1. Between 1982 and 1987, Neeson starred in five films; most notably alongside Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins in The Bounty .
2. He landed a leading role alongside Patrick Swayze in Next of Kin .
3. He has been nominated for a number of awards, including an Academy Award for Best Actor, a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and three Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama.
4. Neeson first stepped on stage at age 11 after his English teacher offered him the lead role in a school play, which he accepted because the girl he was attracted to was starring in it.
5. His interest in acting and decision to become an actor was also influenced by minister Ian Paisley, into whose Free Presbyterian church Neeson would sneak.
6. After leaving the university, Neeson returned to Ballymena where he worked in a variety of casual jobs, from a fork-lift operator at Guinness to a truck driver.
7. He also attended teacher training college for two years in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, before again returning to his hometown.
8. He acted in several other Project productions and joined the Abbey Theatre .
9. In 1980, filmmaker John Boorman saw him on stage as Lennie Small in Of Mice and Men and offered him the role of Sir Gawain in the Arthurian film, Excalibur.
10. After Excalibur, Neeson moved to London, where he continued working on stage, in small budget films and in television.
11. Neeson guest-starred in the third season of the television series Miami Vice in 1986 and moved to Hollywood to star in more high-profile roles in the next year. That year, he starred alongside Cher and Dennis Quaid in Suspect in a role that brought him critical acclaim.
12. In 1988 he starred alongside Clint Eastwood in the fifth Dirty Harry film “The Dead Pool” in the role of Peter Swan, a horror film director.
13. In 1993, he joined Ellis Island co-star and future wife Natasha Richardson in the Broadway play Anna Christie.
14. Even with Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson and Warren Beatty all expressing interest in portraying Schindler, with the Nazis.