A Troubled Start
You might know Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, but he hasn’t had it easy in life. He was born in 1953 in Ireland where he was abandoned by his father at a young age. His mother had to move to London in order to work as a nurse, seeing her son only a few times a year. Later he moved to Britain to live with his mother and her new spouse, feeling excluded for being Irish. Shocked? We are just getting started with his life story.
When Brosnan first laid eyes on Cassandra Harris he had no idea she would end up being his wife. They met in 1977 and married just three years later. Australian Cassandra had two children from a previous marriage, Charlotte and Chris. When the children’s father Dermot Harris died in 1986, Pierce adopted them and they took the surname Brosnan. Right after pair also had their own child.
An Early Goodbye
In 1987, Brosnan was filming “The Deceivers” in Rajasthan, India, when his wife became seriously ill. Shortly after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and unfortunately passed away four years after. Brosnan was left with their three kids and had a challenging time between grief, work, and fatherhood. She was just forty-three years old.
A Hard Time
Brosnan struggled to cope with his wife’s journey and the hardship that cancer had brought to their family. He shared: “When your partner gets cancer, then life changes. Your timetable and reference for your normal routines and the way you view life, all these changes. Because you’re dealing with death. You’re dealing with the possibility of death and dying. And it was that way through the chemo, through the first-look operation, the second look, the third look, the fourth look, the fifth look.”
The Beginning of His Career
It was back in the 1970s that Pierce Brosnan started his acting career on the theatre stage. You know you have that something special when a legend like Tennessee Williams picks you to be part of one of his plays. About a decade later he made the transition into film, acting opposite the legendary Helen Mirren in The Long Good Friday. He also began acting in a mini-series which introduced Brosnan to audiences in America.
Brosnan made his name known after starring in the mini-series The Mansions of America and soon enough he had the whole of London talking about him. He did so well that he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globe Awards back in 1985. His stepfather became even more proud of Pierce, sending him a telegram which said, “Thank God for you, dear boy.” This telegram must have meant so much to Brosnan because he has held onto it since then, still having it in his possession today.
Across the Seas
It was in 1982 that Pierce did the bravest thing for his career and made the decision to move to Los Angeles. It couldn’t have been easy, but he made the transition seemingly flawless slowly gaining fame in the US. it was his role in the television series Remington Steele that is said to have set him up for the role of James Bond, even tabloids like the Washington Post hinting to the idea stating that he, “could make it as a young Bond.” Keep reading for more!
Turning Down Bond?
We know that it was Pierce’s wife that was a huge fan of the Bond series and she was one of the advocates for him to play the major role. Here is one little secret that we bet you never knew. Brosnan was offered the role of Bond back in 1987, but he actually turned down the role! You read that right! He chose to stay on with the sitcom Remington Steele. We bet Timothy Dalton who ended up playing the role of Bond was happy about this.
Like Father Like Son?
Pierce had great success on Remington Steele which presented Brosnan to once more reunite with his father whom he had not seen since he was only very little. Of their meeting, he shared, “I had a Sunday afternoon with him… (we shared) a story about this and that, had a few pints of Guinness, and we said goodbye,” Pierce said. “I would have loved to have known him. He was a good whistler and he had a good walk…. That’s as much as I know about him.”
A Reputable Spy
Prior to getting his role of James Bond, Pierce already took part in a spy movie by the name of The Fourth Protocol, acting beside the great Michael Cane. It was based around the British involvement in the Cold War, with Brosnan playing the role of a KGB officer called Major Valeri Petrofsky. He must have done something right because soon after he landed the role that would define Brosnan for the rest of his acting career.
That Diet Coke Commercial
So, it is still unclear as to what actually happened to Dalton and his Bond career, but it was cut seemingly short after only two films. It was when Brosnan did a Diet Coke commercial that showed Pierce as a Bond-like character that really set tongues wagging. Brosnan never really went into details because of his close friendship with Dalton, but he never went on to do a third film, reportedly because he did not want to be part of the franchise anymore. Hmmm.
The Bond Legacy
It was in 1994 that Brosnan finally signed on to do the Bond films, managing to fulfill his wife’s dreams. He was the star of GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is not Enough and Die Another Day. He made such an impact that people from all corners of the globe knew his name. Critics claimed he was “somehow more sensitive, more vulnerable, more psychologically complete” than others and he held the role for over ten years, finally handing the reins to Daniel Craig in 2005.
Seriuos injury During Tomorrow Never Dies
You might not know this fact, but Brosnan was hurt pretty badly during the filming of Tomorrow Never Dies. In fact, a helmet flew off one of the stuntmen and hit him right in the face, splitting his face open. He needed eight stitches, and this resulted in many of the scenes being filmed with only one side of Brosnan’s face exposed to the camera. Today, the magic of makeup would have done the trick, but back then it might not have been possible.
