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Liam Neeson on "Kinsey"

Liam Neeson in "Kinsey." Fox Searchlight

If you're starting to hear some ringing in your ears right now, it may just be the very loud Oscar buzz surrounding Liam Neeson.

He has already been named Best Actor by the Los Angeles Film Critics and received Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award nominations for playing pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey in "Kinsey."

In 1948, Kinsey irrevocably changed American culture with his book, "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male." Interviewing thousands of people about the most intimate aspects of their lives, the researcher lifted the weight of secrecy and shame from a society in which sexual practices were mostly hidden. His work sparked one of the most intense cultural debates of the past century - a debate that rages on today liquid

Kinsey graced the cover of every major publication; he became the subject of songs and cartoons, editorials and sermons. But as the country entered the Cold War era of the 1950s, Kinsey's follow-up study on women is seen as an attack on basic American values. The ensuing outrage and scorn caused Kinsey's benefactors to abandon him, just as his health began to deteriorate. At the same time, the jealousies and acrimony caused by Kinsey's attempt to create a private sexual utopia threatened to tear apart the research team and expose them to unwelcome scrutiny.

Directed by Academy Award-winner Bill Condon of "Gods And Monsters," the film also stars as a team of researchers, Peter Sarsgaard (Clyde Martin), Chris O'Donnell (Wardell Pomeroy) and Timothy Hutton (Paul Gebhard); as well as Laura Linney as Kinsey's wife Clara McMillen.

As of yet, no one has repeated Kinsey's research on such a broad scale, or shown that his main conclusions were wrong. Meanwhile, the institute he founded at Indiana University, renamed the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, continues to carry out scientific study in a field that might not exist at all without Kinsey.


  • 1894, June 23 Alfred Charles Kinsey born in Hoboken, N.J.
  • 1898, Oct. 2, Clara Bracken McMillen born in Brookville, Ind.
  • 1912, Kinsey is valedictorian of his class of 1912, Columbia High School; begins engineering studies at Stevens Institute
  • 1913, Kinsey is one of only 77 Eagle Scouts in the U.S.
  • 1914-1916, Kinsey leaves Stevens Institute for Bowdoin College, studying biology and psychology; graduates magna cum laude
  • 1917, Kinsey makes first field trip to collect gall wasps [American Cynipidae]
  • 1919, September Kinsey is awarded a Sc.D. in taxonomy from Harvard University
  • 1920, August - Kinsey joins faculty of Indiana University as assistant professor of zoology
  • 1921, June 3 - Kinsey marries Clara Bracken McMillen, in Brookville, Ind.
  • 1926 Publication of Kinsey's "An Introduction to Biology"
  • 1937, American Men of Science lists Kinsey as one of its "starred scientists"
  • 1938, June - Kinsey teaches marriage course at Indiana University, presenting sexual information with unprecedented frankness
  • 1938, July - Kinsey develops 350-question interview technique to record people's sex histories
  • 1940, Kinsey devotes himself to amassing sex histories fulltime; he and his team travel across the country, eventually accumulating over 18,000 histories
  • 1943, Kinsey meets with Alan Gregg from the Rockefeller Foundation, resulting in promise of $135,000 funding over 3-year period
  • 1947, April - Institute for Sex Research incorporated with Alfred C. Kinsey as Director
  • 1948, January - Publication of "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male"
  • 1950, U.S. Customs seizes erotic material being sent to the Institute
  • 1953, Aug. 20 - "K-Day:" the day magazines and newspapers were allowed to pre-publish Kinsey's findings on female sexuality, with Americans flooding newsstands
  • 1953, September Publication of "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female"
  • 1954, Under pressure from Congressional investigators on "un-American activities," the Rockefeller Foundation withdraws its funding for Kinsey's research
  • 1956, Aug. 25 - Kinsey dies of heart failure at age 62

The following are some facts about Liam Neeson:

  • William John Neeson was born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, on June 7, 1952.
  • In 1961, Neeson, at the age 9, joined a boxing team run by a priest.
  • In 1967, he had his nose broken during a childhood boxing match (date approximate).
  • As a teenager, Neeson drove a forklift for a brewery; he planned to become a teacher, then an architect before answering an ad placed by the Lyric Players' Theatre in Belfast.
  • Neeson made his professional stage debut in "The Risen People" at Lyric Player's Theatre, Belfast, in 1976.
  • In 1979, Neeson made his educational film debut as Jesus Christ in a film based on John Bunyan's "The Pilgrim's Progress" for evangelical Bible students in Ireland (date approximate).
  • In 1980, Neeson played Lenny in the Abbey Theatre production of "Of Mice and Men"; spotted by director John Boorman who later cast the actor in "Excalibur."
  • In 1981, Neeson made his feature film debut as Sir Gawain in Boorman's "Excalibur."
  • In 1984, Neeson made his United States television debut in the CBS miniseries "Ellis Island"; co-starred as Blackie O'Neill in the syndicated miniseries "A Woman of Substance."
  • In 1986, the actor was a guest star on the "Miami Vice" third season opener, playing an IRA operative; reprised role of Blackie O'Neill in the syndicated miniseries sequel "Hold That Dream."
  • In 1987, Neeson moved to Los Angeles; featured as a deaf-mute man falsely accused of murder and defended by Cher in "Suspect."
  • In 1988, Neeson had featured roles in "The Good Mother" and "The Dead Pool."
  • In 1990, Neeson made his feature starring debut as the titular tortured antihero of "Darkman."
  • In 1992, the actor made his Broadway debut in "Anna Christie"; featured in the World War II romance "Shining Through" and Woody Allen's "Husbands and Wives."
  • In 1993, Neeson had a title role in "Ethan Frome"; the actor had his breakthrough screen role as Oskar Schindler in "Schindler's List"; received a Best Actor Oscar nomination.
  • In 1994, Neeson co-starred with Natasha Richardson and Jodie Foster in "Nell."
  • In 1995, the actor played title role in the Scotland-set historical adventure "Rob Roy."
  • In 1996, Neeson had a featured role as a father whose teenaged son in charged with murder in "Before and After", co-starring with Meryl Streep and Edward Furlong; starred as the title revolutionary in Neil Jordan's controversial film "Michael Collins," co-starring Julia Roberts and Aidan Quinn.
  • In 1998, Neeson returned to Broadway playing Oscar Wilde in David Hare's drama "The Judas Kiss"; Starred as Jean Valjean in Bille August's adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic tale of injustice "Les Miserables."
  • In 1999, Neeson played Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in "Star Wars: Episode I --The Phantom Menace"; the actor portrayed a professor who conducts psychological experiments in Jan De Bont's remake of "The Haunting."
  • In 2002, Neeson appeared with Harrison Ford in the submarine thriller "K19: The Widowmaker"; he also received an Order of the British Empire Award from Queen Elizabeth for his stage and screen career; Appeared in the highly anticipated Martin Scorsese film "Gangs of New York."
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