Liam Neeson Biography Britishamerican Actor
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Liam Neeson Biography
Award-winning actor LIAM NEESON has been inter nationally recognized for his work in both major studio blockbusters and acclaimed independent features. He has been honored for his depictions of three very different real-life figures. Neeson received Academy Award®, Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations for his performance as Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 Oscar® winning Best Picture Schindler’s List. Three years later, he played the title role in Neil Jordan’s biopic Michael Collins, earning another Golden Globe nomination and winning an Evening Standard British Film Award and the 1996 Venice Film Festival’s Volpi Cup for his impassioned portrayal of the Irish Republican hero. In 2004, Neeson starred as controversial sex researcher Alfred Kinsey in Bill Condon’s Kinsey, for which he garnered his third Golden Globe nomination, an Independent Spirit Award nomination and a Los Angeles Film Critics Award.
Neeson most recently appeared in the hit comedy Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, writer/director Paul Haggis’ romantic drama Third Person, Jaume Collet-Serra’s Non-Stop and Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West. Among his upcoming projects are Collet-Serra’s Run All Night and the much-anticipated Taken 3. Neeson also lent his voice to Open Road Films’ animated film The Nut Job, directed by Peter Lepeniotis; the mega-success The Lego Movie, directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller; The Prophet, based on the classic Kahlil Gibran book; and Millennium Entertainment’s animated film Khumba, directed by Anthony Silverston
In 2012, Neeson reprised his role as unstoppable CIA operative Bryan Mills in Taken 2, the successful follow-up to the 2008 hit crime-thriller Taken. He also starred in Peter Berg’s action/sci-fi Battleship, was Zeus in Wrath of the Titans and starred in Joe Carnahan’s thriller The Grey, which topped the box office in its opening weekend. His recent film credits also include Collet-Serra’s thriller Unknown; Haggis’ thriller The Next Three Days; The A-Team; Clash of the Titans; and the indie films Chloe, directed by Atom Egoyan, and After Life, opposite Christina Ricci. He was the voice of Aslan the Lion in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. In July 2012, he appeared in The Dark Night Rises for director Christopher Nolan. Neeson starred in the BBC film Five Minutes of Heaven, which debuted in 2009 and received rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival.
In 2008, Neeson starred in Taken, the runaway box-office hit about an ex-soldier trying to track down the Albanian slave masters who have kidnapped his daughter. Additionally that year, Neeson teamed up with Laura Linney in Richard Eyre’s The Other Man. In May 2008, Neeson reprised his role as the voice of Aslan in Disney’s box-office success The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, the sequel to the 2005 hit The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. That same year, he returned to the stage at the Lincoln Center Festival in Gate/Beckett, directed by Atom Egoyan.
In 2006, Neeson graced the screen in the classic revenge drama Seraphim Falls, opposite Pierce Brosnan.
In 2005, he appeared in Ridley Scott’s crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven. He also co-starred that year in Batman Begins, directed by Nolan.
Neeson’s portrayal of Kinsey in Condon’s Kinsey, which co-starred Linney, garnered him a Best Actor Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Prior to that, Liam Neeson co-starred with Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson and Keira Knightley in the Working Title film Love Actually (2003), written and directed by Richard Curtis. Neeson returned to Broadway in 2002, when he co-starred with his friend Linney in Arthur Miller’s classic The Crucible. Neeson’s performance as John Proctor earned him a Tony Award nomination.
