As famed as James Bond is, what tends to grab even more headlines with the release of a new Bond film is who will play the newest Bond girls. Throughout the 26 films, we have seen so many different women, many of whom were unknown to the world before their introduction as Bond’s ladies. For many of these ladies, their role as a Bond girl was their breakthrough role and led them to stardom and long and successful careers.
Nowadays, people know her more for her tempestuous relationship with ex-husband actor Charlie Sheen. But, for a while, Denise was one of Hollywood’s hottest actresses.
She starred in several big films, like Starship Troopers, and Wild Things, and on TV shows like Seinfeld and Melrose Place. Her most notable role until today was as a Bond girl in The World Is Not Enough, in which she played Christmas Jones.
French-born Sophie Marceau has had major success in Europe for over three decades. She landed the role of Elektra King in the James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough. Following the role, she continued to land major roles.
Her most notable role was in the Oscar-winning Mel Gibson film, Braveheart, and opposite Robin Williams, in a Midsummer Night’s Dream. Despite her success in American films, she prefers to act in French films.
The European Actress, model, and singer is of Polish and Swedish descent. She began her career in the 1980s, as a fashion model. She eventually landed the cover of Vogue. She then pursued a singing career and formed a pop group that recorded a gold-certified album.
Thanks to her popularity, she landed a role in Goldeneye, where she played Natalya Simonova, alongside Pierce Brosnan and Famke Janssen.
Andress helped preserved the image of a Bond girl as a sex goddess character, in her infamous ocean scene, that Halle Berry would reclaim years later, in Die Another Day. Andress made cinematic and fashion history in the first film, Dr. No, when she rose out of the Caribbean Sea in a white bikini, sporting a large diving knife on her hip.
Her role as Bond girl Honey Ryder brought her international fame. She later said that the bikini was the secret to her success. The bikini she wore in the film later sold at an auction in 2001, for nearly $60,000. Her character is often considered to be the first Bond girl, although she wasn’t the first woman to be with Bond. Andress acted until the ’90s.
Bronx-born Tanya Roberts moved to Toronto, Canada with her mother for several years, and then back to NYC where she began to model and act. She received roles in several small-budget films. Her breakthrough role came in 1980, in the famous TV series, Charlie’s Angels.
She eventually landed the part of a Bond girl, in the 1985 A View To Kill, as Stacey Sutton, a geologist. Following the film, she continued to act through the ’90s, and for a few years, she played Midge Pinciotti on That 70’s Show.
Jane Seymour is one of the most popular faces from the early days of the James Bond film series. Boys from all over the world fell for this sultry Solitaire, Bond’s love interest of the moment in Live and Let Die. Seymour had already appeared in a variety of television shows and movies prior to the Bond film and continued to act through the early 2000s, mostly on television.
She competed in the fifth season of Dancing with the Stars and finished in sixth place. Throughout her career, Seymour has garnered an Emmy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
French-born Eva Green first achieved international recognition for her performance in the Kingdom of Heaven, in 2005. The following year, she played Bond girl Vesper Lynd, in Casino Royale. She was awarded the BAFTA Rising Star Award for her performance.
Since the film, she has acted in several independent films, including Cracks, Womb, and 300: Rise of an Empire. She also starred as Vanessa Ives in the drama series, Penny Dreadful, for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination.
While she isn’t related to the famous musician, she did make a reputation and name for herself. Barbara grew up in Queens, New York. At the age of 16, she dropped out of school to pursue a modeling career. Her modeling eventually led her to land roles in several European films.
She caught the eye of a Bond producer and was cast to play Anya Amasova in the 1977 classic, The Spy Who Loved Me. And thanks to that role, she caught the eye of Beatles member, Ringo Starr, and the two married in 1981. They have been surprisingly (by Hollywood standards) married since.
Blackman was already a star long before she landed her iconic role in the Bond film. She made her movie debut in 1947, in the film, Fame is the Spur. Following the role, she continued to act in both television and movies. She is most notable for her roles in Jason and the Argonauts and the British TV series, The Avengers. Thanks to her role in The Avengers, as Cathy Gale, she landed a role in Goldfinger, the third Bond film.
She played the part of Pussy Galore. Yes, this was actually the name of the character. Albert R. Broccoli, the film’s producer, said that she was cast in the film based on her success in The Avengers. He said, “The Brits would love her because they knew her as Mrs. Gale, the Yanks would like her because she was so good, it was a perfect combination.” At her then-age of 38, she was also one of the oldest actresses to play a Bond girl. To this day, her character is one of the most popular roles in the whole film series.
Now, you probably recognize this next Bond girl. But back in 2002, when Die Another Day was released, not many knew of this actress. Born in London, Rosamund Pike began her career as a theater actor. In 2002, she received international recognition for her role as Miranda Frost and became a huge star who has continued to receive rave reviews for her performances.
Following the film, she had film appearances in Doom, Fugitive Pieces, and The World’s End. In 2014, she starred in Gone Girl and was met with critical acclaim. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe Award. Her upcoming films include The Informer and Radioactive.
The French-born actress had a very successful acting career in Europe, appearing in more than 50 films and TV shows. But her biggest role was in the 1979 James Bond film, Moonraker.
She played the role of Corinne Dufour, who was the assistant of the movie antagonist, Hugo Drax.
Irish-born Alison Doody grew up in Dublin, studying at a convent. She was approached by a photographer and took up modeling, which eventually led to an acting career.
When she was 18 years old, she landed a small role in A View to a Kill, as Jenny Flex. She is the youngest Bond girl to date. She continues acting to this day.
It seems like there isn’t much that Teri Hatcher didn’t get her hands on. Hatcher studied acting at the American Conservatory Theater. While studying, she was an NFL cheerleader with the San Francisco 49ers. She landed several roles in TV series. She began to land roles in major TV shows, like Seinfeld and Lois & Clark. In 1997, she landed the role of Paris Carver in the James Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies.
