Ballymena actor Liam Neeson is America’s favourite Irish celebrity

Ballymena actor Liam Neeson finished ahead of Pierce Brosnan and Bono to top the poll
Ballymena actor Liam Neeson finished ahead of Pierce Brosnan and Bono to top the poll
  • Ireland’s highest-ranking exports: 1. Liam Neeson 2. Pierce Brosnan 3. Bono 4. Colin Farrell 5. Michael Fassbender 6. Liam Cunningham 7. Jonathan Rhys Meyers 8. Chris O’Dowd 9. Jamie Dornan 10. Cillian Murphy 11. Gabriel Byrne 12. Fionnula Flanagan 13. Aidan Gillen 15. Saoirse Ronan 15. Caitriona Balfe

One of Ballymena’s most famous sons – Liam Neeson – has been named as America’s favourite Irish celebrity ahead of Pierce Brosnan and Bono.

Fellow Northern Irish actor Jamie Dornan also made the top 10 in a survey gauging appeal to US audiences.

The poll was conducted by E-Poll Market Research, which collects data on almost 9,000 celebrities and measures whether Americans know and like them.

In the e-score – which is a celebrity appeal ranking comprising 46 separate personality attributes – only Liam Neeson scored a perfect 100.

Respondents described him as a man of quiet intensity and one of the best actors in Hollywood history.

Oscar-nominated actor Neeson is best known for starring roles as Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Oskar Schindler in Schindler’s List.

Most recently he has won a host of new admirers as former CIA operative named Bryan Mills in the Taken series of films.

The 65-year-old Ballymena-born actor was granted freedom of the borough in 2013 – an honour shared with the late DUP leader Ian Paisley.

Oscar-nominated actor Michael Fassbender also makes the list. His mother is from Larne and although he was born in Germany he grew up in Co Kerry.

Fifty Shades of Grey is thought to have fast-forwarded Jamie Dornan to number nine on the list, after he scored critical acclaim with the noir TV series The Fall.

Male actors made up nine of the top 10 Irish stars who appeal to Americans.

Fionnula Flanagan, the 75-year-old star of The Others, is the highest rated Irish woman on the list, being described as the “life of the party”.