Even though his career has included a number of award-winning films and a turn as super spy James Bond, Pierce Brosnan will always be known as the man of 'Steele.' Pierce Brendan Brosnan was born on May 16, 1953 in Navan, County Meath, Ireland. After his father abandoned the family, his mother moved to London and left Pierce in the care of his maternal grandparents. He reunited with his mother and her new husband in London when he was 11. Teased at school because of his Irish ancestry, Pierce left school at the age of 16 and went on to study commercial illustration at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. In 1971, he discovered acting and began to tour England and Amsterdam doing workshops and formed a street theater company called Theatre Spiel. Two years later, he studied at Drama Centre, graduating in 1975. Pierce made his stage debut in Wait Until Dark and was cast by playwright Tennessee Williams in 1977 for his play The Red Devil Battery Sign, for which the actor received rave reviews, most notably from Williams himself. In the 1980s. Pierce made the transition to television and film, making his small screen debut on the British series Murphy's Stroke. After small roles in films such as the star-studded Agatha Christie' murder mystery The Mirror Crack'd and a starring role in the TV miniseries The Manions of America, Pierce got his big break when he signed on to play an ex-con turned private investigator on the NBC series Remington Steele. The show was a hit and ran from 1982 to 1987. Post-Steele, Pierce went on to star in the Cold War thriller The Fourth Protocol with Michael Caine, the epic TV miniseries Around the World in 80 Days and the horror flick The Lawnmower Man. In 1993 he played Sally Field's suitor in the hit 'Robin Williams in drag' comedy Mrs. Doubtfire. In 1994, it was announced that Pierce would be the fifth actor to play secret agent James Bond. His first outing as 007, 1995's GoldenEye, garnered critical kudos and grossed $350 million worldwide - the fourth highest worldwide gross of any film in 1995. In between GoldenEye and his next Bond adventure, Tomorrow Never Dies, Pierce starred in Tim Burton's sci-fi comedy Mars Attacks! and the disaster flick Dante's Peak. In 1996, the actor formed a film production company called Irish DreamTime with his producing partner Beau St. Clair. In 1999 the company's first studio project, The Thomas Crown Affair, co-starring Rene Russo was released and was a commercial and critical success. Pierce made two more Bond films, 1999's The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day in 2002 before being replaced in the role by Daniel Craig. In 2001, he married American journalist Keely Shaye Smith (he lost his first wife, actress Cassandra Harris, to ovarian cancer in 1991) and the couple have two sons together, Dylan Thomas (born January 13, 1997) and Paris Beckett (born February 27, 2001.) He teamed up with Julianne Moore for the romantic comedy Laws of Attraction in 2004 and found critical success the next year for his role as a jaded assassin going through a mid-life crisis in the dark comedy The Matador, which earned Pierce a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. Pierce's next role is in the musical comedy Mamma Mia! and he is working on a sequel to The Thomas Crown Affair to be released in 2009. This is one private eye we'll keep on watching.
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