She starred in Tomorrow Never Dies alongside Pierce Brosnan. She played the part of Paris Carver. Following the role, her career took a major turning point, and she landed a lead role on Desperate Housewives. As of April 2006, she was one of the highest-paid actresses in the United States.
Eunice Gayson holds the title of the original Bond girl. She starred in the first two films; 1962’s Dr. No and 1963’s From Russia With Love. She was meant to play the role of Miss Moneypenny but ultimately starred as Sylvia Trench, Bond’s first film crush.
She was possibly going to play a recurring role in the series, but in the end that fell through. Prior to the films, she played the main role in The Revenge of Frankenstein and was on the TV series, The Saint (along with a future James Bond) and The Avengers. In June 2018 Eunice passed away at the age of 90. Her reputation as the first Bond girl will always live on.
Lana Wood is the younger sister of the famous film actress, Natalie Wood. Natalie died under suspicious circumstances at the height of her career. Lana followed the path of her older sister into Hollywood and starred in several film and TV shows. Her breakthrough role came in the 1971 Bond film, Diamonds are Forever, where she played Plenty O’Toole.
She has appeared in more than 20 films and 300 television series, including The Fugitive, Bonanza, Mission: Impossible, Starsky & Hutch, and Capitol. She retired from acting in 1982 to focus on a career as a producer but decided to return to acting in 2008. She has appeared in several low-budget films since.
Before landing a role in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies, Malaysian-born Michelle Yeoh was having major success as an actress in Asia, in the 90s. She starred in some of China’s biggest hit movies at the time. Owing to her kick-ass style in many martial arts action films, she landed a role as a Bond girl.
Following the part, she landed the lead role in 2000s Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, an Academy Award-winning film. She was also nominated for a BAFTA best actress award. She has continued acting, making another notable appearance in the romantic comedy-drama film, Crazy Rich Asians.
Producers of Bond films are apt to shift the profile of a Bond girl every so often. They originally used European models and actresses, then switched things up to American-born leading Bond ladies. Maud Adams, a Swedish-born Actress, brought the Bond girl back to her European roots. She held two roles in the Bond series, once in 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun, when she played Andrea Anders.
Her role as the doomed mistress of the villain propelled Adams to international fame. The second role came in 1983, when she played the title role, Octopussy. Adams has said that although being a Bond girl may not indicate continued success, the fact that you are a Bond girl is, in itself, special.
Bianchi was born in Rome, Italy. Prior to playing one of the Bond girls, she was a model and the first runner-up in the 1960 Miss Universe pageant. This led her to land several film roles in Italy and France. She finally had her career breakthrough when she starred alongside Eunice Grayson, in From Russia With Love, playing the role of Tatiana Romanova.
Her voice was dubbed due to her heavy accent. She retired from acting long ago, in 1970, but will forever be remembered for her role in the Bond film.
Akiko Wakabayashi was a known actress in Japan in the 50s and 60s. Her breakthrough came when she was cast to play a minor role in the 1962 film, You Only Live Twice, but after her acting was much better than producers had expected, they gave her a larger role.
She played Aki and became the first non-European Bond girl in the series. After the film, Akiko retired from acting.
Grace Jones is, without a doubt, one of the most successful Bond girls in the entire series. She has had a career that has spanned years. She moved to the United States from Jamaica when she was just 13 years old. She started her career as a model at a young age, worked for fashion houses like Yves St. Lauren and Kenzo, and landed covers for Elle and Vogue, among other brands.
She then transitioned into a music and acting career. In the ’70s and ’80s, she appeared in some low-budget films in the U.S. In 1984, she landed her first mainstream performance when she starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, in Conan the Destroyer. Her fame as a Bond girl came in 1985, in A View to Kill. The iconic Jones broke the mold of the typical Bond girl, who is usually small, blonde, and white. For this reason, Jones is one of the more memorable women to fill this role.
Talisa grew up in Brooklyn, NY in a Puerto Rican family. After landing the role of Lupe Lamora in 1989, opposite James Bond, in Licence to Kill, she was catapulted into a life of fame.
She is most recognized for playing Princess Kitana in the 1995 fantasy action film, Mortal Kombat, and the 1997 sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. These days she’s married to actor Benjamin Bratt.
Many of the Bond girls grew up as aspiring models. Lynn grew up as an aspiring figure skater. At the 1974 US figure skating championship, she took home the silver medal. She eventually switched to an acting career. She was a nominee for a Golden Globe for the film Ice Castles.
Three years later, she starred as Bond girl Bibi Dahl, in For Your Eyes Only. Following her role in the Bond series, she wasn’t cast in anything much greater than that.
Gloria Hendry became the first African-American woman to play a Bond girl in the movie series. She acted alongside Jane Seymour in Live and Let Die. She played a bold and confident take-no-prisoners CIA agent, named Rosie Carver.
Unfortunately, her role didn’t lead her to major success in the film industry, and she wasn’t able to land other roles following the film.
From a young age, Netherlands-born Thomsen pursued acting. Her breakthrough role came as the sexy Professor Inga Bergstrom, in Tomorrow Never Dies. The movie opened many acting doors for her.
While it would be easy to get overshadowed by Teri Hatcher and Michelle Yeah, this blonde beauty definitely made a name for herself in the film and deserves credit for her performance.
English-born Caroline Munro was already a skilled actor before joining the esteemed list of Bond Girls. Like many other Bond girls before her, her career began with modeling. She modeled for Vogue magazine at the age of 17. She then had small roles in films like Casino Royale.
After this, she became an actress in horror and science fiction films. Her role as the deadly Naomi in The Spy Who Loved Me stands out as one of the best Bond girls ever. The star retired from acting in the ’80s.
Carey was famous well before her Bond days. She spent her childhood living in several countries and states until her family eventually settled down in Colorado. She started to study literature at the University of Colorado, Boulder but left after a year to pursue modeling in New York City. She then decided to pursue acting.
