Liam Neeson was born on June 7, 1952 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, to Katherine (Brown), a cook, and Bernard Neeson, a school caretaker. He was raised in a Catholic household. During his early years, Liam worked as a forklift operator for Guinness, a truck driver, an assistant architect and an amateur boxer. He had originally sought a career as a teacher by attending St. Mary's Teaching College, Newcastle. 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) as Sir Gawain, his first high-profile film role.
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