe Danner , Judy Davis , Mia Farrow , Juliette Lewis , Sydney Pollack .

In 1993, in Steven Spielberg 's Schindler's List , Neeson played the role of the German industrialist Oskar Schindler , who saved the lives of around 1200 Jews in the Third Reich by working in his factory. Neeson received high praise from critics for his portrayal. He achieved his final breakthrough and achieved international recognition with nominations for the Oscar , Golden Globe and BAFTA Award in the category of best leading actor .

In 1995 he took on the role of the Scottish folk hero Robert Roy MacGregor in Rob Roy by Michael Caton-Jones and in 1996 that of the Irish freedom fighter Michael Collins in the film of the same name by Neil Jordan . In 1998 he played Jean Valjean in Bille August's Les Miserables (based on the novel The Sorrows of Victor Hugo ) and in 1999 the Jedi knight Qui-Gon Jinn , one of the leading roles in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace by George Lucas . In 2004 he played the US sex researcher Alfred Charles Kinsey in Bill Condon's Kinsey - The Truth About Sex .

In 2005 he was seen as a crusader in Ridley Scott's historical epic Kingdom of Heaven . In the same year he also appeared in the first part of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy , Batman Begins , and in 2012 in the third part, The Dark Knight Rises , in which he played Batman's mentor and later adversary Ra's al Ghul . From then on he played the action hero regularly, whether in 2010 in Louis Leterrier's Clash of the Titans and its sequel Wrath of the Titans or in Joe Carnahan's The A-Team - The Movie . In 2008 he played the role of Bryan Mills in 96 Hours and continued this role in 2012 in the sequel 96 Hours - Taken 2 . In 2014 he took on the role of Air Marshal Bill Marks in Jaume Collet-Serra's Non-Stop . In 2014 he took on the role of Bryan Mills for the third and last time in 96 Hours - Taken 3 . In 2016 he played the role of American General Douglas MacArthur in the South Korean film Operation Chromite . It is the film adaptation of the Landing at Incheon , which through MacArthur ushered in a turning point in the Korean War .

Neeson's German dubbing voice comes mainly from Bernd Rumpf ; However, in three of the more important films of his career, namely Schindler's List , Rob Roy and Michael Collins , he was spoken by the very similar, albeit slightly warmer-sounding Helmut Gauß , who also gave Neeson his voice in several smaller films ( Darkman and Actually ... Love ). Neeson himself has often worked as a voice actor. In 2005 he lent the lion Aslan his voice in the fantasy film The Chronicles of Narnia: The King of Narnia and its successor films , here his German voice was Thomas Fritsch . He had another speaking role in 2014 in the children's film The LEGO Movie , here Neeson was dubbed by Norbert Gastell , among others .

In addition to his career as a film actor, Neeson can still be seen on the theater stage. In 1993 he starred in the re-production of Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie opposite Natasha Richardson ; both were nominated for the Antoinette Perry Award (Tony Award). He played Oscar Wilde in The Judas Kiss , and his performance in The Crucible (2003) starring Laura Linney earned him another Tony Award nomination. In March 2003, Neeson had a guest appearance in the play The Play What I Wrote , which was performed in New York under the direction of Kenneth Branagh .


In the early 1980s, Neeson was the partner of actress Helen Mirren , whom he met while filming Excalibur . Through Mirren, Neeson, who was still in his early days as an actor, was also able to get a suitable agent and advance his career.

From 1994 until her death in 2009, Neeson was married to Natasha Richardson , daughter of Vanessa Redgrave and Tony Richardson . The relationship with the actress resulted in two sons. The couple had in the 1993 revival of Anna Christie on Broadway met and in the film Nell stood (1994) together in front of the camera. Their son Micheál Richardson is also an actor. He played in the television series Big Dogs , which was published in the USA on Amazon Prime Video , and stood in front of the camera with his father Liam Neeson in the films Hard Powder and Made in Italy .

Born in Northern Ireland, Neeson is a UK and Irish citizen and was granted US citizenship in August 2009.

Filmography (selection)


Web links

Commons : Liam Neeson  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. cf. Liam Neeson . In: Internationales Biographisches Archiv ( Munzinger Archive ), accessed on March 20, 2009
  2. Liam Neeson: "America was very, very good to me". In: Spiegel Online . August 27, 2009. Retrieved July 28, 2014 .
  3. Neeson takes out US citizienship. In: Irish Times . August 28, 2009, accessed May 8, 2020 .