pierce brosnan

Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brendan Brosnan, OBE (born 16 May 1953) is an Irish actor, film producer and environmentalist who holds Irish and American citizenship. After leaving school at 16, Brosnan began training in commercial illustration, but trained 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).

After Remington Steele, Brosnan took the lead in many films such as Dante’s Peak and The Thomas Crowne Affair. He took over from Timothy Dalton as secret agent James Bond, starring in GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day (1995- 2002). He also provided his voice and likeness to Bond in the video game James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing and James Bond 007: Nightfire. Since playing Bond he has starred in such successes as The Matador (nominated for a Golden Globe, 2005) and Mamma Mia! (National Movie Award, 2008).

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 1977 until her early death in 1991. He married American journalist and author Keely Shaye Smith in 2001, becoming an American citizen in 2004.

Trivia:

He adopted his first wife Cassandra Harris’s children, Charlotte Brosnan (b. 1972) and Christopher Brosnan (b. 1973), after their father died in 1986.

Was made a Freeman of Navan, Co. Meath, Ireland (the town he lived in until he moved to England in 1964) on 11th November 1999.

Owns his own production company, Irish DreamTime. Its first release was The Nephew (1998).

Chosen by People (USA) magazine as one of the “50 Most Beautiful” people in the world. [1996]

Chosen by People magazine as one of the “50 Most Beautiful People” in the world. [1991]

The very first film he claims to have seen is the 007 movie Goldfinger (1964).

Enjoys fishing on the River Towy in Carmarthenshire, South Wales. Jimmy Carter (former American President) also enjoys the same fishing spot.

Is the third actor to play James Bond in more than two films, along with Roger Moore and Sean Connery.

At the Genesis Awards Ceremony, reunited with “Remington Steele” (1982) co-star Stephanie Zimbalist. [1996]

On December 28, 1991, one day after their 11th wedding anniversary, his wife, Cassandra Harris, died in his arms. She died of ovarian cancer.

His mother, May, was 19 when she gave birth to him. She had married his father, Thomas, on August 16, 1952. However, his parents separated when he was still a baby, and from the age of 4 he was raised by his maternal grandparents, Philip and Kathleen Smith, while his mother went to London to train as a nurse. When he was 6, both grandparents died and he was passed around amongst relatives until Eileen Reilly took him into her lodging house. Finally, when he was 10, his mother was able to take him to her home in Putney, London. While in London, May had met a man, named Bill Carmichael, who had asked her to marry him, but she wanted approval from her son. Pierce gave his approval and the couple were married. From that point on, Bill treated Pierce as his real son and they got along fine. It was Bill who took Pierce to see his first Bond movie, Goldfinger (1964), and it was at that point that decided to take up acting.

At the age of 11 he was almost six feet tall, making him a target of bullies.

Voted “Sexiest Man Alive” by People Magazine in 2001.

Is claustrophobic, which made the filming of certain scenes in Dante’s Peak (1997) very difficult.

He was voted sixth in the Orange 2001 film survey of greatest British film actors ever.

In addition to his salary for his James Bond movies, Brosnan received a car. The BMW Z3 from GoldenEye (1995), an 8-series BMW (instead of the 750iL) from Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), and the Z8 from The World Is Not Enough (1999).

Early in his screen career he portrayed the title role in the TV series “Remington Steele” (1982). His character was a career criminal gone “straight” as a private investigator, with an amazing knowledge of and obsession with classic cinema. In the episode “To Catch a Steele” (original air date 2/11/83, episode 15), Steele equates the case he is working on to The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), starring Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen. Sixteen years later Brosnan starred in the remake of that movie, The Thomas Crown Affair (1999).

He was given an honorary OBE by Britain’s ambassador to Ireland, Stewart Eldon, on 8/19/03. Honorary OBEs are awarded on merit by the Queen to non-British citizens who have made an important contribution to British interests. The award formally makes him “an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire”.

After the release of Die Another Day (2002), he was approached by a man in a Dublin bar who asked to shake his hand. He complied and then cracked up when the man said, “That’s the closest my hand will ever get to Halle Berry’s arse [butt].”.

On August 12, 1964, as an 11-year-old he flew, for the first time, from Ireland to the UK to join his mother May, the very day that Ian Fleming died.

Three sons: Sean Brosnan (b. September 13, 1983), Dylan Thomas (b. January 13, 1997) and Paris Beckett (b. February 27, 2001). He also has two adopted children, Charlotte Brosnan (b. 1971) and Christopher Brosnan (b. 1973).

He says that his favorite Bond films are From Russia with Love (1963) and For Your Eyes Only (1981), and that his least favorite Bond film is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).

Became an American citizen on 23 September 2004 but still plans to keep his Irish citizenship.

He studied under Yat Malmgren, a dancer and drama teacher who also worked with Sean Connery in the 1950s and is credited with helping him develop a strong sense of movement and presence.

