Pierce Brendan Brosnan (born May 16, 1953 in Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland) is an Irish actor, film producer and environmentalist.
After leaving comprehensive school at 16, Brosnan began training in commercial illustration. He then 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 (1982–87), which blended the genres of romantic comedy, drama, and detective procedural.
After Remington Steele, Brosnan appeared in films such as the Cold War spy film The Fourth Protocol (1987) and the comedy Mrs. Doubtfire (1993). In 1994, he became the fifth actor to portray secret agent James Bond in the Eon Productions film series, starring in four films between 1995 and 2002 (GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day).
He lent his likeness for Bond in the video games James Bond 007: Nightfire and James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, providing his voice too for the latter. During this period, he also took the lead in other films such as the epic disaster adventure film Dante's Peak (1997) and the remake of the heist film The Thomas Crown Affair (1999). After leaving the role of Bond, he has starred in such films as the dark comedy The Matador (2005), which was nominated for a Golden Globe, the musical/romantic comedy Mamma Mia! (2008), which won a National Movie Award, and the Roman Polanski-directed political thriller The Ghost Writer (2010). 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 was married to Australian actress Cassandra Harris from 1980 until her death in 1991. He married American journalist and author Keely Shaye Smith in 2001, and he became an American citizen in 2004.
Brosnan met Australian actress Cassandra Harris through her stepson David Harris, one of Richard Harris' nephews, in 1977, 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 on 27 December 1980 and had one son together, Sean, who was born on 13 September 1983. They lived with her children, Charlotte (1971-2013) and Christopher, and after their father Dermot Harris died in 1986, he adopted them and they took the surname Brosnan. 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 secured a role in 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 Thomas Brosnan (born 13 January 1997) and Paris Beckett Brosnan (born 27 February 2001). In July 2003, the Queen awarded Brosnan an honorary OBE 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. 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 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 and wife Keely Shaye Smith were involved in a riparian water rights legal case (1999–2010). The dispute centred on a parcel of land in Wainiha, Hawaii.
Brosnan's adopted daughter Charlotte died on 28 June 2013 of ovarian cancer, the same illness that claimed her mother's life.
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