Getty Images | instagram.com/piercebrosnanofficial
Getty Images | instagram.com/piercebrosnanofficial

Pierce Brosnan Suffered ‘Cruelness’ as a Child after Mom and Dad Left Him: ‘It Was Ugly'

Oyin Balogun
Feb 27, 2022
01:40 A.M.

At a tender age, Pierce Brosnan was abandoned by his parents. However, he fought through the challenges to become an accomplished actor and a wonderful father inside his own life story.


Born in 1953 in Drogheda, Co Louth, an Irish American actor and film producer, Pierce Brosnan is famous for his prominent roles in Hollywood movies. The icon was the fifth actor to play James Bond in the Bond movie series and featured in four franchise installments.

His top-notch screen delivery has won him many awards and accolades, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Although Brosnan's illustrious career is undebatable, the actor's road to stardom was filled with bumps.

Pierce Brosnan at an event [left] Pierce Brosnan as a child [right] | Source :Getty Images instagram.com/piercebrosnanofficial

Pierce Brosnan at an event [left] Pierce Brosnan as a child [right] | Source :Getty Images instagram.com/piercebrosnanofficial


As a child, he faced challenging situations that scarred him. He grew up in Ireland as an only child and was forced to live without his divorced parents, who abandoned him. Here are details about the actor's difficult childhood and relationship with his parents.


Brosnan remains an inspiration to many as he struggled with a terrible childhood and eventually overcame the challenges. He was born to his carpenter dad, Thomas, and his mom, May, a nurse, but sadly, the "James Bond" star grew up without knowing his dad because Thomas abandoned him.


In addition, Brosnan had minimal contact with his mother as she went to London to learn nursing and only returned twice a year to Navan, where the actor stayed with his grandparents. As a result, the Hollywood star was alone most of the time. During an interview with The Guardian, Brosnan disclosed:

"Because I was so solitary and we lived on the outskirts of town, across the River Boyne, I was an outsider. An only child."

Sadly, Brosnan's grandparents died, and his relatives could no longer accommodate him, so he moved into a lodging. He was sent to live with a woman in town named Eileen. In Eileen's house, Brosnan stayed upstairs with three lodgers.

Pierce Brosnan on April 6, 2017 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Pierce Brosnan on April 6, 2017 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

"The three lodgers stayed in a long room with iron beds with old mattresses. At the end of the room, there was my little bed, with a curtain around it, so the light wouldn't shine in when the older guys came home," Brosnan noted.


Although Eileen's house was not the best, Brosnan considered his little corner his haven and safe space. In addition to having poor accommodation, the actor also did not have the best education. While living in Navan, Brosnan received his education at a strict Christian Brothers school. However, he had terrible memories of the Christian brothers and the school. The film producer revealed:

"[They] were dreadful, dreadful human beings. Just the whole hypocrisy and the cruelness of their ways towards children. They were very sexually repressed. It was ugly. I learnt nothing from the Christian Brothers - except shame."



In 1964, Brosnan left Ireland and joined his mother and her new husband in London. Coping in a new environment without many people to talk to was quite difficult for the actor. Recounting the experience, Brosnan said:

"There were no siblings. I was an only child from a fractured family."

Pierce Brosnan at The British Museum on September 14, 2019 in London, England | Source: Getty Images

Pierce Brosnan at The British Museum on September 14, 2019 in London, England | Source: Getty Images


While in London, Brosnan needed to figure out what to do with his life. The young actor was already good at art, so after giving it much thought, he quit school to work as a trainee commercial artist. However, while Brosnan was exceptionally good at art, he developed a love for acting:

"I came upon acting almost accidentally while I was working as a graphic artist in London at a small studio — although I basically cleaned the office and made tea for people."

After Brosnan's "accidental" encounter, a man encouraged him to visit the Oval House Theater, where people did workshops. Brosnan loved what he saw and decided to train at the London Drama Center for three years. Brosnan received all the support he needed to chase his dreams.

