Neeson grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, and started what was to be a long, successful career in the film business when he joined a company that operated local and rural drive-in theaters. He moved to Sydney in 1983 to further his film career by joining the Greater Union Organization cinema chain. Soon thereafter he was chosen to head Hoyts Theaters film programming and purchasing, and then became General Manager of a joint venture in film releasing between 20th Century Fox, Columbia/TriStar and Hoyts’ local film productions. By 1993, he had relocated to Los Angeles to join 20th Century Fox as Head of International Marketing. In 2000, Neeson became President of 20th Century Fox International, overseeing the release and marketing of several of the top films of all time – including Braveheart, Titanic, Star Wars and X-men. In 2003, Neeson left Fox to head Sony Pictures International marketing operations. In the five weeks between new positions, he took a mini-sabbatical through Asia, but a two-day stopover in Phnom Penh became a four-week mission that started him on the path to establishing the Cambodian Children's Fund. Neeson left Cambodia in September of 2003 to start his new role at Sony Pictures, but the impact of his experiences in Cambodia stayed with him. In the following year he laid the first tenuous plans for a permanent facility in Cambodia which became Cambodian Children’s Fund.