You know that when these big stars sign up for huge roles, there are clauses in their contracts that would have many of us scratching our heads. For example, even though Brosnan was allowed to take on other roles whilst filming the Bond movies (other actors didn’t share this privilege), he was not allowed to appear in those same films wearing a tuxedo! If you think that’s crazy, did you know he wasn’t allowed to wear one in his private life either? That’s nuts!
Back in 1996 Brosnan and his friend Beau St. Clair founded a production company by the name of Irish Dreamtime. The first project of this company was a film called The Thomas Crown Affair just three years later with Brosnan as the lead. He did his own stunts in the film and let us tell you there were some badass stunts involving a huge boat collision. The movie did exceptionally well with both critics and the box office. This just goes to prove what a hard worker Pierce is.
It might be a bizarre industry to work in, but before Pierce tried his hand at acting would you believe he worked as a fire eater? He actually left school at the tender age of 16, later enrolling in art school to see if illustration was more his thing. He was even good at that! After seeing his street performance, a circus contracted him for three years. After he completed the contract he signed on with the Drama School of London pursuing acting instead.
That First Meeting
It was in 1994 when Pierce first met journalist Keely Shaye Smith. They reportedly met on a beach in Mexico two years after Brosnan lost his first wife Cassandra to cancer. She shared how their first date went, saying, “we sat down under the stars and he held my hand. There were fireworks going off over our heads, and Kenny Loggins was singing. We talked until 3 in the morning. I understand why women find him sexy because he is an appealing man. He really likes and appreciates women.”
Their First Child
The newly married couple had their first child, Dylan Thomas Brosnan in 1997. They were absolutely delighted, and all of Brosnan’s kids were happy to welcome a new member to the family. Four years later Paris Becket followed, and the family was complete! Eventually, the family moved to Malibu Beach and raised all kids.
Their Long Lasting Love
It is fabulous when you hear of any famous celebrity proclaiming their love for their spouse. The Brosnans have changed over the years, but both of them have remained completely in love with each other despite all obstacles. The couple is big on Pda and shares their lives in ways that make anyone want to be like this power couple.
An example of this affection has been the one time when Pierce took it to the red carpet, to rave about his beautiful wife and we couldn’t be more proud. “She is the backbone of our family, of my life, and I tell her I love her every day. I tell her she’s beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without her,” he said. His declaration of love has melted all of our hearts and really makes us believe in real love.
After his stint with the James Bond franchise, Brosnan went on to act in an array of movies such as After the Sunset, Laws of Attraction and The Matador but none surprised us quite like his role in the movie Mamma Mia. As you probably will know by now, the film is essentially a musical, and Brosnan had the guts to sing his guts out in it. Although he didn’t receive any awards for this (actually the critics weren’t so kind), you have to give him props for trying, right?
Pierce Brosnan acted along fellow Irishman Liam Neeson in the movie Seraphim Falls. The funny thing about this casting is that they play two Americans, whilst an American actor, Xander Berkley played the role of an Irish man! Both Brosnan and Neeson had a love for Westerns as children so they really enjoyed taking part in its filming, and it opened at the Toronto International Film Festival. Impressed? Read on for more fun facts about Pierce Brosnan we bet you never knew!
Working With Roman Polanski
In 2010 Brosnan worked with the infamous Roman Polanski on the film The Ghost Writer which also featured Ewan McGregor. Polanski was charged with sexually assaulting a thirteen-year-old girl back in the 1970s people that have chosen to work with him have come under fire as well. Brosnan said, “Nothing was ever spoken about the past or indiscretions; it was just a great working experience. He is a taskmaster and he rules the set, it’s his set and he has his way of doing things.”
Loosing His Daughter
It is never easy to lose a loved one, especially if that loved one is your child. In 2013 Brosnan’s adopted daughter Charlotte passed away from the same disease which claimed her mother’s life, ovarian cancer. He went on to speak at various charity events speaking of how difficult it was to lose his first wife. “To watch someone you love have his or her life eaten away bit by bit by this insidious disease, that part of your sorrow becomes an indelible part of your psyche.”
A Man of Faith
Brosnan was raised in the Catholic religion and although he has shunned it a few times in the past, he still considers himself a follower, but also holds other religions like Buddhism close to his heart. He stated that religion was one of the factors in his life that got him through the passing of his wife and daughter. “I would say faith, being Irish, being Catholic. It’s ingrained in my DNA.” Surprised? We have more where that came from!
White Bond Only?
When it was rumored that Daniel Craig would be hanging up his James Bond shoes, there was speculation about who would take his place. One of the front runners was Idris Elba, but Brosnan put in his two cents as to whom it may be. “Anything is possible for sure, but I think he’ll be male and he’ll be white. There are wonderful black actors out there who could be James Bond, and there’s no reason why you cannot have a black James Bond,” the Irish actor added.