Her big break came when she landed the role of Pam Bouvier, a CIA agent who partners with Bond in 1989’s Licence to Kill. Following the role, she played Jamie Ross on Law and Order. She returned to acting in 2018, following a six-year hiatus, for a guest role on Blue Bloods.
Many of Bond’s women started their careers as models, Claudine Auger being one of them. She was born in Paris, France, where she worked as a model. She won the Miss France Monde title and was the first runner-up in the 1958 Miss World competition. Following these wins, she acted in minor film roles. When she was on holiday in Nassau, she was spotted by Kevin McClory, who suggested that she audition for the 1965 film, Thunderball, the fourth in the James Bond film series. She landed the role of Dominique “Domino” Derval.
While her role was initially intended to be for an Italian woman, producers were so impressed by Auger that they rewrote the part to fit a French woman. Due to her English, her voice was dubbed. Auger later revealed that she related to her character because they were both involved with older men. Following her role in the Bond film, she continued to act in several films through the 90s, although she acted mostly in European films and wasn’t so successful in the U.S film scene.
Diana Rigg landed the role as Bond’s wife, Countess Teresa di Vicenzo, in 1969, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. But prior to this role, she already had an extremely successful career in both television and film. She starred in the British TV version of The Avengers, in which she starred as Emma Peel, from 1965 to 1968.
Rigg’s career spanned several decades before her 2020 passing. Among her most memorable later roles was Olenna Tyrell in the hit HBO series, Games of Thrones, from 2013 to 2017.
Lois Chiles was pursuing the academic route at university when she was noticed by some modeling agents. She started a successful modeling career in the early ’70s. This career led her to some small acting roles, and eventually, she landed big roles in the Great Gatsby, along with Robert Redford, and Death on the Nile.
These films eventually helped her get cast in the 1979 bond film Moonraker, where she played the role of Dr. Holly Goodhead (which sounds like a name more suitable for Austin Powers).
Acting alongside Maud Adams, was another Swedish-born actress, Britt Ekland. Ekland already had an impressive acting career prior to landing the role of Mary Goodnight, James Bond’s assistant, in Man with the Golden Gun. She acted in two critically acclaimed roles in The Night They Raided Minsky’s and Get Carter, the latter of which helped establish her as a movie sex symbol.
During the ’70s, Ekland was one of the most photographed celebrities in the world, thanks to her high-profile social life and marriage to actor Peter Sellers. She continued to act until the ’90s.
Jill St. John
Jill acted alongside Lana Wood in 1971’s Diamonds are Forever. She played the Bond girl Tiffany Cas. Originally from Los Angeles, she began acting at the age of 6 and continued to work through her 50s. She had several roles on both television and film, but her biggest role until today was in Diamonds are Forever.
In 2014, she appeared on the big screen in the TV movie Northpole, in which she played the part of Mrs. Claus. This marked her first acting role after a 12-year hiatus.
Before she landed a role in the Bond series, Shirley Eaton was already an accomplished actress. Considered a sex symbol, she has often been dubbed the cockney blonde bombshell thanks to her London accent, blonde hair, and sex appeal. Her role in the Bond film was brief but memorable. She appeared as the woman painted in gold in the film that many consider one of the best Bond films, 1964’s Goldfinger.
The scene brought Eaton worldwide fame and more recognition than Honor Blackman. She was featured on the cover of LIFE magazine in the November 1964 issue. She retired from acting in 1969, preferring instead to raise her family.
Luciana Paluzzi was born in Rome, Italy. Before she landed the role of assassin Fiona Volpe, in 1965’s Thunderball, she already had quite an impressive resume in Italy. When she didn’t get cast as the lead Bond girl, she was very disappointed, but she later rejoiced when she was cast as Volpe, which she said was more fun to play anyways. She continued to act into the ’80s, although she never starred in another hit as big as James Bond.
She shared in the documentary Bond Girls Are Forever, that starring in a James Bond film was a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it brought her international fame. On the other, she felt like she wasn’t taken seriously when she returned to the Italian film industry.
We know you’ve been waiting for this next actress for the entire list. Halle Berry’s coming out of the ocean scene is perhaps the most memorable scene from all 24 Bond films. Before she started acting, she was the 1st runner-up in the Miss USA Pageant in 1986 and came in 6th place in the Miss World Pageant. It seems like 2002 was Halle Berry’s year. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Monster’s Ball. She remains the only African-American woman to have won the award.
During the 2000s, Berry was one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood. She transitioned into acting and appeared in several high-profile roles in the 2000s, including X-Men, Swordfish, and of course, Die Another Day, where she played Bond girl, Jinx. She recreated Ursula Andress’ ocean scene from Dr. No, in which she emerges from the ocean to be greeted by James Bond.
The English-born actress grew up with dreams to be on the big screen. She studied acting at the Drama Centre, London while modeling on the side. She appeared in several low-budget films until landing a role as a Bond girl, in the 1987 thriller, The Living Daylights. She played the part of Kara Milovy, a sweet and vulnerable Czechoslovakian cellist and sniper who falls in love with James Bond.
Following the film, she appeared in a Bond-themed Playboy cover and multi-page pictorial in the September 1987 issue. She also helped co-write the book, 'Bond Girls Are Forever', published in 2002. The book is a tribute to the women who have played the role of a Bond Girl.
Serena Scott Thomas
English-born Serena Scott Thomas held several minor roles in England prior to landing the 1999 role in The World is Not Enough. She played Dr. Molly Warmflash, opposite Pierce Brosnan.
She is still acting, having appeared in TV shows and movies here and there, most recently appearing in the movie Rolling Thunder. She lives in LA with Vinnie Tortorich, a fitness instructor and podcaster.
