Born in: Navan, County Meath
Career: Actor, Producer and Environmentalist
Pierce Brosnan is an Irish actor, who has made a mark in Hollywood. He started his career with stage, followed it with television and finally landed in the film industry. Apart from being involved in acting, he also works as a film producer and is involved in environmental activism. Brosnan is best known for playing the role of James Bond in the ‘Bond’ series, from 1995 to 2002. He co-owns a Los Angeles-based production company named ‘Irish DreamTime’, which he formed with Beau St. Clair. Brosnan became an American citizen in 2004.
Pierce Brosnan was born as ‘Pierce Brendan Brosnan’ on 16th May 1953, in Navan, County Meath. He is the son of Thomas, a carpenter, and May. During his childhood, he attended a local school run by the De La Salle Brothers. Brosnan’s father abandoned him and his mother, when he was still a boy. Following this, his mother moved to London, to work as a nurse, leaving him with her parents, Philip and Kathleen Smith. She later married William Carmichael a British World War II veteran, and in 1964, Brosnan left Ireland to stay with them.
In London, Brosnan received education at Elliott School, a state secondary modern school in Putney. After leaving school, at the age of 16 years, he started training for commercial illustration, at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. However, luck took different a turn altogether and he found himself working for a circus agent, a job that continued for the next three years. Later, he enrolled himself at the Drama Centre in London and stayed there for three years, training himself as an actor.
Brosnan graduated from the Drama Centre in 1975 and thereafter, started working as an acting assistant stage manager at the York Theatre Royal. He made his acting debut in ‘Wait Until Dark’, a play by Frederick Knott. Within six months, he found himself playing the role of McCabe, in the British première of ‘The Red Devil Battery Sign’, a 1975 drama written by American playwright Tennessee Williams. He was greatly applauded for the role and followed with brief appearances in films like ‘The Long Good Friday’ (1980) and ‘The Mirror Crack'd’ (1980).
Brosnan was also seen in early television performances, in serials like ‘The Professionals’, ‘Murphy's Stroke’ and ‘Play for Today’. However, it was his role in the popular miniseries ‘Manions of America’, which made him a television star in the United States. In 1982, he was seen in ‘Masterpiece Theatre’, a documentary that narrated the life of Lady Nancy Astor - the first woman to sit in British Parliament. Three years later, in 1985, Brosnan won Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, for his portrayal of the love-deprived ‘Robert Gould Shaw II’.
Right from the year 1982 to 1987, Brosnan was seen playing the title role in ‘Remington Steele’, the NBC romantic detective series. The series greatly added to his popularity and the media started comparing him with Roger Moore. During this time, he starred in only one movie - ‘Nomads’. After the end of Remington Steele series, he was seen in a number of films, including ‘The Fourth Protocol’ (1987), ‘The Deceivers’ (1988), ‘Noble House’ (1988) and ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ (1989).
Brosnan opened the decade of 1990s with ‘Mister Johnson’ (1990). This was followed by The Lawnmower Man (1992) and Live Wire (1992). The same year, he performed in ‘Running Wilde’, a pilot for NBC, in which he played a reporter for Auto World magazine. In 1993, Brosnan played a supporting role in the comedy film ‘Mrs Doubtfire’. Following this, he appeared in several television films, including Death Train (1993) and Night Watch (1995), apart from the movie ‘Love Affair’ (1994).
Career as James Bond
Brosnan was offered the role of James Bond for the first time around mid-1980s, when ‘Remington Steele’ was about to end. However, the wide-scale publicity of the series led to its revival and because of his contract for the same, he had to decline the role. Timothy Dalton starred in the next two Bond movies, but he turned down the third one, ‘GoldenEye’. Brosnan was again offered the role and this time, he accepted the same. In June 1994, he was announced to play ‘James Bond’ in the next Bond movie.
Brosnan signed a three-film deal for the Bond series, with the option of a fourth. His first movie as ‘James Bond’ was ‘GoldenEye’, which was released in 1995 and won much critical acclaim. The next year, he formed a film production company ‘Irish DreamTime’, along with Beau St. Clair. The same year, he was seen in ‘Mars Attacks!’ and ‘The Mirror Has Two Faces’. In 1997, he starred in his second Bond film, ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’, along with the movies ‘Robinson Crusoe’ and ‘Dante's Peak’.
The year 1998 saw Brosnan appearing in ‘Quest for Camelot’ and ‘The Nephew’. The next year, he came out with his third Bond movie ‘The World Is Not Enough’ and released his first production venture under ‘Irish DreamTime’ i.e. ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’. His last Bond movie came out in 2002, under the title ‘Die Another Day’. Though initially, he showed his willingness to do more Bond films, the negotiations with producers broke down and finally, Daniel Craig was signed to be the next James Bond.
After the end of his Bond series, Brosnan was seen, for the first time, in 2004, in ‘After the Sunset’ and ‘Laws of Attraction’. While the second one got him much praise, the first one was a critical failure. His next film was ‘The Matador’, which came out in 2005 and got him Golden Globe nomination for ‘Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy’. He was last seen in the year 2007, in the films ‘Seraphim Falls’, ‘Butterfly on a Wheel’ and ‘Married Life’. His upcoming film ‘Mamma Mia’ is scheduled to be released in mid-2008.
Brosnan married Cassandra Harris, an Australian actress, in 1980. After the death of Cassandra’s ex-husband, he adopted her two children - ‘Charlotte’ and ‘Christopher’. Brosnan and Harris had one son ‘Sean’, who was born in September 1983. Harris died of ovarian cancer in 1991 and thereafter, Brosnan remained unattached for a long time. Finally, in 2001, he married Keely Shaye Smith, an American journalist. The couple has two sons - Dylan Thomas Brosnan and Paris Beckett Brosnan. Borsnan is a vocal supporter of gun control and same-sex marriage.
He is an environmentalist and has supported nuclear disarmament and other causes since many years. In 2002, Brosnan was awarded an honorary degree by the Dublin Institute of Technology. He also received an honorary OBE from Queen Elizabeth II, in July 2003, for his "outstanding contribution to the British film industry". The same year, he was given an honorary degree by the University College Cork. Brosnan became a citizen of the United States in September 2004, but has retained his Irish citizenship too. He was named the 'Best-dressed Environmentalist' in 2004, by the Sustainable Style Foundation.
1980 - The Long Good Friday, The Mirror Crack'd
1986 - Nomads
1987 - Taffin, The Fourth Protocol
1988 - The Deceivers, Noble House
1989 - Around the World in 80 Days
1990 - Mister Johnson
1992 - The Lawnmower Man, Live Wire
1993 - Mrs. Doubtfire, Death Train
1994 - Love Affair
1995 - Night Watch, GoldenEye
1996 - Mars Attacks!, The Mirror Has Two Faces
1997 - Robinson Crusoe, Tomorrow Never Dies, Dante's Peak
1998 - Quest for Camelot, The Nephew
1999 - Grey Owl Archibald, The World Is Not Enough, The Thomas Crown Affair
2001 - The Tailor of Panama
2002 - Die Another Day, Evelyn
2004 - After the Sunset, Laws of Attraction
2005 - The Matador
2007 - Seraphim Falls, Butterfly on a Wheel, Married Life