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Liam Neeson's Sons, Who Became Semi-Orphaned on Mother's Passing, Experienced 'Double Pressure' Growing Up

Junie Sihlangu
Jan 30, 2022
11:40 P.M.
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During his marriage to Natasha Richardson, Liam Neeson welcomed two sons, Micheál and Daniel. The two boys had to grow up without a mother when she died suddenly when they were young.

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Liam Neeson's sons, Daniel Jack Neeson and Micheál Richard Antonio Richardson grew up to be well-adjusted adults despite being raised by a single parent. Micheál ended up following in Liam's footsteps by becoming an actor.

While his brother has also done some acting, he's a businessman who owns a clothing design brand. The actor's sons had pressures from losing their mother young and their father's acting career.

Daniel Neeson, Micheál Richardson, and Liam Neeson at a hockey game on March 23, 2016, in New York City, and the star with Natasha Richardson at the British premiere of "The Other Man" on October 17, 2008, in London's Leicester Square | Photos: TM/NHL/GC Images & MAX NASH/AFP/Getty Images

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WHO IS LIAM?

Liam started pursuing an acting career in 1976 when he joined the Belfast Lyric Players' Theater. The star finally made his professional acting debut in the play "The Risen People."

He moved to the Abbey Theater in Dublin two years later, where he performed the classics. That's where he was discovered by director John Boorman and then cast in the 1981 movie "Excalibur," in the part of Sir Gawain, his first high-profile film role.

Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson leave Studio 54 after the opening of "A Streetcar Named Desire" on April 26, 2005, in New York | Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images

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He's since starred in 1999's "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace," and in 2004, he received a Golden Globe nomination for "Kinsey," and the following year, he had a role in "Batman Begins."

The same year he also got to do voice-over work in "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." Liam is well-known for his roles in the "Taken" movie franchise but has also appeared in "Clash of the Titans," "The A-Team," "Unknown," "The Grey," "Battleship," and "Wrath of the Titans."

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THE LOVE CONNECTION

Liam initially met his future wife, Natasha Richardson, in 1984 on the miniseries "Ellis Island." When he made his Broadway debut in 1993 by starring in "Anna Christie," he again got to co-star with Natasha.

The pair also got to act with each other again the following year in "Nell." By then, the two stars had already started dating and had fallen in love; knowing they were meant for each other, they promptly tied the knot in July 1993.

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The couple welcomed their now grown-up and handsome sons Micheál on June 22, 1995, and Daniel followed on August 27, 1996. Sadly, the two children lost their mother before they even turned 14.

COPING WITH MOM'S DEATH

Natasha passed away at age 45 on March 18, 2009, after falling on a Canadian ski slope while getting skiing lessons at the Mont Tremblant resort in Quebec. Liam was 56, Micheál was 13, and Daniel was only 12.

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In March 2021, Micheál opened up to The Times about his experience of losing his mother at a young age. He confessed that the memories about Natasha on their last holiday together were still vivid.

Liam's eldest son said the loss was sudden and unexpected. He shared how the freak accident messed with his mind, and he had to latch onto small memories to avoid going into a negative mindset.

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He held onto things, including his mother's laugh or the energy she exuded in a room or her cooking. Micheál was immensely grateful that he also had Natasha's movies to watch her.

The late actress's son recalled how "terrific" his mother had been. However, what he wished for the most was for her to be around for them to have adult conversations where he could ask her things about music or the acting industry.

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Liam's son confessed that he'd been a "mama's boy" growing up and Natasha was his best friend. He acknowledged that they had been generally close as a family but noted that his younger brother had been a daddy's boy.

Despite the pain and grief that comes with losing a parent so early on in life, Micheál didn't mind opening up about it over the years. In 2020, he confessed that it was painful to deal with losing someone close to you.

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He admitted that sometimes he found it easier to ignore the feelings and not talk about them. Natasha's eldest son said his father had taken that route, but the family would continue to honor and remember the late actress.

Micheál noted that there wasn't only one way to grieve and that he was still figuring it out for himself. However, he advised to keep one's deceased family members in one's mind and honor them in small ways.

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For his part, Micheál felt close to Natasha while cooking because it was something she loved. He said the little things helped make him feel closer to her and assisted with the never-ending grieving process.

Fortunately for Liam's son, his grandmother, actress Vanessa Redgrave, became a mother figure when Natasha died. She's the one who Micheál talked to about everything and could get a female perspective from her as well when he needed advice.

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DANIEL'S MORE RESERVED

On the other hand, Daniel didn't talk much about their mother's death, but that could be because he was in the public eye as much as his brother. However, in March 2018, he paid tribute to her via Instagram.

FOLLOWING DAD'S FOOTSTEPS

Micheál chose the same career as his father and has appeared in movies like 2018's "Vox Lux," 2019's "Cold Pursuit," and 2020's "Made in Italy." While Liam played the role of Michael Collins in the self-titled film in 1996, Micheál got to play the same character in "The Rising: 1916."

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Before getting into acting in 2015, Liam's son revealed that he'd moved to London and opened a fashion gallery in Soho while trying to find his life path. He also did some modeling when he was 19.

His last name is Richardson instead of Neeson because he changed it to pay tribute to his late mother. During his 2020 interview, Micheál also confessed that he was single.

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DANIEL'S LIFE PATH

In May 2019, Daniel shared Instagram images of him posing with his father and family members at his Tulane University graduation. He chose to design clothes, and his eco-conscious fashion brand is called Pine Outfitters.

Liam's youngest son launched the brand in 2017 after coming up with it when he was a junior. He recruited his friends to join the venture despite being a theater and digital media double major.

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Unlike his brother, Daniel has had a long-term girlfriend, Natalie Ackerman, whom he met when they were sophomores at university. He's shared several images of him with her on his Instagram account, and they're still together.

Despite being thrust into single parenting, Liam [Neeson] has done a fantastic job raising his sons [Micheál Richardson and Daniel Neeson].

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LIAM'S PARENTING

When his sons were still teenagers nine years ago, "Taken 2" star revealed that it was a continuous joy to be a father even though it could be worrisome. He emotionally noted:

“No matter what age they are, they’re still going to be your little boy or your little girl. And you are a hostage to love.”

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The actor was grateful that his sons weren't interested in joining the acting industry. He worried that being the children of a successful actor and actress was "a double pressure" for them, including growing up in the limelight even though their mother had passed.

Liam even urged Micheál to become a carpenter or anything else instead of an actor. However, his mother's side of the family encouraged him to be anything he wanted.

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THEIR STRONG BOND

Despite being thrust into single parenting, Liam has done a fantastic job raising his sons. The trio was seen bonding in January 2019 at an Islanders and Rangers ice hockey game at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The year before, the proud father was spotted while spending some quality with Daniel as they watched the Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Rangers at the same venue.

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