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Liam Neeson      

William John "Liam" Neeson OBE, born June 7, 1952, is an Oscar-nominated Northern Irish actor.

He was raised as a Roman Catholic in the predominately Protestant and Unionist town of Ballymena in County Antrim and later attended Queen's University of Belfast. However, he left the university without graduating. When asked by an interviewer about his upbringing in relation to the Troubles, Neeson spoke of Ballymena as "a hardworking community that witnessed little of the sectarian prejudice that plagues much of Northern Ireland".

In fact, as a young man most of his friends were Protestants. However, on being offered "Freedom of the town of Ballymena" by Ballymena Borough Council, his subsequent comments that he had felt like a "second-class citizen" growing up in the town, resulted in the offer being withdrawn. At age nine, Neeson began taking boxing lessons at the All Saints Youth Club. Standing six feet four inches high, he became a youth champion before a blackout during one of his boxing matches forced him to withdraw from the ring.

Since July 3, 1994, Liam Neeson has been married to actress Natasha Richardson. They have two sons, Michael and Daniel. The family home is in exurban Millbrook, New York.

High-profile appearances include the lead roles in Schindler's List, Kinsey; voicing the lion Aslan in the blockbuster fantasy film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Nell; Rob Roy and, with Aidan Quinn, Michael Collins; Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: the Phantom Menace and the supporting roles Godfrey of Ibelin in Kingdom of Heaven and Henri Ducard in Batman Begins, all of which are mentors to the main character who die at some point in the film. He has also voiced the role of a kindly priest on The Simpsons who converted Bart and Homer to Catholicism.

His performance as Oskar Schindler in Schindler's List earned him a very wide universal acclaim as well as an Academy Award for Best Actor nomination in 1993, but the award went to Tom Hanks for his performance in Philadelphia. Despite not winning the Oscar, Neeson's interpretation of the courageous businessman, powerfully granting Schindler not only heroism and charm but also an arrogance which perversely makes him more sympathetic, is regarded as the pinnacle of a distinguished career.[citation needed]

As of 2006, Neeson's next film appearance will be in the American Civil War epic Seraphim Falls with Pierce Brosnan and Angelica Huston. He is also set to star as Abraham Lincoln in a film directed by Steven Spielberg.

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

Liam Neeson's Favorite Christmas song is Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl, according to a questionnaire in the Love Actually script book (UK).

In 1989 at the end of the PBS ID, Liam's voiceover says "This is PBS".

News


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