According to the James Bond tailors in London, he has been both the lightest and heaviest of all the James Bonds. The tailors who fitted him for his Bond films state that in his first Bond movie, GoldenEye (1995), he weighed 164 pounds, making him the lightest actor to play Bond. However, in his fourth Bond movie, Die Another Day (2002), he weighed 211 pounds, making him the heaviest actor to play Bond.

He says that the first two films he saw at the cinema, Goldfinger (1964) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962), are also the two films that have had the most influence on him.

Graduated from the prestigious MA program at the Drama Center in London, England.

After Timothy Dalton was unavailable, Brosnan was originally chosen to play 007 in 1986 and was given the script to “The Living Daylights”. Although he was contracted to “Remington Steele” (1982) for seven seasons, NBC decided to cancel the show at the end of the fourth season, which meant that Brosnan was free to play James Bond in The Living Daylights the following year. However, shortly after the end of the fourth season, NBC had second thoughts about canceling Remington Steele and subsequently approached the Bond producers directly in an attempt to strike a deal that would allow Brosnan to play both James Bond and Remington Steele the following year. NBC also offered to completely reschedule the shooting of Remmington Steele to ensure that there were no scheduling conflicts. But eventually, Albert Broccoli famously told NBC that “James Bond will not be Remington Steele and Remington Steele will not be James Bond.” Accordingly, Brosnan would only play Bond if the show remained canceled. NBC had a 60 day deadline to revoke their decision to cancel Remmington Steele series and at 6.30pm on the 60th day of the deadline, Brosnan learned that NBC decided to make a fifth season. So, the role of the new James Bond went to Timothy Dalton. NBC went on to make only six episodes of the fifth season of Remington Steele before finally canceling the show for good.

Was considered for the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman (1989).

Brosnan’s Bond was mainly dressed with shirts and ties from Turnbull & Asser, shoes from Church’s, and suits from the Italian company Brioni. The cuff links and the belts were mostly Dunhill’s.

In 2004, Quentin Tarantino expressed an interest in directing Brosnan in a version of Casino Royale (2006), but was turned down by the Bond producers.

He is a professional “fire eater”, having performed a fire eating act in a circus at a young age. Knowing this, the writers for “Remington Steele” (1982) asked him to hone his skills as a fire eater for an episode during the series’ second season, entitled “High Flying Steele”, where Remington and Laura are to go undercover in a circus.

Is a fan of “Doctor Who” (1963).

He and fellow Bond actor Sean Connery have both played King Arthur. Connery played him in First Knight (1995) and Brosnan provided the voice of Arthur in Quest for Camelot (1998).

Quit smoking cigarettes before the release of Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).

While it may be incorrect to suggest that Brosnan was fired from the role of James Bond, since technically the producers simply chose not to renew his contract, they had agreed in principle to collaborate on a fifth Bond film before the producers pulled from negotiations. This makes Brosnan the first Bond to end his reign not of his own accord.

Supported John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election.

He’s an only child.

Met his Bond predecessor Sir Sean Connery for the first time at The 76th Annual Academy Awards (2004) (TV), but only for a few minutes.

Due to rising budgets and declining audiences, Brosnan’s last three Bond films were the only ones in the series to not take more than five times their cost. Even Timothy Dalton’s two films took in more than five times their budget, and George Lazenby’s one Bond film (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) more than ten. Whether you go by budget-to-gross or inflation-adjusted ratios, Brosnan’s films did average business. Die Another Day (2002) in particular, despite being the second highest grossing Bond after Casino Royale (2006) before inflation, made the smallest profit on its theatrical run of any Bond movie – a major reason for revamping the franchise. Sean Connery’s Bond films remain the most successful, with Thunderball (1965) having taken 22 times its cost at the worldwide box-office.

He is a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage, gay adoption, gun control and protecting the environment.

The production of Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) was a troubled one, owing in part to the producers agreeing to have the film ready for a December release. Brosnan rejected the script after it had been rewritten; it was then rewritten again during filming by the writer of the original script; director and scriptwriter were not talking to each other, and Brosnan and Teri Hatcher were not compatible. The film cost around $110 million, but only took in more than $346 million at the box office worldwide.

Shares two roles with two previous James Bonds. He and Sean Connery have also both played King Arthur. He and David Niven have also both played Phileas Fogg, Niven in Around the World in Eighty Days (1956) and Brosnan in “Around the World in 80 Days” (1989/I).

In addition to playing a small role in The Broken Chain (1993) (TV), actor Girard Swan briefly worked as Brosnan’s stand-in.

Spent three years studying acting at The Drama Centre, in north London in his early years.

Nicknamed “Colonel Chunky” by the crew on Mamma Mia! (2008).

Attended Elliot Secondary School, Putney, South London in the 1960s.

After being chosen to play “James Bond”, Brosnan wasn’t allowed to wear a tuxedo in any other film. This posed a problem for the wardrobe staff of The Thomas Crown Affair (1999).

He’s Meryl Streep’s close friend.

His favourite comic actor is the former Python, John Cleese.

Lives in Malibu, California.

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