Pierce Brosnan, known much better as 007 or James Bond, was born in Navan, County Meath, Ireland on May 16, 1953. His father, Thomas Brosnan, left him and his mother so lived with his grandparents until he was 11 years old, when he was reunited with his mother in England. Here Brosnan experienced something that would change his life he saw his first movie, a James Bond film, Goldfinger. Brosnan’s reunion with his mother was short lived. He dropped out of school at 15 to start his life. He tried his luck as a fire-eater, then trained as a commercial illustrator, and finally an actor. He studied for three years at the Drama Center of London. Once trained he went on to work behind the scenes in various productions and then to triumph on the London stage, most notably in Filumena and Tennessee William’s The Red Devil Battery Sign.
In 1981, Brosnan got his big break: starring in the miniseries The Manions of America. Even though the movie didn’t earn big reviews, it was a hit in America. In 1981, Brosnan packed up and headed to the US, where he had heard about auditions for detective-drama TV series. He quickly won the role, and was cast as the title character in NBC’s Remington Steele. The series became a hit and Brosnan a star. During its fourth season, ratings for the show dropped. NBC canceled the show, only to renew it when he was offered the much-coveted role of James Bond, killing Brosnan’s chances at playing one of the most famous secret agents. Six episodes later the series was cancelled yet again, but the actor’s chances to play Bond had already been shot.
As Brosnan pursued a career in movies, first with Nomad’s in 1986 and then 1987’s the Fourth Protocol, his first Bond film, GoldenEye, grossed over $350 million worldwide, more than any other Bond film to that point. His 2nd Bond film, 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies, grossed more money in the US than GoldenEye. Together, his first 4 Bond films have grossed over $1.6 billion worldwide. Aside from the Bond and Steele roles, Pierce has had a varied and extensive film and TV career, playing roles ranging from archeologists to assassins, from Chris Columbus’ comedies to Merchant Ivory’s costume dramas. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 1984 for his portrayal of Robert Gould Shaw in the BBC/Masterpiece Theatre production of Nancy Astor. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in December 1997 (star #2099), which can be found at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.
In his spare time, he is an painter. He has 3 children with Cassandra (his 1st wife, a “Bond girl” herself), Sean (b. 1983) and stepchildren Charlotte (b. 1971) and Christopher (b. 1972); and 2 sons, Dylan Thomas (b. 1997) and Paris Beckett (b. 2001), with his 2nd wife, former TV correspondent/soap actress Keely Shaye Smith, whom he married in August 2001. He has also been active in cancer fund-raising and supporting environmental causes. He was awarded an honorary OBE by the British government for his film and charitable work in July 2003.
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