Liam Neeson Crowned Top Irish Actor

Liam Neeson, the star of Schindler’s List, Taken and The Chronicles of Narnia has been voted Ireland and the UK’s favourite Irish actor in a poll by Sky Movies HD commissioned to celebrate its season of St Patrick’s Day weekend films.With nearly a fifth of all votes (19.9%), Neeson soared above other Irish acting talent including Lawrence of Arabia star Peter O’Toole and Ballykissangel turned Hollywood star Colin Farrell, second and third with 9.1% and 7.6% respectively.

To celebrate St Patrick’s Day 2012, Sky Movies HD asked over 1,000 Irish and UK residents about their favourite Irish screen stars. The channel is dedicating the entire 17th – 18th March weekend to films with Irish talent including Neeson’s films A-Team, Clash of the Titans and Schindler’s List plus other films such as Patriot Games, Phone Booth and Inception.

Four times Bond star Pierce Brosnan, most recently seen alongside Sarah Jessica Parker in I Don’t Know How She Does It was fourth in the poll (7.5%). This was followed by a joint entry in fifth from upcoming The Hobbit star James Nesbitt and Richard Harris – the original Dumbledore actor in the Harry Potter films – tied with 6.9% each.

The second actor to play Dumbledore, acclaimed stage and screen star Michael Gambon, was sixth in the Irish talent list with 4.7%, narrowly beating the most popular Irish female star – Oscar winner Brenda Fricker – who was named seventh with 4.6%.

In eight place tied with 3.5% were The Usual Suspects star Gabriel Byrne and actor and director Kenneth Branagh. Brendan Gleeson, known for roles in dark comedies In Bruges and The Guard followed in ninth place with 2.7% of the votes with original Miracle on 34th Street actress Maureen O’Hara the final name in the top ten list with 2.5% Despite high profile, critically acclaimed roles, stars Cillian Murphy, Chris O’Dowd and Shame star Michael Fassbender failed to secure places in the top ten of the public vote.

Ian Lewis, Director of Sky Movies comments, “Ireland has a history of great actors and consistently produces great new acting talent. Liam Neeson has shown why he is one of the most trusted and versatile actors of our time. Audiences continue to warm to his films and will no doubt flock to see him in Battleship and Wrath of the Titans.  The Sky Movies HD St Patrick’s Day weekend celebrates the best of Ireland’s acting talent and we look forward to many more films from their finest actors in years to come.”

To celebrate the luck of the Irish and their fantastic film talent, Sky Movies is putting on a weekend of top Celtic craftsmanship.

Bad boy Colin Farrell kicks off the Gaelic gala with single-location thriller Phone Booth, before great turns from Liam Neeson (Clash Of The Titans) and 2012 BAFTA® nominee Michael Fassbender (Centurion) keep the craic coming.

Plus, young Oscar® nominee Saoirse Ronan gives a striking performance alongside Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett in indie thriller Hanna.

Irish Actors Sat 17th – Sun 18th March Sky Movies Showcase/HD. Key titles in bold:

Sat 17th 1.10pm Phone Booth (Colin Farrell)

Sat 17th 5.25pm The A-Team* (Liam Neeson)

Sat 17th 7.30pm Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Brendan Gleeson)

Sat 17th 10pm Centurion (Michael Fassbender)

Sun 18th 3.10pm Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief (Pierce Brosnan)

Sun 18th 5.15pm Troy* (Brendan Gleeson)

Sun 18th 8pm Hanna* (Saoirse Ronan)

Sun 18th 10pm Clash Of The Titans (2010)* (Liam Neeson)

Sun 18th 26.55 Ondine (Colin Farrell)

*titles not featured in Anytime+ / Sky Go box set.

Full results:The Top 10 Irish Actors are:

1. Liam Neeson – 19.9%

2. Peter O’Toole – 9.1%

3. Colin Farrell – 7.6%

4. Pierce Brosnan – 7.5%

5. James Nesbitt – 6.9%

= Richard Harris – 6.9%

6. Michael Gambon – 4.7%

7. Brenda Fricker – 4.6%

8. Gabriel Byrne – 3.5%

= Kenneth Branagh – 3.5%

9. Brendan Gleeson – 2.7%

10. Maureen O’Hara – 2.5%

(Others = 20.6%)

The Sky Movies HD Irish Actors Season airs from 17th and 18th March on Sky Movies Showcase/HD.

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