Moving to London with his family at an early age, Irish-born actor Pierce Brosnan made ends meet as a commercial illustrator and cab driver before turning to acting full-time. After training at the London Drama Centre, Brosnan made his West End stage bow in 1976, and appeared in his first film, The Long Good Friday, four years later.
American audiences got their first glimpse of the charismatic, muscular young actor in the 1981 network miniseries The Manions of America. The following year, he was cast as the suave adventurer hero of the weekly TV series Remington Steele. Brosnan's casual panache and his gift for quippery led the producers of the James Bond movies to select him as the new Bond upon the departure of Roger Moore in 1986. However, at the last moment, the canceled Remington Steele was renewed, and Brosnan was contractually obligated to remain with the program, forcing him to relinquish the James Bond role to Timothy Dalton. Insult was later added to injury when it became evident that the renewal of Steele was something of a subterfuge by its producers to keep Brosnan on their leash. This professional setback was further compounded by personal tragedy seven years later when Brosnan's actress wife Cassandra Harris died after a long illness.
The actor began to regain his motion picture bankability when he was cast in a choice secondary role in the 1993 comedy megahit Mrs. Doubtfire. In 1995, he finally got his chance to play Agent 007 in GoldenEye, and proved that the producer's instincts were right on target. Brosnan not only provided a much-needed boost for the ailing series, but also cemented his status as a capable leading man in a variety of roles, ranging from the title character in Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1996) to a stuffy, love-struck professor who meets a ludicrous fate in Mars Attacks! (1996) to a courageous vulcanologist trying to save a town threatened by a reawakened volcano in Dante's Peak (1997). Brosnan played Bond for the second time in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), essaying the role with great success.
Following his turn as the titular thief in the stylish 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair, the actor went on to his third Bond outing in The World is Not Enough, again proving that saving the world was most convincingly done by those with convincing tans, straight teeth, and plenty of fun gadgets. And the world isn't the only thing Bond saved. While, the next half-decade found Brosnan stumbling with disappointments like The Tailor of Panama and The Laws of Attraction, he found box office success with the Bond franchise yet again 2002 with his final film in the franchise, Die Another Day. He soon followed this with a critically acclaimed comedic performance in the sleeper hit The Matador, before signing on for the highly anticipated film adaptation of the Abba inspired musical Mama Mia!. Next up, Brosnan would appear in some more dramatic fare like Remember Me before lightening up once more for the romantic comedy I Don't Know How She Does It. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi