Liam Neeson's sons grew up to be gorgeous

Liam Neeson's life has been filled with hardship and tragedy, from growing up during The Troubles in Northern Ireland to losing his wife in a freak skiing accident in 2009. It hasn't been all bad, however. After trading his boxing dreams for an acting career, the movie star snagged a best actor Oscar nomination for Schindler's List and amassed an estimated net worth of $145 million with successful movie franchises like Taken. But the actor's biggest success (and source of joy) might just be his two sons. 

Micheál and Daniel, who were respectively born in 1995 and 1996, have grown up to be successful young men any dad would be proud of. While Micheál has, admittedly, had to battle some demons, he's come out the other side with a budding acting career and a sweet spirit. Meanwhile, his younger brother is trying to make a name for himself in the fashion world while giving back to the planet. 

Here's everything you need to know about Liam Neeson's two sons (to start, they grew up to be gorgeous).

Liam Neeson's sons endured great tragedy at a young age

On March 18, 2009, the Neeson brothers suffered the unthinkable. Daniel (pictured, far left) was just 12 and Micheál (pictured, second from the left) was 13 when their mom, actress Natasha Richardson, died in a freak accident. Richardson had fallen during a ski lesson at the Canadian Mont Tremblant resort. CBC reports that she wasn't wearing a helmet at the time, but seemed fine at first. An hour after returning to her room, Richardson experienced a headache and was rushed to the hospital. However, it was too late — the 45-year-old had suffered blunt force trauma. 

Recalling that tragic day, Liam Neeson told 60 Minutes that he knew all hope of recovery was lost when he saw his wife's X-ray: "You didn't need to be a rocket scientist to see what was happening. The brain's squashed up against the side of the skull ... I was told she was brain dead." 

Richardson was later transported to Manhattan's Lenox Hill Hospital, where she was visited by her mother and children before being taken off life support. Not only was the boys' final memory of their mother a heartbreaking one, but as family coach Jill Brooke noted in a HuffPost op-ed, their lives changed forever. "There's no replacing mommy ... which is why my heart aches for Natasha Richardson's two young sons," she wrote. "Losing a parent makes you an adult overnight, someone who realizes how fleeting and random life can be."

Micheál Richardson hit rock bottom

As Liam Neeson's eldest son, Micheál Richardson, struggled to come to terms with his mother's passing, he began to spend an increasing amount of time immersed in the New York party scene. "I was putting [socializing] with my friends as my top priority," he admitted to the Belfast Telegraph, confessing, "Rock bottom was when I chose to miss classes to meet up with them, as well as not [realizing] that family and work come first."

In the summer of 2014, he had his a-ha moment. "After a while, I thought, 'What am I doing? This is instant gratification — there's no substance to your conversation,'" Micheál recalled. So, he checked into a "wilderness therapy camp" in Utah and began his recovery. He's adamant that it wasn't a typical rehab stint, however. "Of course, other articles bigged it up as a sob story about a celebrity child who goes to rehab, which really wasn't the case," Micheál assured. "What I wanted to address was a lack of motivation and direction in my life." 

Following his time in nature, which included camping and cooking outdoors, Micheál moved to London. According to Hello! magazine, he continued his wellness journey across the pond by moving in with Topes Calland, a "super-mentor who rescues the children of the rich and famous" (via the Evening Standard).

Liam Neeson's son Micheál once worked as a fashion curator

Following his recovery, Micheál Richardson found himself living in London and falling in love with fashion. He decided to turn this passion into a career and, when he was just 19, Neeson's oldest son opened his very own gallery called Maison Mais Non in the British city's posh Soho neighborhood, according to the Evening Standard. His goal? To launch his career as a fashion curator and showcase clothing made by fashion school grads from Central Saint Martins in collaboration with Savile Row tailors. Micheál himself had interned on London's famed Savile Row, making bespoke suits, then worked alongside Phoebe Philo at the Céline fashion house.

It was this background in the industry that inspired the gallery, but Micheál's late mom also played a key role. "Fashion was something I never went after before, but it's so important, as it shows who you are," he gushed to the Evening Standard in 2015, adding, "One thing my Mum taught me was to dress how you feel, dress how you want. She loved dressing up for every occasion and sometimes wore some pretty crazy stuff."

Daniel Neeson is designing eco-friendly clothing

Like his older brother, Daniel Neeson felt drawn to the world of fashion from a young age. While Micheál Richardson tried his hand at curation, his younger bro took things one step further as a budding designer. In 2017, while studying theater and digital media at Tulane University, he launched his own brand called Pine Outfitters

The eco-friendly clothing line features an outdoorsy range of unisex t-shirts, beanies, baseball caps, and more, starting at $30. According to W magazine, it's best described as a mix of Patagonia and Urban Outfitters. The brand also has a conscience, planting one tree for every product sold.  

While speaking with WWD around the time of the launch, Daniel addressed critics and justified his place in the fashion world. "Everybody's like, 'Oh, another celebrity son doing a fashion line,' or becoming an actor and stuff like that. For me, it came naturally," he said. As for Daniel's biggest fan, it's always been his proud pop, Liam Neeson. "My father's been really supportive along the way," he revealed. "Whatever endeavor I decide, he's been on my back helping me, not just emotionally, but supporting what I do."

