Neeson top Irish star, earning $36m
HOLLYWOOD hardman Liam Neeson has secured his place among the ranks of the highest paid actors, earning $36m (€27m) over the past year.
The massive success of his Taken films and the animated Lego movie last year has propelled Neeson to number six in the Forbes acting rich list.
This makes Neeson one of Ireland's most bankable leading men - outshining the likes of Michael Fassbender and Colin Farrell.
The list was led by Iron Man star Robert Downey Junior for the second year running, with estimated earnings of $75m (€56m).
Neeson has previously spoken of how he is regularly mistaken for another actor, Ralph Fiennes.
The versatile actor starred alongside Fiennes in the critically acclaimed Schindler's List, but Neeson has also appeared in a string of blockbusters - including Star Wars.
The 62-year-old actor's career spans more than three decades with early roles including an appearance in the Irish-flimed Excaliber.
Most recently he lent his voice to a Lego character in the movie which has become the highest grossing film of the year so far.
But Forbes concludes: "When Hollywood needs an actor with a certain set of skills, they turn to Neeson."
Neeson's upcoming roles include A Monster call and Silence, he will also make a guest appearance on Family Guy.
Meanwhile, Downey Jr's success comes as a result of his role as Iron Man, the Marvel Comics superhero, in the long-running film franchise.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is second on the list and has successfully made the transition from wrestler to Hollywood superstar starring in big budget movies such as Hercules and San Andres and is worth $52m (€39m).
Oscar nominated actor Bradley Cooper is believed to have netted $42m (€31m) thanks to his performances in Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.
Leonardo DiCaprio's role in The Wolf of Wall Street and The Great Gatsby saw him take home $39m (€29m).