Must we introduce her? The Netherlands-born actress moved to the US at the age of 20 to begin a career as a fashion model. She transitioned to an acting career in the 90s. Her breakthrough role came in 1995’s Golden Eye, alongside Pierce Brosnan, in what was his first Bond film. She played Xenia Onatopp.
Since then, the Dutch model has had quite a successful acting and modeling career. She’s been featured on more than 100 magazine covers and played a superhero, Dr. Jean Gray, in the X-men film series, and Lenore Mills in the Taken film trilogy. And seriously, does this woman age?
This French-born brunette beauty unsurprisingly acted and modeled from a young age. Her career has spanned years, and she’s starred in more than 50 films since 1977.
She made her Bond girl debut when she starred alongside Lynn-Holly Johnson and Roger Moore, in For Your Eyes Only. She played the deadly Melina Havelock.
Maria Grazia Cucinotta
Of course, “Cigar Girl” from The World Is Not Enough made it onto our list. Italian-born Cucinotta has been acting since the early 90s, and it’s quite clear from her looks why people flock to the theaters to see her.
She is well known in Italy as an actress and has received a star on the Italian Walk of Fame in Toronto.
The Japanese actress, Mie Hama played a ninja and head of the Japanese secret service in the film You Only Live Twice. Hama, or Kissy Suzuki as she was known in the film shot to fame shortly after the movie but soon found herself weary of the business. In a 2017 New York Times article. Hama wrote about her need to quit acting and pursue other passions.
Those passions included writing 14 books, hosting popular television shows, and becoming involved in the preservation of ancient farming techniques. That's a lot of interests!
In Quantum of Solace, one of Daniel Craig's most successful Bond films, Kurylenko plays Camilla Montes, a Bolivian national who seeks to avenge her murdered family. Olga Kurylenko, who is actually French-Ukrainian, found success through acting in this very role. Prior to that, since age 13, she was modeling in Moscow.
Since her 2008 Bond film debut, the actress has starred in a series of top-notch action blockbusters, such as The Water Diviner, and Oblivion (alongside Tom Crusie). She currently has several projects lined up to look out for.
French psychologist, Madeleine Swann, and Bond find themselves in some sticky situations in SPECTRE and later in No Time to Die. This Bond Girl was played by none other than Léa Seydoux. The French actress has racked up an impressive list of films, both in French art films and major Hollywood blockbusters like Inglourious Basterds (2009), Robin Hood (2010), and Midnight in Paris (2011). Let's not forget her very controversial role in Blue is the Warmest Color for which she won the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Talk about versatility!
There is no doubt that Bond fans would love to see her reprise her role as Madeleine Swann. But that might be down the line. The French actress now lives with her longtime boyfriend, André Meyer. They had their first child on 18 January 2017.
Moneypenny has been around since the very beginning of the Bond franchise as 007's sassy secretary. While there have been many great actresses to take on this role, Naomi Harris is one of our top contenders. The English actress is originally of Jamaican and Nigerian descent. After dreaming of acting, Harris got her to start on the British sci-fi series, The Tomorrow People.
Harris also portrayed Nelson Mandela's wife, Winnie Mandela in the film biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. The English actress was also nominated for an Academy Award for the critically acclaimed film Moonlight. Harris stars in No Time to Die, which was released in 2021.
Miss Taro was the villainous secretary of Dr. No. In the 1962 film, aptly Dr. No, she treacherously tries to assassinate poor James Bond but he quickly wises up to her plan. The woman that brought named this character to life was English-Kenyan actress, Zena Marshall. Marshall was famous for her exotic looks and often portrayed ethnically ambiguous women.
The actress's final performance was in The Terrornauts in 1967. She was married four times until she eventually settled down with the British screenwriter, Ivan Foxwell. Marshall died in 2009 after a long battle with cancer.
After the success of the legendary Bond girl, Fiona Volpe, the writers tried to recreate her in the form of Helga Brandt. The German actress, Karin Dor played this unforgettable Bond girl in the 1967 James Bond classic, You Only Live Twice. In the role, she plays a SPECTRE henchwoman who, you guessed it, tries to kill the beloved spy.
Dor also appeared in a series of German films by the creator Edgar Wallace (Krimis from Kriminalfilm). It was there that she met her first husband- director, Harald Reinl, with whom she had her first and only child. In later years Dor grew increasingly wary of film sets and began opting for more and more stage productions. The actress passed away at 79 in a nursing home in Munich on November 6, 2017.
In the 2008 film Quantum of Solace, a beautiful MI6 office worker, Strawberry Fields, is tasked with ensuring that Bond gets on his plane back home. She inevitably fails and the drama ensues. Since this role, Arterton has earned herself parts in a string of hit films such as Clash of the Titans (2010), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013).
As far as romantic relationships are concerned, The English actress was married to Stefano Catelli but divorced him after two years. She has stated that she is not ready the "walk to down the aisle for the second time". In 2019, however, she began a relationship with actor Rory Keenan. She continues to do films, TV, and even voice acting.
The poker-playing Italian vixen, Solange Dimitrios is unforgettable in her red dress in the 2008 film, Casino Royale. This Bond girl is played by the Italian actress, Caterina Murino. The starlet made her film debut in the hit French film, The Corsican File in 2004. She has since starred in quite a few foreign films, many of which are predominantly French.
The actress won an award at the Cairo International Film Festival Prize for Best Actress as well as a European Golden Globe at the 2008 Italian Golden Globe Award for her role in Casino Royale.
Ana de Armas
Cuban-Spanish actress Ana de Armas appears in the 2020 James Bond film, No Time to Die. De Armas shot to fame after her role in the Spanish film Una rosa de Francia. After gaining a name for herself in European cinema, Armas starred in the 2017 remake of Blade Runner — Blade Runner 2049, a film that got her international recognition.
In 2011, the actress married famous Spanish actor Mark Clotlet but sadly, the two divorced two years later. While de Armas might be going through some bad luck romantically, career-wise she is on fire. She is set to portray Marylin Monroe in the Netflix-produced film titled "Blonde".
