Why Did Liam Neeson Change His Name?

Liam Neeson was born on June 7, 1952 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland as William John Neeson. He was the second of three sons born to Katherine (née Brown), a cook, and Bernard “Barney” Neeson, a school caretaker. His mother was a Catholic of Irish descent and his father was a Protestant of Scottish descent.

When Liam was nine years old, his mother died unexpectedly from an abdominal hemorrhage.

Liam Neeson was born as William John Neeson in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, to Katherine (Brown), a cook, and Bernard Neeson, a school caretaker. He was raised as a Roman Catholic and was named after his father’s brother, Liam, who was killed in the Easter Rising of 1916. When he was nine years old, his parents moved with him to the nearby city of Lisburn.

He attended St. Patrick’s College there and later enrolled at Queens University Belfast (QUB) where he studied physics and computer science. It wasn’t until he was cast in the film Excalibur that he began using his middle name “Liam” professionally.

Why Did Michael Neeson Change His Name?

Michael Neeson changed his name for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, he wanted to distance himself from his father, Liam Neeson. He felt that his father’s notoriety would be a hindrance to his own career.

Additionally, Michael is of Irish descent, and he felt that changing his last name would make it easier for people to pronounce.

Why Do Liam Neeson’s Kids Have Different Last Names?

Liam Neeson’s kids have different last names because they were born to different mothers. His son Daniel is from his first marriage to actress Helen Mirren, and his two daughters are from his second marriage to actress Natasha Richardson. Neeson has said that he chose not to give his children hyphenated last names because he didn’t want them to feel like they had to choose between their parents’ families.


Liam Neeson was born on June 7, 1952, in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, as William John Neeson. He was the middle child of three boys. His mother, Katherine “Kitty” Neeson (née Brownlee), was a cook, and his father, Bernard “Bernie” Neeson, was a school caretaker.

Liam originally wanted to be a teacher like his mother but ended up studying physics and computer science at Queen’s University Belfast instead. It wasn’t until he started acting in student productions that he realized his true passion. After graduation, he moved to Dublin to pursue acting full-time.

He changed his name to Liam because there were already too many Williams in the business.

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