Cast Profiles: Liam Neeson..

I worked alongside Liam long before he reached his current lofty status. He played "Kegan", one of the band of robbers in KRULL. Although it was a supporting role the character was in many scenes and Liam was on set for many months. In England I was tied up in the workshop most of the time and couldn't spend much time chatting on set until we were on location in Italy for the "fire mare" sequences. Even so, Liam impressed me as one of those rare individuals in movies..... a quiet, unassuming regular guy. He went about his craft in an unaffectatious manner and never allowed his ego to over rule his manners. It is reasuring to know that occasionally the nice guys make it to the top.



In STAR WARS Liam plays a Jedi master (who mentors his fellow knights)


Academy Award®-nominee Liam Neeson has become one of the leading international motion-picture figures of our time. Neeson most recently starred in the title role in Neil Jordan's Michael Collins, 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. The film also received the highest honor in Venice: The Golden Lion Award. For decades, filmmakers such as legendary directors John Huston to Robert Redford worked to bring this life story of the Irish Republican hero to the big screen. None of these attempts got off the ground until Neil Jordan and Liam Neeson teamed up with the backing of producer David Geffen and Warner Bros. The film opened to critical acclaim across the board worldwide and has set box office records in Europe.

The Irish-born actor had originally sought a career as a teacher, attending Queens College, Belfast and majoring in physics, computer science, math and drama. Neeson set teaching aside and in 1976 joined the prestigious Lyric Players Theatre in Belfast ("the best training any actor could have") marking his professional acting debut in Joseph Plunkett's The Risen People. After two years with the Lyric Players, he joined the famed repertory company of 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 Theater where he received the Best Actor Award.

In 1980, John Boorman spotted him playing Lennie in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and cast\ him in his epic saga of the Arturian legend Excalibur. Following his motion picture debut in Excalibur, Neeson has appeared in more than twenty films demonstrating his wide range of characters, including Dino De Laurentis' epic remake of The Bounty, directed by Roger Donaldson and co-starring Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins; the critically-acclaimed Lamb for which he received an Evening Standard Drama Award nomination for his haunting portrayal as a priest tormented by doubts about his faith; Andrei Konchalovsky's Duet For One co-starring Julie Andrews; as a political terrorist in A Prayer for the Dying with Mickey Rourke and Bob Hoskins; and a Jesuit priest in Roland Joffe's The Mission co-starring Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons.

Neeson next received critical acclaim, starring opposite Cher as a deaf and mute Vietnam veteran in Peter Yates' courtroom drama Suspect; as the passionate Irish sculptor opposite Diane Keaton in The Good Mother; and as scientist "Peyton Westlake," whose disfiguring accident forces him into hiding in Sam Raimi's fantasy-thriller Darkman.

Neeson then 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 both a Nazi engineer in David Seltzer's adaptation of Susan Isaac's 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 acclaimed 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.

Other recent credits include: Paramount's Leap of Faith with Steve Martin, starring opposite Jodie Foster and Natasha Richardson in Michael Apted's Nell, Before and After with Meryl Streep, and the title role in Michael Canton-Jones' Rob Roy co-starring Jessica Lange.

Neeson made his Broadway debut in 1993 in the Roundabout Theater's revival of Eugene O'Neill's 1921 drama Anna Christie. Co-starring Natasha Richardson and playing to sold out audiences nightly, the run was extended and garnered him a Tony Award nomination.

Neeson's passion for the classics was once again rewarded critically in the American Playhouse production of Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome. Neeson starred in this tragic love story of three lonely people trapped by circumstance and repression in turn of the century New England.

In 1993, Neeson was nominated for an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA Award in the Best Actor categories for portraying Oskar Schindler in Stephen Spielberg's highly acclaimed Schindler's List.

Neeson is currently in production for the screen adaptation of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables in the role of Jean Valjean. His co-stars include Geoffrey Rush and Uma Thurman.



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