Pierce Brosnan is best known for his tenure as James Bond – an outing that invites heated, divisive discussions. Many write off his acting as inferior to Daniel Craig and Sean Connery. In reality, the incredible Brosnan made the role his own. “Golden Eye” successfully revived an otherwise failing Bond franchise. Plus, no other Bond has had a license to kill and lived up to it.
Brosnan as Bond had the most number of kills at 135. He also brought a unique suaveness to the character. Off-screen, however, Brosnan is a devoted family man and environmentalist. Discover the man behind the 007 legacies and his phenomenal career so far.
Pierce Brendan Brosnan was born on May 16, 1953, in County Louth, Ireland, to Thomas Brosnan and May (née Smith). Brosnan never knew his father (a carpenter), who upped and left when he was an infant. After Thomas abandoned the family, his mother moved to London to find work as a nurse and provide for her son.
For most of his childhood, Brosnan lived with his grandparents and grew up in County Meath, which he considers his home. He would later describe this period as a happy but relatively solitary childhood.
Growing Up in Politically-Turbulent Times
Brosnan’s mother made the courageous decision to go away to London on her own when being Catholic was a dangerous thing. She endured plenty of hardship as an unmarried Irish Woman in the city.
But May was determined to make a better life for herself and her son. She worked hard, making up for the absence of a father figure in her son’s life. May visited once or twice a year to meet her son and his grandparents.
An Unhappy School Life
When his grandparents passed away, Brosnan lived with an uncle and aunt. Soon enough, his relatives no longer had room for him. A young Brosnan ended up boarding at a less-affluent part of town. During this time, he attended a school run by the De La Salle or Christian brothers, whom he would later call “bitter” and “dreadful human beings.”
He said he had learned nothing from the brothers except shame. A young Brosnan despised his education, particularly the institution’s hypocrisy and cruelty towards children.
He Leaves Ireland
On August 12, 1964, Brosnan left Ireland to reunite with his mother, who now lived in Scotland. She had married William Carmichael, a World War II veteran, and the couple lived in an idyllic Scottish village called Longniddrie. Brosnan and Carmichael warmed up to each other, and he quickly became the father figure the boy never had.
An 11-year-old Brosnan watched a James Bond film for the first time with his new dad. A few years later, the family moved back to London, where Brosnan attended Elliott School in Putney, West London.
His Move From Ireland to England
Life in England was remarkably different for a boy accustomed to a quiet life in rural Ireland. From a small school with about seven classrooms to one with over 2,000 children, city life proved surreal for a young Brosnan.
Things moved incredibly fast. Brosnan’s deep sense of being an outsider intensified since his schoolmates never let him forget he was Irish. “Irish” was, in fact, the nickname they gave him at school.
He Worked Unconventional Jobs Before Finding Theater
Brosnan left school at age 16, wanting to become an artist. He enrolled in Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design to train in commercial illustration. In 1969, Brosnan walked into the Oval House for training and chanced on an intriguing workshop.
A fire eater was training his women students to put flames across his chest. Brosnan was fascinated, immediately signing up to learn how to be a fire eater! His smoking hot act eventually caught the attention of a circus worker who hired him for three years. The same agent fixed him up at a drama center that would kickstart his acting career.
Brosnan Finds His Calling
After a wildly successful stint as a fire eater, the talented Brosnan trained for three years at the Drama Center in London. Becoming an actor would have the most profound impact on his life.
Even when he was starting, acting, for Brosnan, was freedom — his avenue into a new life. He was deeply passionate about the craft and enjoyed it. Brosnan knew he was born to do this, and soon enough, the world would know it too.
He Meets Cassandra Harris
Shortly after leaving drama school, Brosnan met Australian actor Cassandra Harris at a mutual friend’s house, and the two hit it off. Brosnan wanted to spend more time with her. He never planned to woo her, but their chemistry was undeniable.
The duo began dating and bought a small house together in Wembley. Brosnan and Harris married in December 1980 and 3 years later, welcomed a third member of the family – their son, Sean, who later became an actor.
Brosnan’s Early Acting Career
After graduating from the Drama Center, Brosnan took up an acting assistant stage manager job at the York Theater Royal. He made his acting debut in “Wait Until Dark” (1976). Six months later, the distinguished playwright Tennessee Williams selected Brosnan for the UK premiere of “The Red Devil Battery” (1977).
Brosnan portrayed the role of McCabe, and his stellar performance became the talk of London. Williams reportedly sent Brosnan a telegram after the show with just these words — "Thank God for you, my dear boy."
On Working With Tennessee Williams
What was it like working with Tennessee Williams? Brosnan recounted how the part did not work out for another actor. He received a call saying Tennessee Williams wanted to see him immediately. Brosnan ran out of his flat and onto a bus.
Halfway there, he got off the bus and ran since it was moving too slowly. Brosnan finally got to Williams’s apartment and read through two powerful scenes. Despite his heart pounding, Brosnan decided to let it fly – and he got the job.
His Early Film Career
Brosnan’s acting career continued to take off after his phenomenal stage debut, and it was not long before the actor caught the eye of film directors. He eventually moved to films and made brief appearances in movies such as “The Long Good Friday” (1980) and “The Mirror Crack'd” (1980).
Brosnan also made his foray into British television around this time. Some of his early works include appearances on “The Professionals” (1980), “Play for Today” (1970-1984), and “Murphy’s Stroke” (1980).
Pierce and Cassandra lived with Harris’s three children from her previous marriage – whom Brosnan later adopted when their father died. He worried about making ends meet and providing for his family. During this period, he supplemented his income by appearing in television films and working in a company called West End productions.
Things began looking up when Harris was offered the role of a Bond girl in “For Your Eyes Only” (1981). The couple took a bank loan and moved to Southern California, after which Brosnan auditioned for several TV roles.
