Liam Neeson‘s first major film roles came in the early 1980s when he appeared in back-to-back cult classics Excalibur and Krull, but fast forward 40 years and he’s been firmly entrenched as one of Hollywood’s most marketable action stars for well over a decade.
In between those two points, he established a sterling reputation as a reliable character actor who worked with some of the biggest names in the business, picking up an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, but he was rarely afforded the opportunity to show what he could do with a meaty leading role.
That all changed following the unexpected success of Taken back in 2008, though, and just shy of his 60th birthday, the Irishman became a bona fide box office draw. In the years since, Neeson has starred in a string of commercial hits to the extent that his mere presence in a mid-budget thriller has long since been established as a subgenre of its own.
As you may’ve noticed, the star turned 69 years old yesterday, and as you can see from the reactions below, fans were singing his praises on social media.
Taken, Non-Stop, The Commuter are my favorites! Happy birthday to Liam Neeson ? sometimes I wish He was my dad, even though life must be very tough hahaha
— afterglow (@mayomisi) June 7, 2021
Who knows why today the sky is bluer and the sun is warmer, and on the way to work I saw so many beautiful flowers? Right! Because today is the birthday of one amazing person, Liam Neeson! ?Happy Birthday!?? pic.twitter.com/uwuo5IWxGW
— Лёлька (@kOyxvSSQyHyzHLz) June 7, 2021
Liam Neeson starting his screen career by spreading the word of Christ in 1978's 'Pilgrim's Progress', and continuing that trend 38 years later in Scorsese's 'Silence'. A happy 69th birthday to the towering Irish star today. pic.twitter.com/ktTXfdtqUk
— FilmPhonic (@FilmPhonic) June 7, 2021
Happy birthday to Liam Neeson! May the Force be with you! pic.twitter.com/cALVNs2UTe
— Star Wars Holocron (@sw_holocron) June 7, 2021
#OnThisDay, wishing a happy 69th birthday to the hollywood legend Liam Neeson, who's portrayed Ra's Al Ghul in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy.❤️#HappyBirthdayLiamNeeson #DarkKnight #BatmanBegins #DarkKnightRises #ChristopherNolan #DCFansKerala pic.twitter.com/oAMlGEGmWy
— DC Fans Kerala (@DcKerala) June 7, 2021
Wishing a very Happy 69th Birthday to one of my all-time favorites, multi-talented Northern Ireland actor, Liam Neeson. (Photo #4 with Jamie on The Graham Norton Show). Continued good health and success. Saluté!?? pic.twitter.com/VY9L16s6Ov
— Joan Cosentino (@joanmcos) June 7, 2021
Happy Birthday, dear Mr Liam Neeson!!! Thanks for your touching work as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. You truly care for the children and the teens around the world and give them hope for a better life, besides putting a great big smile on their faces!!!
God Bless you!!! pic.twitter.com/WrYob5B6ip
— Maria de Fátima Litaiff (@DeLitaiff) June 7, 2021
happy birthday liam neeson! i wish you a very please marry me <3 (feat. the tattoo of qui-gons lightsaber hilt i got last weekend) pic.twitter.com/IXmPyWOW1R
— ♥ ⓒⓡⓨⓢⓣⓐⓛ ♥ (@thepangemini) June 7, 2021
Liam Neeson will find me because I don't think I can do it
Yess I can't find a person as well as Liam do. Happy birthday Liam Neeson, you really are a great actor ?????? pic.twitter.com/qQUpKwVT1H
— maunya royal canin? (@__kucing__) June 7, 2021
Panic when I see 'Liam Neeson' trending.
Turns out today is his 69th birthday! Happy birthday, sir! My fav is him in the movie "Taken",
but going to put a kinder gif look of him on Star Wars instead. ? pic.twitter.com/VxevEVzvBL
— Woon Chin Yeong (@wcyeong) June 7, 2021
— OneMovieToday (@OneMovieToday) June 7, 2021
Happy Birthday to Liam Neeson! Many feel he was miscast in Schindler’s List, but I think he conveyed the confusion, conflict and ultimate revelation of his character brilliantly #wmur
— Andy Hershberger (@AndyWMUR) June 7, 2021
Liam Neeson‘s drawing power remains intact and undiminished after Honest Thief and The Marksman saw him become the one and only actor to take top billing in two movies that managed to open at number one domestically during the entirety of the COVID-19 era, and while he’s once again reiterated his desire to get out of the running and gunning business, he’s evidently still got at least a little more in the tank with action thrillers The Ice Road, Blacklight and Memory all in the can and awaiting release.