LIAM NEESON stars as the central figure in Writer/Director
Paul Haggis's ensemble drama THIRD PERSON. Neeson has become one of the leading
international motion picture actors today. Whether it's his Academy Award
nominated role of Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg's Academy Award winning
film Schindler's List (1993), his award-winning portrayal of legendary Irish
Republican hero in Michael Collins (1996) ) for which he received Best Actor
honors at the Venice Film Festival, a Golden Globe Best Actor nomination, and
London's prestigious Evening Standard Award for Best Actor, or his role as
controversial sex therapist Alfred Kinsey in the critically acclaimed Kinsey
(2004), Neeson continues to display an acting range matched by few.
The Irish-born actor had originally sought a career as a teacher after
attending Queens University, Belfast and majoring in physics, computer science
and maths. He set teaching aside and in 1976 joined the prestigious Lyric
Players Theatre in Belfast ("The best training any actor could have."), making
his professional acting debut in Joseph Plunkett's The Risen
People. After two years with the Lyric Players, he joined the famed National
Theatre 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.
Spotted by director John Boorman in 1980, playing Lennie in John Steinbeck's
Of Mice and Men, Boorman cast him in the epic Excalibur. Following this motion
picture debut, Neeson has appeared in more than 40 films demonstrating a wide
range of characters,. Including Dino DeLaurentiis' epic remake of The Bounty
(1984), directed by Roger Donaldson and co-starring Mel Gibson and Anthony
Hopkins; the critically-acclaimed Lamb (1986) 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),
co-starring Julie Andrews; as a political terrorist in A Prayer for the Dying
(1987) with Mickey Rourke and Bob Hoskins; and a Jesuit priest in Roland Joffe's
The Mission (1986), co-starring Robert DeNiro and Jeremy Irons.
Neeson received critical acclaim starring opposite Cher as a deaf and mute
Vietnam veteran in Peter Yates' courtroom drama Suspect (1987); as the
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 made his Broadway debut in 1993 receiving a Tony Award nomination in
the Roundabout Theater's revival of Eugene O'Neill's 1921 drama Anna Christie,
co-starring Natasha Richardson. He also played Oscar Wilde in David Hare's, The
Judas Kiss which opened in London's West End and subsequently on Broadway.
Other memorable big screen performances include Crossing the Line, Shining
Through opposite Michael Douglas, Under Suspicion, Woody Allen's controversial
Husbands and Wives, Ethan Frome with Joan Allen, Michael Apted's Nell, opposite
Jodie Foster and Natasha Richardson; Before and After with Meryl Streep; and the
title role in Michael Canton-Jones' Rob Roy, co-starring Jessica Lange.
Neeson returned to Broadway in 2002, co-starring with his friend Laura Linney
in Arthur Miller's classic The Crucible. His performance as John Proctor earned
both he and Miss Linney a Tony Award nomination.
In 2001, he starred opposite Harrison Ford in K-19: The Widowmaker, and
starred opposite Sandra Bullock in the black comedy Gun Shy (2000). Prior to
that, Neeson starred in the box-office phenomenon Star Wars: Episode I - The
Phantom Menace (1999) in the role of Qui-Gon Jinn, and the same year, he starred
opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones in Jan De Bont's The Haunting.
He co-starred with Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, and Keira Knightly in the
Working Title film Love Actually, written and directed by Richard Curtis; he
graced the screen in the classic revenge drama Seraphim Falls opposite Pierce
Brosnan, and also appeared in Ridley Scott's crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven and
co-starred in Batman Begins, directed by Christopher Nolan.
Neeson starred opposite Diane Kruger and January Jones in the psychological
thriller Unknown; and prior to that he co-starred in the Warner Bros' remake of
the 1981 film Clash of the Titans and After Life opposite Christina Ricci. He
appeared in the remake of the popular TV series The A-Team alongside Bradley
Cooper and Jessica Biel, as an ex-con in Paul Haggis' The Next Three Days, and
as the voice of Aslan the Lion in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the
Dawn Treader and in Five Minutes of Heaven which received rave reviews at the
2009 Sundance Film Festival.
2008 saw Neeson star in Taken, the runaway box-office hit and that same year,
he teamed up with Laura Linney in Richard Eyre's The Other Man and in Disney's
box office success The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian where he reprised
his role as the voice of the Lion, Aslan, in the sequel to the 2005 hit The
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He also returned to
the stage at the Lincoln Center Festival in Gate/Beckett: Eh Joe directed by
2012 has proven a busy year for Neeson, appearing in five films, Joe
Carnahan's The Grey; Warner Bros' Wrath of the Titans, Peter Berg's acton
sci-fi, Battleship, The Dark Night Rises for director Christopher Nolan, and
Taken 2, the sequel to the worldwide box-office sensation Taken. Neeson will
soon start work on the thriller Non Stop, directed by Jeff Wadlow.