Pierce Brosnan – U.S. TV Phenomenon
Brosnan’s career as a TV star took off in earnest with a leading role in the popular miniseries “Manions of America” (1981). The series showcased the story of an Irish farmer who immigrated to America following the Great Famine in England. In 1982, the actor followed this up with a stellar performance in a Masterpiece Theater documentary on Lady Nancy Astor – the first woman MP in the British Parliament.
Brosnan’s memorable performance as Robert Gould Shaw II earned him a 1985 Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Brosnan as the Charming Remington Steele
The actor moved to Southern California in 1982, marking the start of his massive popularity in the United States. Brosnan played the leading role in the NBC detective series “Remington Steele” (1982), winning hearts and legions of fans as the charming detective.
That same year, the Washington Post prophetically noted how the actor could be a shoo-in to play a young James Bond. “Remington Steele” wrapped up in 1987, and Brosnan continued appearing in several films such as “The Fourth Protocol” (1987), “The Deceivers” (1988), and “The Lawnmower Man” (1992).
He Meets His Father
Brosnan briefly reunited with his father while he was filming for “Remington Steele” in Ireland. The two met at the hotel Brosnan was staying in at the time. The meeting was very public and did not allow them to reconnect as much as Brosnan would have liked.
He later expressed regret that he could not meet his father privately on his terms. Although circumstances were not ideal, it was a reunion for the ages.
The Rise of Pierce Brosnan
The ‘90s saw the actor consolidate his career in film. In 1992, he shot an NBC pilot called “Running Wilde,” where he played a reporter. The pilot featured Jennifer Love Hewitt as his daughter, but it unfortunately never aired.
In 1993, he played a supporting role in the hugely popular film “Mrs. Doubtfire.” The actor also appeared in several other films, including “Death Train” (1993) and “Night Watch” (1995), a thriller set in Hong Kong.
The Makings of James Bond
Brosnan and James Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli first met on the sets of “For Your Eyes Only.” Roger Moore had played James Bond, and Broccoli was looking for another actor to inherit the role. On meeting Brosnan, the producer reportedly said that he might have found his guy – provided Brosnan could act.
Film circles were also abuzz about Brosnan inheriting another Roger Moore role – that of Simon Templar. The whispering and gossip continued, but nothing concrete happened on either front.
Brosnan Declines the Role of 007
Casting for the next James Bond kicked off in earnest by the later ‘60s. In 1986, producers approached Timothy Dalton for the role, but the actor declined due to ongoing commitments. Broccoli screen-tested several other actors without any success.
On learning that “Remington Steele” was about to end, Broccoli offered the role to Brosnan. The publicity ended up reviving “Remington Steele”, and Brosnan had to decline the role of James Bond.
Brosnan Becomes the Fifth James Bond
Since Brosnan was not available, Broccoli once again offered the James Bond role to Timothy Dalton, who subsequently appeared in “The Living Daylights” (1987) and “License to Kill” (1989). A third Dalton film was in the works, but producers had to cancel it over legal issues.
With that, the James Bond franchise went on a six-year hiatus. When producers finally began working on “Golden Eye,” they wrote the film with Dalton in mind, but the actor turned it down. The producers reverted to Plan A, and on June 1994, they announced Brosnan as the fifth actor to play 007.
A Second Chance at Love
Brosnan and Harris spent 17 beautiful years together until she tragically passed away in 1991. Brosnan found love again in 1994 when he met journalist Keely Shaye Smith during a trip to Mexico. The two crossed paths by chance and started dating shortly after.
After dating for three years, the happy couple welcomed a son, Dylan Thomas, in January 1997. Five years later, Smith gave birth to their second child, Paris Beckett. The pair finally tied the knot at Ballintubber Abbey, Ireland, in 2010.
“Golden Eye” and Brosnan’s Debut as James Bond
Brosnan made his debut as James Bond in “Golden Eye” (1995) to tremendous critical and commercial acclaim. Critics praised the actor for his natural wit and charm, calling him “a decided improvement” over his predecessor, Timothy Dalton.
“Golden Eye” was the first of a four-film franchise starring Brosnan as 007. It grossed a whopping $350 million worldwide and became the most successful Bond film.
Subsequent Bond Movies and Other Projects
Apart from playing the iconic role of 007, Brosnan also formed a film production company during this period. The actor partnered with Beau St. Clair in 1996 and founded “Irish DreamTime.” In 1999, the company released its first project, “The Thomas Crown Affair,” which received rave reviews from fans and critics alike.
Brosnan obviously returned as Bond in the blockbusters “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997) and “The World Is Not Enough” (1999). In 2002, Brosnan portrayed James Bond for the fourth time in “Die Another Day.” Would the actor appear in a fifth Bond film? When interviewed, Brosnan revealed he was keen to do another.
He Appears in Several Films
When Brosnan accepted the role of James Bond, he asked EON productions to allow him to work on other projects between the Bond movies. Subsequently, Brosnan appeared in other mainstream movies – including the ones he produced.
For every Bond film, the actor appeared in at least two other movies. Some of his appearances during this period included Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks” (1996), “Dante’s Peak” (1997), and “Grey Owl” (1999).
A Fifth Bond Film — Will He or Won’t He?
Soon after “Die Another Day” was released, media speculation was rife about whether Brosnan would reprise the role of James Bond for the fifth time. The actor was hopeful since there was precedent. Sean Connery had previously done six Bond films. Brosnan also knew that one actor playing the same role for too long wasn’t the best idea.
Case in point, Roger Moore, who played James Bond until age 58 – earning him flak from critics and fans. Still, Brosnan remained enthusiastic and touched by the overwhelming public support for a potential fifth film.
Pierce Brosnan, OBE
In 2003, Brosnan received an honorary OBE from the late Queen Elizabeth II for "outstanding contribution to the British film industry." Brosnan was not eligible to receive full OBE honors owing to his Irish citizenship. This honor is unfortunately reserved only for citizens of the Commonwealth countries.