Micheál Richardson went against his dad's wishes

Not long after he launched Maison Mais Non, Micheál Richardson decided to put his fashion curation dreams on hold and set his sights on the family business: acting

In 2015, Deadline confirmed that Micheál would not only be following in his parents' footsteps, but that his debut role would be one his father had played nearly 20 years earlier. The aspiring actor's first major gig would see him playing Irish revolutionary Michael Collins in The Rising the same historical figure Liam Neeson portrayed in 1996's Michael Collins

Prior to the announcement, Micheál revealed in an interview with the Independent.ie that there was one person who wasn't in love with the idea of him becoming an actor. As it turns out, his Oscar-nominated dad actually tried to convince him against pursuing acting. "Dad was like 'please become a carpenter or something,'" Micheál told the outlet, adding, "On my Mum's side I was encouraged to do whatever I wanted. I've done a couple of drama courses." He added, "My inner actor is in there somewhere, it's lingering in the shadows."

Liam Neeson's son Micheál has his eyes set on Broadway

After ignoring warnings from his father to stay away from Hollywood, Micheál Richardson has officially let himself fall victim to the acting bug. What's more, proud dad Liam Neeson now seems to be totally on board with his son's career choice. 

Since snagging his first major role in The Rising in 2015, Micheál has landed a handful of other parts, including two films in which he stars opposite his famous father. Those titles include the 2019 comedy Made in Italy and crime drama Cold Pursuit. While speaking about their surprise collaboration in the latter flick, Neeson released in a statement to IANS (via Business Insider) that although he put in a good word on behalf of his kid, it was ultimately his son's talent that scored him the job: "I had suggested him early on to Hans (Petter Moland), our director, and Michael (Shamberg), our producer. And then I just stayed away. Micheál read for the part and he got it. I was pleased, pleased for him too."

But it's not just the big screen that interests Micheál: He's also got his eye on the Great White Way. In October 2019, Playbill revealed that Micheál had made his stage debut in the world premiere of Nothing Gold Can Stay, a new Off-Broadway play written by Chad Beckim, which was described as an "opioid-era love story."

Daniel Neeson was an aspiring DJ

Back in 2017, the trio behind Pine Outfitters tried taking the electronic music world by storm. Calling themselves Recess Club, Daniel Neeson and his two best friends, Billy Renza and Adam Millman, started DJing in the hopes of striking it big. 

On Instagram, the musicians have described themselves as "New York City-based" with "worldwide dreams." Beginning in August 2017, they showcased themselves playing college shows at Tulane University and The University of Scranton, before landing a number of gigs at New York City's Rumpus Room. A European trip followed, although it's unclear if they actually played any gigs over there. 

By November 2017, Recess Club teased its mere 53 fans, writing, "2018 is going to be a huge year for us, New York City." That December, the group added, "We have some hot content coming soon. Come see us play out in NYC wouldya?" Despite their lofty goals, however, Recess Club posted for the last time (as of this writing) in January 2018, seemingly ending their music career with a captionless photo of their DJ decks set up in a SoHo club.

Micheál Richardson changed his name to honor his mom

In a truly touching tribute to his late mother, Liam Neeson's eldest son, Micheál, decided to change his last name from Neeson to Richardson in 2018. Natasha Richardson's mother, actress Vanessa Redgrave, was the one who confirmed the news with the Daily Mail that October, telling the outlet, "He's taken, officially, the name of his mother. He's Micheál Richardson, not Micheál Neeson.” 

Redgrave also made sure to dispel rumors that her grandson, an aspiring actor, had changed his name for another more career-oriented reason. "That wasn't because he wanted to avoid his father's fame, which is enormous," she explained. Rather, the proud grandmother noted, "He wanted to hold his mother close to him — because she was a remarkable actress. Absolutely remarkable." Redgrave, for one, was totally supportive of the change, concluding, "Our quaint customs dictate we have to have a male name. I don't object. Why not? It's as good as any."

Liam Neeson's son Daniel is in a committed relationship

Take one look at Liam Neeson's son Daniel's Instagram feed and you'll instantly notice he's in a committed relationship and is very happy about it. You can't scroll past more than a post or two without seeing a photo of his girlfriend, Natalie Ackerman. While not much is known about her (her own Instagram account is set to private), careful examination of Daniel's page revealed a number of interesting facts. For one, Ackerman appears to be a fellow Tulane University alum, as well as a college football fan, Stranger Things lover, and Daniel's preferred travel partner. The pair have traveled around the United States and Europe together, posting adorable snaps from a wide array of destinations, ranging from Prague to St Tropez to Daniel's native Belfast.

In July 2018, the couple celebrated their one-year anniversary. While sharing a series of photos of them enjoying life to the fullest, Daniel wrote, "Best business I ever started. [One] year strong with my bubs." We can also confirm that Ackerman is a year younger than her love. On July 20, 2019, she turned 22 and was met with a sweet message from her beau: "Happiest of birthdays to my biggest gem."

Hockey bonds the Neeson men together

The Neeson men have always shared a loving, unbreakable bond, which seems to be made all the stronger by their favorite sport: hockey. Liam Neeson and his two sons, Micheál and Daniel, are regular fixtures at New York City's Madison Square Garden during hockey season, and have been repeatedly photographed cheering on various teams over the years. 

In March 2016, for example, the trio was snapped watching a game between the New York Islanders and Boston Bruins. In January 2018, Liam and Daniel were on-hand to watch the Chicago Blackhawks take on the New York Rangers. Meanwhile, the three reunited in the front row a year later, animatedly cheering on the Rangers as they played the Islanders.

They don't only follow hockey, however. It seems any major sporting event is reason enough for the Neesons to spend some quality time together. In January 2014, for example, cameras caught Liam and Daniel attending a basketball game between the New York Knicks and Florida's Miami Heat. We love to see some father-son bonding!