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Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan

Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1953-05-16

90 Movies · 13 TV Series

Biography

Pierce Brosnan (; born 16 May 1953) is an Irish-American actor, film producer, and environmental activist. He became known as the fifth actor to play secret agent James Bond in the Bond film series, starring in four films from 1995 to 2002 (GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, and Die Another Day). After leaving comprehensive school at age 16, Brosnan began C-training in commercial illustration, and went on to train at the Drama Centre in London for three years. Following a stage acting career, he rose to popularity in the television series Remington Steele (1982–1987), which blended the genres of romantic comedy, drama, and detective procedural. After the conclusion of Remington Steele, Brosnan appeared in films such as the Cold War spy film The Fourth Protocol (1987) and the comedy Mrs. Doubtfire (1993). After achieving worldwide fame in his role as James Bond, Brosnan took the lead in other major films including the epic disaster adventure film Dante's Peak (1997) and the remake of the heist film The Thomas Crown Affair (1999). Since leaving the role of Bond, he has starred in films such as the musical/romantic comedy Mamma Mia! (2008), the Roman Polanski-directed political thriller The Ghost Writer (2010), and the action spy thriller The November Man (2014). In 1996, along with Beau St. Clair, Brosnan formed Irish DreamTime, a Los Angeles-based production company. In later years, he has become known for his charitable work and environmental activism. He became an American citizen in 2004, holding dual citizenship in the United States and Ireland. He has earned two Golden Globe Award nominations, first for the television miniseries Nancy Astor (1982) and next for the dark comedy film The Matador (2005). In 2020, he was listed at number 15 on The Irish Times list of Ireland's greatest film actors.

Personal Life

Brosnan married twice, was widowed once and has five children and three grandchildren. Brosnan met Australian actress Cassandra Harris through her stepson David Harris, one of Richard Harris's nephews, shortly after he left drama school. On meeting her, he has described his feelings, saying, "What a beautiful looking woman. I never for an instant thought she was someone I'd spend 17 years of my life with. I didn't think of wooing her, or attempting to woo her; I just wanted to enjoy her beauty and who she was." They began dating, and eventually bought a house in Wimbledon. They married in December 1980 and had one son together, Sean, who was born on 13 September 1983. They lived with her children, Charlotte (1971–2013) and Chris, and after their father Dermot Harris died in 1986, he adopted them and they took the surname Brosnan. Harris died on 28 December 1991 at the age of 43.Brosnan supplemented his income by working in West End productions and in a television film about Irish horse racing. After Harris appeared in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only in 1981, they secured a bank loan and moved to southern California where Brosnan was cast in the title role of the TV series Remington Steele, easing their financial worries. An episode of Remington Steele that was filmed in Ireland generated significant publicity. One outcome was that Brosnan met his father, who had left when Brosnan was an infant, in a brief get-together at his hotel. Brosnan said he expected to see a very tall man, but described his father as "a man of medium stature, pushed-back silver hair, flinty eyes and a twizzled jaw. He had a very strong Kerry accent." Brosnan was regretful that they met under such public circumstances. He said he would have preferred more private arrangements that would have given him the opportunity to speak privately with his father.While filming The Deceivers in Rajasthan, India, in 1987, Brosnan's wife Harris became seriously ill. She was later diagnosed with ovarian cancer and died on 28 December 1991 at age 43. Brosnan struggled to cope with her cancer and death. "When your partner gets cancer, then life changes. Your timetable and reference for your normal routines and the way you view life, all this changes. Because you're dealing with death. You're dealing with the possibility of death and dying. And it was that way through the chemotherapy, through the first-look operation, the second look, the third look, the fourth look, the fifth look. Cassie was very positive about life. I mean, she had the most amazing energy and outlook on life. It was and is a terrible loss, and I see it reflected, from time to time, in my children." Harris had always wanted Brosnan to play the role of James Bond, and in 1995, four years after her death, Brosnan was given the role in GoldenEye. In 1994, Brosnan met American journalist Keely Shaye Smith in Mexico. They were married in 2001 at Ballintubber Abbey in County Mayo, Ireland. They have two sons together, Dylan and Paris.In July 2003, Queen Elizabeth II made Brosnan an honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his "outstanding contribution to the British film industry". As an Irish citizen, he is ineligible to receive the full OBE honour, which is awarded only to a citizen of the Commonwealth realms, but he is still allowed the letters "OBE" after his name. In 2002, Brosnan was also awarded an honorary degree from the Dublin Institute of Technology and, a year later, the University College Cork.On 23 September 2004, Brosnan became a citizen of the United States but retained his Irish citizenship. Brosnan said that "my Irishness is in everything I do. It's the spirit of who I am, as a man, an actor, a father. It's where I come from." Brosnan was asked by a fan if it annoyed him when people get his nationality confused. He said: "It amuses me in some respects that they should confuse me with an Englishman when I'm dyed-in-the-wool, born and bred Irishman ... I don't necessarily fly under any flag. But no, it doesn't bother me."Brosnan has expressed contempt for his education by the Congregation of Christian Brothers. However, in 2013 he commented, "It always helps to have a bit of prayer in your back pocket. At the end of the day, you have to have something and for me that is God, Jesus, my Catholic upbringing, my faith... God has been good to me. My faith has been good to me in the moments of deepest suffering, doubt and fear. It is a constant, the language of prayer... I might not have got my sums right from the Christian Brothers or might not have got the greatest learning of literature from them but I certainly got a strapping amount of faith." Brosnan attends Mass, but adheres to other spiritual beliefs. In 2008 he said "I also love the teachings of Buddhist philosophy. It's my own private faith. I don't preach it, but it's a faith that is a comfort to me when the night is long."Brosnan's daughter Charlotte died on 28 June 2013 of ovarian cancer, the same illness that claimed her mother's life.On 11 February 2015, Brosnan's $18 million Malibu mansion caught fire, sustaining $1 million in damages. During the 30 minutes it took firefighters to extinguish the fire, flames destroyed the contents of the garage, including Brosnan's 2002 Aston Martin V12 Vanquish, and spread to a bedroom above it, though no injuries were sustained.

