Liam Neeson becomes UNICEF's newest Goodwill Ambassador
By Chris Niles
NEW YORK, USA, 29 March 2011 – Acclaimed actor Liam Neeson has emphasized his commitment to vulnerable children by becoming UNICEF’s newest Goodwill Ambassador.
"I am deeply honoured to have been asked by UNICEF to become a Goodwill Ambassador and am committed to working with UNICEF to help children overcome poverty, violence, disease and discrimination across the world,” Mr. Neeson said.
Mr. Neeson has worked with UNICEF since 1997 when he was the public face of the Change for Good partnership, which collects unused currency from airline passengers to help children in the developing world. He has travelled to Mozambique to support UNICEF’s HIV and AIDS programmes, and he supports the ‘Believe in Zero’ campaign, which aims to eliminate preventable early childhood deaths.
“Liam Neeson is not only a passionate dramatic actor, he is a deeply compassionate humanitarian actor,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “UNICEF is very lucky that he is choosing to use his time and talent to support the world’s most vulnerable children, and we thank him for accepting this new role.”
Mr. Neeson, who was born in Northern Ireland in 1952, made his professional stage debut in Belfast in 1976. His role as Oskar Schindler in the Stephen Spielberg movie, ‘Schindler’s List’, earned him Academy Award, Golden Globe, and BAFTA nominations.
He was nominated for a Tony award in 1993 when he debuted on Broadway with late wife Natasha Richardson in ‘Anna Christie’.
Shine a spotlight
Mr. Neeson has also starred in top-grossing movies such as ‘Michael Collins’, ‘Les Misérables’, ‘Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace’, ‘Gangs of New York’, ‘Love Actually’, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ and ‘Batman Begins’. In the action film, ‘Taken’, he accepted a role that involved the issue of child trafficking and exploitation.
With UNICEF, he will shine a spotlight on the millions of children who lack even the necessities of life.
“It is shocking to me that in this day and age, 22,000 children are still dying every day for want of the most basic things, like clean water to drink, a safe place to live or access to medicines when they are sick. I am determined to do whatever I can to help UNICEF,” Mr. Neeson said.