This may not be surprising to anyone who’s seen the Ballymena native’s acting chops in “Michael Collins” or “Schindler’s List,” or witnessed his later in life renaissance as an action hero, but Liam Neeson is officially the biggest Irish box office star of all time.
According to the comprehensive rankings from BoxOfficeMojo.com, Neeson ranks 21st on the list of every actor and actress ranked by gross box office ticket sales throughout their careers, with $2.9 billion in ticket sales.
The 64-year-old Irish actor’s highest grossing films include “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” ($475 million), “The LEGO Movie” ($258 million); and “Taken” ($145 million).
Not bad for a man who made his debut in a BBC Belfast educational documentary about trains in Northern Ireland, in which he played an entire cast of characters by wearing different costumes and mustaches.
Another actor (with Irish roots no less) whose age seems to have only increased his desirability as an action star tops the list: Harrison Ford, at $4.8 billion, thanks largely to the “Star Wars” movies, and in particular 2016’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which broke box office records.
Other Irish talent high up there in the ranks (the list includes 800 entries) includes Brendan Gleeson, at 123 with $1.7 billion (out-ranking more famous stars like Judi Dench, Russel Crowe and Clint Eastwood – not bad, Brendan!); Michael Fassbender at 257, with $1.13 billion in box office earnings; and Colin Farrell not too far behind him at 267, with $1.1 billion.
“Brooklyn” star Saoirse Ronan ranks at 613 with $20.8 million, but at just 22 years old, she surely has a long way to go.
Who’s your favorite Irish movie star? Share your thoughts in the comment section.