Shortly after, Brosnan also received honorary degrees from two institutions — the Dublin Institute of Technology in 2003 and the University College Cork in 2004.
The 007 Video Games
During his time with the James Bond film franchise, Brosnan appeared not only in the films but also in several Bond video games. Game creators used Brosnan’s likeness for “Nightfire.” He became the face of James Bond in the popular video game while Maxwell Caulfield voiced the character.
In 2004, Brosnan starred in another Bond game called “Everything or Nothing.” The game used his likeness and voice work for the character.
Brosnan Is “Finished” With Bond
Throughout 2004, fans hoped to hear confirmation that Brosnan would reprise the role for the fifth time. Nobody could have anticipated what was coming. Rumors spread about negotiations breaking down. Producers allegedly wanted to bring in someone new, possibly younger, but continued denying the claims.
In July 2004, Brosnan officially announced that he was quitting, stating that he was moving on to new things and the role was another lifetime ago. Many people correctly presumed this statement was an outcome of failed negotiations.
He Was Fired Without Ceremony
Brosnan’s feelings about not reprising the role of James Bond emerged a few months later. In October 2004, Brosnan revealed that the producers had fired him — completely blindsiding the actor who, until then, believed negotiations were proceeding as planned.
Brosnan posted on his website about the end of his tenure as Bond but looked forward to seeing Daniel Craig as the new James Bond. Craig officially took over the role of 007 on October 14, 2005.
Why He Was Fired
The dismissal from the Bond films came as a shock to Brosnan. He was filming in the Bahamas when his agent called to say negotiations for the fifth Bond film had stopped. A few days later, Brosnan and producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson spoke on the phone. They said they were sorry. He had been a great James Bond.
A shocked Brosnan slowly realized he had been kicked to the curb. Some sources believed the negotiations fell apart because Brosnan asked for too much money. The producers decided to take a new approach to the character, with Daniel Craig playing a grittier 007.
Post-Bond Film Appearances
Life after Bond was far from quiet for the inimitable Pierce Brosnan. He appeared in several films, playing roles distinctly unlike the character that had come to define him. Brosnan played Daniel Rafferty in “Laws of Attraction” (2004) – his first big film appearance after the Bond franchise.
Brosnan received critical acclaim for the role. The next film, “After the Sunset” (2004), opposite Salma Hayek, did not do as well and it received overwhelmingly negative reviews from fans and critics.
He Becomes a U.S. Citizen
Brosnan became a citizen of the United States in 2004 but chose to retain his Irish citizenship. During an interview, Brosnan shared that Irishness would forever be in his blood. He said the Irish spirit defines who he is as a man, father, and actor.
When a fan asked if it annoyed him that people thought he was English, the actor responded that it did not bother him. Yet, it amused him how a dyed-in-the-wool Irishman like him could be confused for an Englishman!
The Politics of Pierce Brosnan
When he’s not acting, Brosnan is a vocal advocate for numerous causes. He supported John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential elections and he is also an outspoken advocate for many controversial issues. Among the matters closest to him is environmental conservation.
The actor has worked closely with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). He also partnered with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to prevent the construction of a proposed salt factory at Laguna San Ignacio.
One Of His Best Performances Yet
Brosnan next appeared in a film called “The Matador” (2004). The film – a critical and commercial success – saw Brosnan play Julian Noble – a cynical assassin who encounters a traveling salesman in a bar. Critics went so far as to call his performance the best of his career yet.
“The Matador” earned Brosnan a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical Comedy. He eventually lost to Joaquin Phoenix, who won the award for “Walk the Line” (2005).
A Series of Hits And Misses
Brosnan's next film was “Seraphim Falls” (2006) in which he starred alongside fellow Irish actor Liam Neeson. Set in post-Civil War America, the film appeared to be an homage to old Western films, with the plot focusing on a bounty hunt for a Union soldier.
The film debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006 and was released in US theatres for limited screenings in 2007. It received lukewarm reviews, despite the combined acting prowess of Brosnan and Neeson, who critics described as “fine adversaries” on screen.
Pierce Brosnan, the Artist
Most people know that Brosnan trained as an artist early on but shifted to acting, which was his true calling. But the actor took up painting again during his first wife’s battle with a severe medical condition. After withdrawing from acting to care for her, Brosnan began painting as therapy.
He continued painting even after Harris’s death. Profits from sales of his artwork have gone to a trust that supports environmental, women’s health, and children’s charities. To honor his wife’s memory, Brosnan is a passionate advocate for cancer awareness, serving as a spokesperson for various breast cancer charities and fundraisers.
Brosnan Campaigns for Marine Conservation and Wins
In 2007, Brosnan won a significant fight in the battle for the environment. The actor, with fellow celebrities such as Halle Berry, Daryl Hannah, and Cindy Crawford, successfully campaigned against the proposed Cabrillo Port Liquefied Natural Gas facility. The proposed plan to build the facility off the coast of Malibu posed grave threats to marine life in the area.
After reviewing the proposal, the State Lands Commission denied permission for construction. In May 2007, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger officially vetoed the facility.
Pierce Brosnan Cannot Sing!
In 2008, Brosnan starred alongside Meryl Streep in “Mamma Mia!”, the film adaption of the ABBA musical. He played Sam Carmichael, one of the three men who could be Sophie’s (Amanda Seyfried) father. Brosnan allegedly trained for the role by singing karaoke while walking up and down the coast for weeks.
He followed it up with rehearsals in New York. Still, however, his singing was sadly not up to par with his acting talents. Critics disparaged his vocal abilities or lack thereof, saying that his singing sounded like a wounded raccoon or a water buffalo.
He Opens Up About Life After Losing His First Wife
Following his first wife’s passing, the actor opened up about coping with loss. In a 2008 interview, Brosnan explained that he began to view everything differently after his wife was diagnosed with her illness — from everyday routine to how he viewed life.
