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Liam Neeson named greatest Irish actor in poll ahead of St Patrick’s Day

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Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson

LIAM Neeson has been named the greatest Irish actor, ahead of St Patrick's Day.

The Ballymena-born 59-year-old triumphed in two separate polls for Sky Movies and Lovefilm, which also saw Colin Farrell and Pierce Brosnan highly ranked.

Neeson's roles have included leads in Schindler's List, Michael Collins, Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars prequel The Phantom Menace and voicing Aslan in the Narnia series.

In a poll for Sky Movies - to mark its Irish actors season being screened on Saturday and Sunday - Neeson took a fifth of the votes. Second place went to Peter O'Toole, with Farrell third and Brosnan in fourth place.

The vote for streaming and rental service Lovefilm ahead of St Patrick's Day on March 17 places Farrell as runner-up with Michael Fassbender third and Brandan Gleeson fourth.

Ian Lewis, director of Sky Movies, said: "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."

Meanwhie, Mr Neeson, Gabriel Byrne and Pierce Brosnan all rank among Ireland’s best looking men, showing Irish men are like our whiskey – they improve with age.

US showbiz website zap2it has compiled a list of the nation’s best looking men, and features many familiar faces such as Colin Farrell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Michael Fassbender.

The list is not dominated by younger stars however, with Pierce Brosnan (58), Gabriel Byrne (61) and Liam Neeson (59) all making the cut to be ranked as some of our best looking stars.

U2 front man Bono, more used to appearing on top musical earners lists, is also ranked as one of our sexiest men, the ever present sunglasses possibly adding to his allure.

Adopted Irish man Daniel Day-Lewis is included, as well as fellow Oscar winner and Frames’ singer Glen Hansard.

The old adage of musicians being sexy is also borne out by the list, with Fionn Reagan, Damien Rice and Snow Patrol front man Gary Lightbody attracting the website's attention.

Tommy Bowe, voted Ireland’s sexiest man in 2011 with twice as many votes as Colin Farrell, fails to make the grade.