Birthplace: Ballymena, Northern Ireland
After two unsuccessful attempts at university life, Liam Neeson began to act on the stage at the prestigious Belfast Lyric Players' Theatre in his native Northern Ireland. Upon moving to Dublin, he began acting at the Abbey Theatre where his performance as Lennie in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men drew the attention of film director Martin Boorman, who cast Neeson in the Arthurian legend movie Excalibur (1981). A steady succession of film roles came his way, most notably his portrayal of Oscar Schindler in Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List (1993), his portrayal of Irish Republican hero in the film Michael Collins (1996), and his turn as insightful Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn in Episode I—The Phantom Menace (1999). Neeson has been married to actress Natasha Richardson since 1994.