Early Life

Brosnan was born in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland, the only child of Thomas Brosnan, a carpenter, and May (née Smith, born circa 1934). He lived in Navan, County Meath for 12 years and as of 1999, considered it his home town. He went to St Anne's Primary School, Navan. Brosnan's father abandoned the family when Pierce was an infant. When he was four years old, his mother moved to London to work as a nurse. From that point on, he was largely brought up by his maternal grandparents, Philip and Kathleen Smith. After their deaths, he lived with an aunt and then an uncle, but was subsequently sent to live in a boarding house run by a woman named Eileen. According to Brosnan, Childhood was fairly solitary. I grew up in a very small town called Navan in County Meath. I never knew my father. He left when I was an infant and I was left in the care of my mother and my grandparents. To be Catholic in the 1950s, and to be Irish Catholic in the 1950s, and have a marriage which was not there, a father who was not there, consequently, the mother, the wife suffered greatly. My mother was very courageous. She took the bold steps to go away and be a nurse in England. Basically wanting a better life for her and myself. My mother came home once a year, twice a year. Brosnan was brought up in a Roman Catholic family and educated in a local school run by the de la Salle Brothers while serving as an altar boy.Brosnan left Ireland on 12 August 1964 and was reunited with his mother and her new husband, William Carmichael, now living in the Scottish village of Longniddry, East Lothian. Carmichael took Brosnan to see a James Bond film for the first time (Goldfinger), at the age of 11. Later moving back to London, Brosnan was educated at Elliott School, a state comprehensive school in Putney, southwest London, now known as Ark Putney Academy. Brosnan has spoken about the transition from Ireland to England and his education in London; "When you go to a very large city, a metropolis like London, as an Irish boy of 10, life suddenly moves pretty fast. From a little school of, say, seven classrooms in Ireland, to this very large comprehensive school, with over 2,000 children. And you're Irish. And they make you feel it; the British have a wonderful way of doing that, and I had a certain deep sense of being an outsider." When he attended school, his nickname was "Irish".After leaving school at 16, he decided to be a painter and began training in commercial illustration at Saint Martin's School of Art. While attending a rehearsal for a workshop at the Oval House, a fire eater was teaching people how to eat fire and he decided to join. He later trained for three years as an actor at the Drama Centre London. Brosnan has described the feeling of becoming an actor and the impact it had on his life: "When I found acting, or when acting found me, it was a liberation. It was a stepping stone into another life, away from a life that I had, and acting was something I was good at, something which was appreciated. That was a great satisfaction in my life."

Movies & TV Series

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