He shared how the family cherished every moment with her, and how she was incredibly positive and energetic until the very end.
Brosnan’s Troubles With an Indian Breath Freshener Brand
In 2016, Brosnan found himself embroiled in an unlikely controversy with an Indian brand called “Pan Bahar.” The actor had featured in an advertising campaign for “pan masala,” a traditional Indian post-meal breath freshener. The mixture usually contains spices, seeds, herbs, and nuts wrapped in betel leaf. His involvement became controversial because pan masala consumption had never been considered a healthy habit in India.
Many experts linked pan masala consumption to tobacco addiction which could cause medical conditions. Brosnan issued an apology, saying the company had never disclosed the harmful effects of pan consumption.
His Daughter, Charlotte, Passes Away
In 2017, Brosnan's daughter Charlotte tragically passed away from the same disease that had taken her mother, Cassandra, in 1991. Charlotte was 41 and left behind her husband, Alex, and two children, Isabella and Lucas.
A year earlier, Brosnan had opened up about starring in “Love Is All You Need” (2012). It was a hauntingly personal film where he played a widower in love with a hairdresser suffering from a disease.
On Being a Family Man
During a 2018 interview with Closer, Brosnan shared his views on finding the right partner. He opened up about being a married man for most of his life, and that’s how he liked it. Contrary to his 007 persona, Brosnan had always been a one-woman man.
He shared how he’s all about trusting and following his heart and relying on a strong woman in his life. His equally-smitten wife said that the best part about Brosnan was his intelligence and beautiful soul.
His Take on a Female 007
In 2019, Brosnan caused a stir for endorsing the idea of a female 007. When asked by The Hollywood Reporter if he thought men should get out of the way, he agreed unequivocally – saying the guys had done it for over four decades. A female 007 would be exhilarating.
But Brosnan believed the idea might not see the light of day under the present custodians of Ian Fleming’s character. He was referring to Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson of EON Productions.
His Foray Into OTT
Brosnan’s next appearance was for a supporting role in Netflix’s “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,” (2020). The film was supposed to coincide with the 2020 contest but production stalled. Given his infamous performance in “Mamma Mia!,” some quarters were keen to know if he would sing again.
Brosnan’s singing had been so memorable that it earned him the 2009 Razzie for worst supporting actor. In an interview for the Guardian in 2020, Brosnan good-naturedly quipped that he was “crestfallen” at not getting the chance to sing on screen again.
On Mrs. Doubtfire and Robin Williams
During a 2020 interview, Brosnan shared how he found the strength to keep acting after his wife died. Landing a role in “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993) was a pivotal moment. Any actor would want to look back and have a handful of films they were proud to participate in.
“Mrs. Doubtfire” was that film for Brosnan. He spoke fondly of the late Robin Williams, who greeted him in a makeup trailer in full Mrs. Doubtfire makeup!
On Working With Roman Polanski
In 2010, Brosnan portrayed the role of a fictional British Prime Minister accused of war crimes in Roman Polanski’s “The Ghost Writer.” Brosnan took on the part due to Polanski’s body of work as a director and artist.
In an interview decades later, the actor was asked whether he would make the same choices. He said he did not know. Back then, he did not allow the director’s personal life to influence his artistic choices. Things were different today.
He Stars in “Cinderella”
In 2021, Brosnan played the role of King Rowan in “Cinderella” – Amazon Prime’s bold retelling of an ancient tale. In an online interview, Brosnan shares how he loved the fresh take on his character. The actor believed producers had taken an old story and created something empowering and beautiful for the modern woman.
The musical featured the likes of Camilla Cabello, Idina Menzel, and Billy Porter. Despite the star-studded cast, there were sadly no takers for the girl power version of “Cinderella.”
His Advice to Daniel Craig
“No Time to Die” (2020) was Daniel Craig’s fifth outing as Bond, with previous films being “Casino Royale” (2006), “Quantum of Solace” (2008), “Skyfall” (2012), and “Spectre” (2015). During a 2021 interview, Craig revealed that Pierce Brosnan’s advice saw him through every Bond film.
All he said was, “Enjoy it. It’s a ride.” Craig quickly realized that was all he could do while embodying the iconic role. Brosnan also congratulated Daniel at a watch party for the film, saying he had done a magnificent job.
He Defends His Wife Against Body Shaming
Brosnan has never shied away from expressing his love for his wife. And he does not take kindly to people bullying her. Social media trolls discovered this the hard way when he defended Smith from fat shaming online. A Facebook user shared two before and after pictures of the couple, with some comments suggesting weight loss surgery for the mother of two.
Shockingly, the comments advocating surgery came from friends and family. The user deleted the post, but not before Brosnan rose to his wife’s defense. He wrote how he always sought to be worthy of her love, calling her “the most beautiful woman.”
James Bond Joins the DC Universe
In 2022, the DC Extended Universe announced the release of the highly anticipated “Black Adam” movie, with Dwayne Johnson in the starring role. Pierce Brosnan was joining the DCEU as the magical superhero, Doctor Fate. The former 007 is no stranger to action-oriented work. But his role as the Kent Nelson incarnation of Doctor Fate was intriguing.
Producers knew Brosnan was perfect for the part. “You need a special actor to play, basically, a legend. Dr. Fate is a very powerful being, so you need someone like Pierce who can play powerful without it being overly done,” said director Jaume Collet-Serra.
Pierce Brosnan Is Unrecognisable in “The Rifleman”
In 2022, online publications released the first pictures from the set of Brosnan’s new film, “The Rifleman.” Brosnan plays an 89-year-old World War II veteran who escapes from his care home in Northern Ireland. His character journeys to France to pay his respects to his wife, who lost her life during the war.
Pictures showed Brosnan in facial prosthetics and a balding, grey wig for the part. The film is based on a true story about Bernard Jordan, who made the pilgrimage to France in 2014.