sixty & solar

Pierce Brosnan

An Irish-born actor of great repute, Pierce Brosnan is one of the few Hollywood celebrities who, in a career spanning over forty years, have managed to impress not just in front of the camera but behind it too.

Born on 16 May 1953 to Thomas Brosnan and May at Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland, Pierce Brosnan lived in Navan, County Meath with his grandmother at the age of four after his mother separated from his father and moved to London. Later, subsequent to the death of his grandparent, he stayed with relatives and in a lodging house in Ireland till the age of 11 prior to proceeding to London to live with his mother and her second husband.

With a desire to become a professional painter one day, he began training at the Saint Martin's School of Art. However, he eventually abandoned his study of art and instead enrolled himself in the Oval House Theatre wherein he pursued his studies at the Drama Centre in London for three years. After graduation in 1975, he performed at the Oval House in the West End stage productions but eventually re-located to South California at the age of 27.

He auditioned and was selected to play the lead role in a romantic detective series named ‘Remington Steele’. This show was a huge success and he became popular and well known television celebrity in US. His acting prowess now proven, he landed roles in a number of Hollywood movies post the series and also acted in a number of television films. However, his popularity all across the globe touched new heights when he was offered to play the role of James Bond, wherein he enacted as British Agent 007 in four Bond movies. Subsequently, he relinquished his ‘James Bond’ role as he felt that this role needed a younger actor and he was approaching his 50th birthday. He started his own production company, Irish Dream Time in 1996 and has been instrumental in producing ten films till date.

Brosnan suffered a great personal loss with the demise of his first wife, Australian actress Cassandra Harris, to ovarian cancer in 1991, at the age of 43. It was her wish that motivated Pierce to take up the role of James Bond in 1995 four years after her death. He met his second wife, Keely Shaye Smith, an American journalist and author in 1994 in Mexico and eventually married her in 2001. The death of his first wife left him with three children - Christopher and Charlotte who were from his first wife’s earlier marriage and his son Sean from his marriage with Cassandra. He has fathered two children post his marriage with his second wife. He lost his daughter Charlotte in 2013 to ovarian cancer, the same illness that had been responsible for the death of his first wife.

During the prolonged illness and subsequent death of his first wife, Pierce found solace and peace by picking up the brush and painting landscape and portraits for her. He continued to paint during his leisure time and the profits from the sale of these paintings are utilised in promoting Environmental, Children & Women Health issues through charities rendered via Brosnan Trust.

As an avid supporter of issues plaguing the environment, Pierce has been very vocal in his support for marine mammal and wetland protection. He has been championing the cause of maintaining a balance between development and fragile eco-system. At the same time, he has been steadfast in his support to various fund-raising events pertaining to cancer, same-sex marriage, gay adoption, gun control and has been instrumental in garnering funds and generating adequate limelight on the issues. Being an avid philanthropist, he has been the UNICEF Ireland Ambassador since 2001 and has rendered his voice for the special announcement to mark the launch of UNICEF’s ‘Unite for Children, Unite for AIDS’.

Numerous awards and citations have come his way during his long and illustrious career in cinema and also for his extraordinary contribution towards community service. His most notable accolades include National Movie Award, Robert Graham Visionary Award in 2014 and Golden Camera Award in 2007 for his contribution towards environmental issues. Other noteworthy honors conferred upon him are Lifetime Achievement Award at the Chicago Film Festival and International Star of the Year at the Cinema Expo in Amsterdam. He has been nominated twice for the Golden globe awards for his stellar performances in “The Matador” in 2006 and “Nancy Astor- TV Series” in 1985. In recognition for his contributions towards British Film Industry, he even received an honorary ‘Officer of the Order of the British Empire’ (OBE) in 2003.

In spite of having acquired American citizenship in 2004, Pierce Brosnan still retains his Irish Citizenship to date and resides with his family in Malibu, California.