Honored By the Queen Mother
You know you must have done something right when the Queen of England wants to honor you. This is exactly what happened in 2003 when Pierce Brosnan was made an honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire. He was given this honor due to his exceptional contribution to the British film industry. This is pretty rare because such accolades are only given to British citizens, so Brosnan must have counted his lucky stars that day.
An Avid Environmentalist
We love when a celebrity gets behind a good cause, and the environment is just as good as any. Brosnan has given his name and face to Greenpeace in the 90s in order to raise awareness about nuclear testing. In more recent times he has taken to social media platforms like Instagram to spread the word on saving the whales. He has also donated money from his paintings for various charities. Is there anything this man cannot do?
Helping Out the Kids
If there is ever a good cause to fight for, it’s children in need. This is why Pierce and his wife donated a large sum of $100,000 to the elementary school in Kuai, Hawaii so that an unsafe playground could be replaced. Brosnan felt the need to act swiftly, saying, “We were disheartened that the playground equipment was condemned for so long, and we wanted to find a way to help…we believe play activities enhance children’s educational experiences and they were missing out.”
A Tragic Fire
Well it seems Brosnan could not catch a break in 2016 either. His $18.5 million eco-friendly home in Malibu caught fire sustaining huge amounts of damage. Initially people thought that this was the result of the recent bushfires, but authorities cleared things up saying that the fire was electrical! Luckily no people were hurt at this time, but Brosnan had to say goodbye to his Aston Martin Vanquish which was completely destroyed in the flames. Now that is terrible luck.
James Corden Controversy
If you have ever watched an episode of The Late Late Show With James Corden you will probably know about his gut twisting segment called “Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts”. It is played by the host, James and a celebrity that is on the show. One asks a question and the other has to answer or digest something disgusting like roasted crickets or pig’s feet. Khloe Kardashian asked James to name a celebrity that had been rude to him and in order not to eat, he named Pierce Brosnan.
Run in at a U2 Concert
James shared as to their run it which happened when he, his wife and a few friends went to see a U2 concert. “I don’t think he’s a rude man, he just happened to be to me. Literally, I’ve never felt anything like it, this arm went on here and just pushed me out the way. And I looked at him, and he didn’t even glance at me and he just moved back into this area.” Stunned? We are too but read on for more!
Paying His Respects
When Mary Tyler Moore passed back in 2017 at the age of 80, Brosnan was quick to express his condolences on the social media platform Instagram. He wrote, “My deepest condolences to the family of Mary Tyler Moore… MTM / Remington Steele… she gave me my break in the USA… I will be forever grateful, forever loved.” Brosnan was ultimately very appreciative to her for all of her hard work and efforts when it came to his acting.
A Trained Illustrator
Did you know that before Brosnan took to acting, he actually attended an arts school and became a trained illustrator? Although his acting career took off, Brosnan still like to paint on a regular basis because ha says it is a way to switch off from the world and relax. The profits from his art sales go to various charities. “I always wanted to be an artist, a painter. I started as a trainee artist in a small studio in South London,” said Brosnan.
An Ally of the LGBT Community
Before many celebrities got on board of the LGBT advocacy train, Brosnan had been there for decades, vying for same-sex marriage and other equal opportunities. He even spoke of the possibility of a gay 007 agent. “Sure. Why not? Actually, I don’t know how it would work. I don’t think Barbara would allow a gay Bond to happen in her lifetime. But it would certainly make for interesting viewing.” Well the enthusiasm is there if nothing else.
Thinking He Was Gay
In the 2000s Brosnan released a biography which divulged details of both his professional and personal life. He even believed himself to be gay at the age of 16, obviously confused as to his sexuality. “I was young, frivolous and full of abandon – a hippie with long hair down to my shoulders and a little goatee beard,” stated Pierce. A friend stated that he never led on to the fact that he was questioning this part of his life even if he thought it.
Becoming a US Citizen
Back in 2004 Pierce Brosnan was declared a US citizen. Although he was born in Drogheda, Ireland he had been living in the United States for 12 years and said he considered Navan, County Meath his hometown. He still follows his Irish roots though, which is something we love and respect about him. On this topic he shared, “I found a whole new life and identity in America, but my heart and soul will be forever Irish.”
An Almost Fatal Accident While Filming
Shattered is an action film that Pierce took part in back in 2007. In one of the scenes Brosnan is involved in a car crash, and as with many of his stunts, he decided to take part in this one as well. The crash scene in the parking lot is pretty gripping and Brosnan is met with a shocked reaction from his co-star. What many people do not know is that this reaction is very real as the other actor could not believe their eyes!
Pierce Brosnan has three grandchildren and has shared the latest picture of his newborn grandchild recently on Instagram. Her name is Marley May Cassandra and is the child of his son Sean. Sean is Pierce’s son with his late wife Cassandra. Today, Pierce is a complete man, with a career to envy and a family he loves very much.