Irish-born Neeson worked as a forklift operator for Guinness, truck driver, assistant architect and an amateur boxer. He had originally sought a career as a teacher by attending St. Mary's Teaching College in Belfast. However, in 1976, Neeson joined the Belfast Lyric Players' Theater and made his professional acting debut in the play "The Risen People". After two years, Neeson moved to Dublin's Abbey Theater where he performed the classics. It was here that he was spotted by director John Boorman and was cast in the film Excalibur (1981), which dealt with the Arthurian legend. From there, he acted in a number of average films and Television Mini-series until he gained notice for his role as the mute in Suspect (1987). Neeson did not play the lead in a movie until he appeared in Darkman (1990). Good performances in Leap of Faith (1992) and Husbands and Wives (1992) led to Neeson being picked for the role of Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List (1993). For this role, Neeson was nominated for the Academy Award and the Golden Globe. In 1993, he made his Broadway debut in "Anna Christie" in which he co-starred with Natasha Richardson. For his role in this play, Neeson was nominated for a Tony. When he returned to the big screen, Neeson again co-starred with Richardson in the Jodie Foster movie Nell (1994). In the next 2 years, Neeson played characters close to his roots when he was the eighteenth century Scottish Highlander Rob Roy (1995) and the Irish revolutionary leader Michael Collins (1996).
On 11 July 2000 he fractured his right pelvis and chipped his left pelvis and sustained multiple abrasions to his legs after hitting a deer while riding his 1989 Harley Davidson motorcycle in Connecticut. He was thrown off the motorcycle just before it smashed into a nearby tree. A passing motorist found Neeson crawling along the roadside. Due to this accident he was unable to appear as a "Force Ghost" in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), and is only heard as a disembodied voice in the scene following Anakin's slaughter of the Tusken Raider Camp.
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#74). 
Was named an Officer of the Order of British Empire (OBE) by Britain's Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother on New Year's Eve, 1999
Children, with Natasha Richardson, Michael Antonio (b. 1995) and Daniel Jack (b. 1997).
Was a boxer as a teen-ager in Northern Ireland, which resulted in getting his nose broken at the age of 15. Nevertheless, he went on to win the Irish Youth Championship. A brief blackout after one of his fights, however, caused him to give up the ring for good.
Won a libel case against newspapers who claimed that his marriage was in trouble. [October 1998]
Ranked #69 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
Has dated actresses Helen Mirren, Julia Roberts, Brooke Shields, Barbra Streisand and singer Sinéad O'Connor.
First worked with future wife actress Natasha Richardson on the TV mini-series "Ellis Island" (1984) (mini).
Son-in-law of actress Vanessa Redgrave and Tony Richardson.
Was considered for the role of James Bond in GoldenEye (1995).
Attended Queen's University of Belfast for a short while to study physics and computer science, but flunked out.
Nominated for Tony award for Best Leading Actor in a play for role in "The Crucible", May 2002.
Was connected to David Lean's production of "Nostromo", but he withdrew before pre-production began and Lean's subsequent death.
He was considered for the role of Van Helsing in Dracula (1992) (and reportedly he very much wanted the role), however, he was turned down when Anthony Hopkins showed an interest in the role and ultimately got it.
Brother-in-law of Joely Richardson.
Has worked together repeatedly with Laura Linney, including in Kinsey (2004), Love Actually (2003), and in a Broadway revival of "The Crucible", having played husband and wife in Kinsey (2004) and "The Crucible". The two have joked about feeling like "an old married couple".
Wanted to be in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) so badly, he didn't even bother reading the script.
Graduated from the Gaiety School of Drama in Dublin, Ireland.
A member of the Dublin Shakespeare Theatre Festival where his past credits include 'Hamlet', 'King Richard II' and 'Alls Well That Ends Well'.
He recalled his most embarrassing moment in acting as when, relatively early in his career, he auditioned for the role of Fezzik, the giant, in The Princess Bride (1987). He said Rob Reiner had a look of disgust on his face when he realized that Neeson was "only" 6' 4", and 'Andre the Giant' ended up getting the role.
Though he was eager to be a part of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) (the first of the Star Wars prequel trilogy), he reportedly hated working on the film, once shooting started, remarking that he "felt like a puppet".
Was chosen for the role of Gawain in Excalibur (1981) primarily because director John Boorman wanted a large man in the role for the duel between Gawain and Lancelot (the late Nicholas Clay). Excalibur (1981) is where Neeson met Helen Mirren, who was playing Morgana.
Auditioned for, and was accepted to the Bristol Old Vic Drama School in England, but decided to attend the Gaiety School of acting instead so he could stay active with the Dublin Shakespeare Festival while in school.
Is an honorary board member of the CDS (Conference of Drama Schools) in England, which also includes Sir Anthony Hopkins, Brian Cox, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole and Jeremy Irons (to name a few). The board oversees all drama schools in England.
Was very active with the Royal National Theatre in London during the nineties where he performed a wide range of Shakespeare's works.
Was twice nominated for Broadway's Tony Award as Best Actor (Play): in 1993 for a revival of Eugene O'Neill's "Anna Christie," and in 2002 for a revival of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible."
It was his role in "Shining Through" as a Nazi high party official that gained him notice with Steven Spielberg, and that eventually led to him being cast as Oskar Schindler in "Schindler's List."
Is one of seven actors who has played a character from Star Wars and Batman. William Hootkins, who played an X-Wing pilot in the first Star Wars, played Lt. Eckhardt in Batman. Garrick Hagon, who played Biggs, played a mugging victim. Billy Dee Williams, who played Lando Calrissian, originated the role of Harvey Dent. Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, also voiced The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series. Clive Revill, the first actor to play Darth Sidious, voiced Alfred Pennyworth before being replaced by Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Brock Peters, who voiced Darth Vader in the radio adaptation of the original trilogy, voiced Lucuis Fox on the television series. Neeson played Qui-Gon Jinn and Henri Ducard/ Ra's-Al-Ghul. He is the only Star Wars actor who shares his Batman role with a Star Trek actor. In Batman: The Animated Series, Ra's-Al-Ghul is voiced by David Warner, who appeared in Star Trek V and VI.
"Schindler's List" (1993) is ranked #3 on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time.