How Liam Neeson’s Became A Hollywood Star And Made His $175 Million Empire

Award winning actor Liam Neeson is considered to be one of the leading action stars during his prime. The Taken actor has earned his spot in Hollywood and he’s achieved so much in his career and starred in some box office films in his career. With his numerous award winning portrayals left and right, the actor was able to accumulate a massive net worth of $145 million.

Fame took a long time for Liam Neeson to achieve but when he did, his roles and film appearance were non-stop. Take a look at how the 70 year old actor cemented his name in Hollywood.

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Neeson Knew Chose To Be An Actor When He Was 11

At an early age of 9 years old, Neeson started enrolling for a boxing lesson at the All Saints Youth Club. He soon started competing and even won some titles at the regional division. When he turned 11, Neeson started attending St Patrick’s College, Ballymena from 1963 until 1967. The 70 year old actor recalled that he developed his passion for drama while attending the school. Although their neighborhood was predominantly Protestant town, their family is firm in their Catholic beliefs which made him cautious on all the things he’s doing. With this in mind, the actor just kept to himself and didn’t really cause any trouble.

When he turned 17, the actor decided to stop boxing altogether and pursue acting instead. He has acted in some school productions through high school and even until his college days which made him hone his acting skills. His passion towards acting grew even more as he started joining productions despite actively boxing as well. In the end, he decided to focus on acting.

He was also influenced by the founder of the Democratic Unionist Party, Ian Paisley. Neeson said that he was impressed at the magnificent presence of Paisley and he was in awe as he watched Paisley just Bible-thumping away. He knew it was all acting and he was quite inspired by it and made him want to act himself.

Neeson Spent Many Years Doing Supporting Roles

Driven by his passion to be an actor, he started doing more stage plays and productions. Neeson left university and decided to return to Ballymena where he worked some casual jobs to make ends meet. He worked as forklift operator at Guinness and a lorry driver. He then joined the Lyric Players’ Theatre in Belfast in 1976 and started performing with them for two years.

He finally got his first film experience in 1977 as he played Jesus Christ and The Evangelist in the religious movie titled Pilgrim’s Progress. He was then offered a part in Ron Hutchinson’s Says I, Says He. Neeson joined as many productions as he can and then decided to join the Abbey Theatre where he got to perform with Ray McAnally, Mick Lally and Stephen Rea.

With luck on his side, prominent Award winning filmmaker John Boorman saw him acting on stage as Lennie Small in the production Of Mice and Men in 1980. Boorman offered Neeson a role at the Arthurian film Excalibur right there and then. He was offered to portray the role of Sir Gawain which opened some opportunity for the actor. He decided to move to Londong to continue gaining experience onstage and even starred in some small budget films and TV series.

This started getting his name out there and he started working with some prominent actors. Between years 1982 until 1987, Neeson starred in five films including The Bounty in 1984 where he worked with Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins and The Mission in 1986 where he worked with Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons.After starring in the third season of Miami Vice in 1986, Neeson decided that it was time for him to move to Hollywood. He aimed to take on more high profile roles and eventually take his career off and ultimately rose to prominence.

Liam Neeson Got His Big Break Alongside Cher

As soon as he moved to Hollywood, he was able to book roles and starred alongside singer and actress Cher and Dennis Quaid in the film Suspect in 1987. The film gained him critical acclaim and it was soon followed by a film with Clint Eastwood The Dead Pool playing as Peter Swan in 1988.

Seems like Neeson’s star is on the rise as he continues to book and star in high profile films. Even Steven Spielberg was pretty impressed with Neeson and he offered him the role of Oskar Schindler in the film Schindler’s List. The film has earned him his first ever Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and also received BAFTA. This has turned him into becoming one of the most sought after leading actor in Hollywood.

The actor started appearing in numerous films through the course of his career. In 1999, he then starred in George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. His appearance on the film further boosted his career and opened more opportunities for him.

He also started winning awards for his performances which cemented his name in Hollywood. This has made him a household name in Hollywood and he started earning more for doing films. Through the years, he appeared in films non-stop and worked with famous actors. He starred on Hollywood Legend Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York with Leonardo DiCaprio, and Richard Curtis’ Love Actually with Hugh Grant.

He finally starred and took the lead role on the film series Taken which was a huge success in the box office. The film franchise has released three films to date and he was reportedly paid about $5 million on the first film and took home about $40 million from the film franchise. Following the success of starring on the action filled film, he started doing more action films including Cold Pursuit, Honest Thief, A Walk Among the Tombstones, The Marksman, Blacklight and The Ice Road.

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Sources: Wealthy Gorilla, IMDB, The Things



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