Muhammad Ali Openly Flirted With Helen Mirren as Her Then-Boyfriend Liam Neeson Looked On

When the athlete dubbed “The Greatest” hits on your girlfriend, there isn’t much you can do about it — even if you’re Hollywood badass Liam Neeson. As a talented boxer in his own right, the Taken star once watched in awe as Muhammad Ali flirted with his then-girlfriend Helen Mirren.

Not only was Neeson not offended but he even asked for Ali’s autograph and declared his love for the legendary boxing champ.  

Liam Neeson was a boxer before he was an actor

While dating for a handful of years, Neeson and Mirren didn’t exactly have your typical celebrity relationship. After meeting Mirren during the production of Excalibur, Neeson was having a hard time getting his career going at the same time that Mirren’s career was thriving, reports InStyle. Although Mirren helped Neeson land an agent and improve his career prospects, ultimately Mirren felt like she hindered his progress.

As she told The New York Times, “It was difficult for him to be under my shadow,” later adding she “had a sense from Liam that it was time for him to come out from under my wing.” But Neeson and Mirren ultimately parted on great terms. “He handled it with great elegance and grace,” she said. “We loved each other. It was difficult to let him go.”

While Mirren’s career continued to flourish, Neeson’s own career began to take off in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Mirren went on to marry director Taylor Hackford. Neeson dated both Julia Roberts and Brooke Shields before settling down with fellow actor Natasha Richardson. Neeson wed Richardson in 1994. They had two sons before she died tragically in a skiing accident in 2009.

Although Neeson has shown plenty of acting range, the hard-nosed action roles still come naturally to the nearly 70-year-old actor thanks to his boxing roots (he turns 70 on June 7). Per IMDb, the Taken star has a series of new tough-guy roles lined up in the coming years.

Source: Read Full Article