06/07/2012 10:17 am ET Updated Jun 07, 2012

Liam Neeson Turns 60!

Charming actor Liam Neeson is turning 60!

Born in Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, Neeson took up many career paths before becoming an action film hero, from a fork-lift operator for Guinness to a stint as an amateur boxer. He finally turned to acting in 1976 at a theater in Belfast, Ireland.

It was the 1993 film "Schindler's List" that gave Neeson his big break, at the age of 41. The film earned Neeson an Academy Award nomination. The actor has gone on to star in films such as "Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace," "Taken," and "Battleship."

In 2009 Neeson was widowed when his wife Natasha Richardson died suddenly after a skiing accident. He told Esquire:

"I think I survived by running away some. Running away to work. Listen, I know how old I am and that I'm just a shoulder injury from losing roles like the one in 'Taken.' So I stay with the training, I stay with the work. It's easy enough to plan jobs, to plan a lot of work. That's effective."

In the same interview, he reflected on grief.

"But that's the weird thing about grief. You can't prepare for it. You think you're gonna cry and get it over with. You make those plans, but they never work."

At 60, Neeson has several movies lined up, including a role in the latest Batman film due to be out later this year. Neeson will play the villian Ra's Al Ghul in the highly anticipated "The Dark Knight Rises."

His career has proven age is just a number. His secret to staying young? He told Life Goes Strong: "If you live a healthy lifestyle then age doesn't matter."

Check out our slideshow below of one of our favorite Irishmen.



Liam Neeson Turns 60