In 2002, Neeson starred opposite Harrison Ford in K-19: The Widowmaker, the true story of Russia’s nuclear submarine tragedy. He also starred in the black comedy Gun Shy (2000), opposite Sandra Bullock. Neeson starred in the box-office phenomenon Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace (1999) in the role of Qui-Gon Jinn, the Master Jedi Knight who bestows his “force”-ful wisdom upon Obi-Wan Kenobi and the young Anakin Skywalker. In the same year, he starred opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones in Jan de Bont’s The Haunting. In addition, Neeson starred as Jean Valjean in the screen adaptation of Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables,” which co-starred Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman and Claire Danes, and played Oscar Wilde in David Hare’s The Judas Kiss, which opened in London’s West End and subsequently on Broadway
Neeson starred in the title role in Jordan’s Michael Collins (1996), for which he received Best Actor honors at the Venice Film Festival, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture— Drama and London’s prestigious Evening Standard Award for Best Actor. The film also received the highest honor at Venice, the Golden Lion. Neeson received worldwide attention in 1993 for his starring role in the Academy Award®-winning film Schindler’s List. In addition to receiving an Academy Award® nomination for Best Actor, he was nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. The Irish-born actor had originally sought a career as a teacher after majoring in physics, computer science and math at Queen’s University Belfast. Neeson set teaching aside and, in 1976, joined the prestigious Lyric Theatre in Belfast, making his professional acting debut in Joseph Plunkett’s The Risen People. After two years with the Lyric Players, he joined the famed national theater of Ireland, the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Neeson appeared in the Abbey Theatre Festival’s production of Brian Friel’s Translations and a production of Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars for the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, England, where he received a Best Actor Award.
In 1980, John Boorman spotted him playing Lennie in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and cast him in the epic saga of the Arthurian legend, Excalibur. Following this motion picture debut, Neeson has appeared in more than 40 films, portraying a wide range of characters, including Dino De Laurentiis’ epic remake of The Bounty (1984), which was directed by Roger Donaldson and co-starred Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins; the critically acclaimed Lamb (1985), for which he received an Evening Standard Drama Award nomination for his haunting portrayal of a priest tormented by doubts about his faith; Andrei Konchalovsky’s Duet for One (1986), which co-starred Julie Andrews; as a political terrorist in A Prayer for the Dying (1987), with Mickey Rourke and Bob Hoskins; and as a Jesuit priest in Roland Joffé’s The Mission (1986), which co-starred Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons.
Neeson received critical acclaim as a deaf and mute Vietnam veteran, opposite Cher, in Peter Yates’ courtroom drama Suspect (1987); as a passionate Irish sculptor, opposite Diane Keaton, in The Good Mother (1988); and as scientist Peyton Westlake, whose disfiguring accident forces him into hiding, in Sam Raimi’s fantasy-thriller Darkman (1990). Neeson next starred in David Leland’s gritty contemporary drama Crossing the Line, based on William McIlvanney’s acclaimed novel “The Big Man,” about an unemployed Scottish miner desperate for money who is thrust into the high-stakes world of bare-knuckle boxing. In 1992, he starred as a Nazi engineer in David Seltzer’s adaptation of Susan Isaacs’ best-selling novel “Shining Through,” opposite Michael Douglas, and as a disgraced policeman accused of murder in the erotic thriller Under Suspicion. Neeson then continued to star in a succession of films, most notably playing the sensitive art historian vying for the affections of Mia Farrow and Judy Davis in Woody Allen’s controversial Husbands and Wives (1992). His other credits include Ethan Frome (1993), with Joan Allen; Michael Apted’s Nell (1994), opposite Jodie Foster and Natasha Richardson; Before and After (1996), with Meryl Streep; and the title role in Michael Canton-Jones’ Rob Roy (1995), which co-starred Jessica Lange.
Neeson made his Broadway debut in 1993 in the Roundabout Theatre’s revival of Eugene O’Neill’s 1921 drama Anna Christie, which co-starred Richardson, and received a Tony Award nomination for his performance.
Favour, directed by Felix Barrett and Tom Morris, at the National Theatre; and Peter Hall’s The Vortex, at the Apollo Theatre, and Hay Fever, at the Haymarket Theatre Royal.
In 2012, Stevens served on the judging panel for the Man Booker Prize. In addition, he contributes a regular column to the Sunday Telegraph and is the editor at large for the online literary quarterly The Junket. He currently resides in New York.
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