Liam Neeson (born June 7, 1952 as William John Neeson) is a respected Irish actor who has become a Hollywood action star, best known for his performances in "Schindler's List" and "Michael Collins." Neeson grew up in Ireland and began his professional career at the Abbey Theatre. After landing smaller parts in international films such as "Excalibur," "The Mission" and "The Bounty," Neeson achieved leading man status with roles in "Darkman," "Rob Roy" and "Schindler's List," for which he received an Academy Award nomination. In 1999, he took on the iconic role of Qui-Gon Jinn, mentor to Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), in the "Star Wars" films. He also appeared in the popular action thrillers "Batman Begins," "Taken,""Clash of the Titans" and "The A-Team," while also taking dramatic roles in smaller films such as "Kinsey," "Breakfast on Pluto" and "Love Actually." In 1994, he married actress Natasha Richardson of the celebrated Redgrave acting dynasty, who later died tragically young due to a skiing accident in 2009.