June 7, 1952 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland Liam Neeson was born into a working-class Catholic Neeson family to Barney and Kitty Neeson. Both parents worked in schools, his father in a boy’s school as a custodian, his mother as a cook in a girl’s school. And Liam will tell you being born to Barney and Kitty was the luckiest thing that ever happened to him.
Although the Catholic family lived in a predominately Protestant community, Liam did not experience much of the religious tension that Ireland is known for, in his town everyone seemed to get along quite well.
He began boxing lessons at the age of nine; a hobby he stuck with until it was time for college.
Liam enrolled in Queen’s College in Belfast to take Physics and Computer science. He flunked out.
He did not give up on education too quickly however, he wanted to please his parents. After a short stint as a forklift operator at Guiness he went to England and attended St. Mary’s Teaching School, with a minor in Drama. As he became more and more engrossed in what was to be a “minor” area of study, his studies towards becoming a teacher fell away and he never did graduate.
It didn’t take long for him to make the most of his drama classes and by 1976 he was on the stage at the Lyrics Player Theater in Belfast in Joseph Plunkett’s The Risen People.
He then went on to the Abbey Theater in Dublin where he appeared in Translations. He won The Best Actor Award at the Royal Exchange Theater when he appeared in The Plough and The Stars.