Pierce Brosnan on March 11, 2020 in London, England | Source: Getty Images

Pierce Brosnan on March 11, 2020 in London, England | Source: Getty Images

"My mother was very supportive of it. She always said follow your dreams, and I had this crazy dream of making movies," the actor explained.


In 1975, Brosnan started working as an acting assistant stage manager at the York Theater Royal. Within a year, his life changed. Playwright Tennessee Williams picked Brosnan and was eventually cast in "The Red Devil Battery Sign," where he took on a lead role.

The actor also featured in other productions like "Filumena," "The Long Good Friday," "The Mirror Crack'd," and "The Professionals." In 1982 he moved to America to look for greener pastures. His first audition was for "Remington Steele."


He got the role he auditioned for, and while still filming "Remington Steele," Brosnan met Albert R. Broccoli, the producer of "James Bond" on the set of "For Your Eyes Only." However, Brosnan's contract with NBC and "Remington Steele" prevented him from starring in the 15th James Bond film.

So, Thomas Dalton took on the James Bond role, but a legal tussle involving the actor and the producers would see Brosnan become the fifth actor to star as James Bond. Taking on such a sought-after role quickly skyrocketed Brosnan's career.


Bond remained grateful, as the James Bond role came when he needed it. Recalling his past challenges and where he had reached, the actor told reporters:

"Perhaps you never entirely unburden yourself of your past, but you do manage to find peace of mind."

He further stated, "I'm the same person I was when I started out. I'd like to think I'm much wiser and even more open as an individual than when I was younger and still scarred in many ways by my upbringing."



After Brosnan's dad abandoned him as an infant, the father and son never saw each other again until 1984. "I didn't see Tom Brosnan until I was about 31," Brosnan explained.

Brosnan revealed that he was still shooting "Remington Steele" when his dad showed up one Sunday. However, instead of hating his dad for abandoning him, the actor said they sat together and had a cup of tea. Brosnan revealed,

"After we drank all the tea, we went downstairs and started drinking Guinness. Then he got on a bus. I never saw him again. He died."


After seeing his father for the first time since he was abandoned, Brosnan could only wish to have known the man better. He confessed:

"I would have loved to have known him. He was a good whistler and he had a good walk… That's as much as I know about him."


In his lifetime, Brosnan has been married twice. His first marriage was to Australian Actress Cassandra Harris in 1980. Their union yielded one son, Sean, but Brosnan also adopted Charlotte and Chris, Harris's two kids from a previous relationship.

Pierce Brosnan and wife Cassandra Harris on June 10, 1988 | Source: Getty Images

Pierce Brosnan and wife Cassandra Harris on June 10, 1988 | Source: Getty Images


Sadly, in 1991 after being married for 11 years, Brosnan lost his wife to ovarian cancer, the same illness that claimed Charlotte's life in 2013. Ten years after the death of his first wife, Brosnan tied the knot for the second time with American Journalist Keely Shaye Smith. The pair first met in 1994, and Brosnan explained that he could not get enough of Smith from that moment.

Speaking to People, the actor recalled, "Wherever I went in the world, I missed her, and I'd send her tickets to come so we could be together. We just seemed to fit. I found a great woman in Keely Shaye. Not if I searched a million times over would I find one as good."

It has been 20 years since the couple got married, and Brosnan is still head over heels in love with Smith and would not have any other woman by his side. "I love her vitality, her passion. When Keely looks at me, I go weak in the knees," Brosnan admitted to reporters.


The pair have been successful in their marriage and in parenthood. They are doting parents to two children, Dylan and Paris. For Brosnan, being a great father is one of his topmost priorities, as he never had a dad's love while growing up.

He has excelled at the role effortlessly and believes the only person who has taught him about fatherhood is himself. The actor once said, "My fatherly instincts are purely my own. They relate back to no one because there was no one."

With the help of his wife, Brosnan is determined to give his children the best and lavish on them all the fatherly love he never received.

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