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Pierce Brosnan's 5 Children: Everything He's Shared About Parenting

by Tasha Mayberry


The actor famous for portraying James Bond is a father to five children. He has his late daughter Charlotte and sons Christopher, 51, and Sean, 40, from his marriage to the late actress Cassandra Harris. With his wife Keely Shaye Smith, he has sons Dylan, 27, and Paris, 23. “My fatherly instincts are completely my own,” he explained to Esquire in 2017. Raised by his maternal grandparents after his father departed in his infancy and his mother moved to London for work when he was just four, Pierce noted, “They relate back to no one, because there was no one. I only met [my dad] the once. … I had a Sunday afternoon with him.” His primary aim has always been to ensure his children “feel like they belong” and “know the love of family,” as he shared with Reader’s Digest in 2008. He is acutely aware of how valuable his time with his children is.

The loss of his wife Cassandra in 1991 and daughter Charlotte in 2013, both to ovarian cancer, heightened this awareness. “[Life] can be snatched away without any prior warning, so why waste it?” he expressed to The Herald in 2015. “That’s why I cherish my wonderful, beautiful family, my children and my grandchildren.” Pierce also imparted key skills for success to his children— “preparation, passion, confidence, showing up on time,” Dylan recounted—yet he advises them against pursuing his own career. “Just because [acting is] f—— hard work,” he confessed to GQ in 2022. “It’s a cross to bear. You’re constructing and destroying yourself.” Here’s a deeper look into Pierce Brosnan’s children and his insights on parenting through the years.

Charlotte Brosnan

Charlotte Emily Brosnan (née Harris) was born on November 27, 1971, in London to Cassandra and Dermot Harris, the brother of actor Richard Harris. After Cassandra and Dermot divorced in 1978, Cassandra married Pierce Brosnan in 1980. Following Dermot’s passing in 1986, Pierce adopted Charlotte and her younger brother, Christopher, who both then took his surname.

Family friend Nancy Ellison affectionately referred to Pierce’s nickname for his daughter as the “custodian of laughter,” celebrating how he could always make Charlotte laugh. Ellison recalled Charlotte as “a bubbly, almost kind of goofy, gorgeous girl. She pursued her education at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and initially worked as an actress before dedicating herself to her family.

Charlotte was just 20 when her mother succumbed to ovarian cancer. Reflecting on the profound loss, Pierce remarked to PEOPLE in 1992, “There is an incredible cruelty in it all, losing a person you shared everything with,” describing the experience as “overwhelming.” He also mentioned speaking to his daughter daily over the phone, saying, “You just feel more deeply now. You hug more deeply, you love more deeply.”

Charlotte and her longtime partner, Alex Smith, had two children, Isabella and Lucas. The couple married in June 2013, but tragically, just weeks after their wedding, Charlotte passed away from the same cancer that claimed her mother, at the age of 41. Charlotte fought her cancer with grace and humanity, courage and dignity,” Pierce told PEOPLE at that time. “Our hearts are heavy with the loss of our beautiful dear girl.”

In 2014, at a Stand Up To Cancer fundraiser, Pierce spoke about the painful experiences of losing his wife and daughter to ovarian cancer. As reported by Entertainment Tonight, he shared, “To watch someone you love have his or her life eaten away bit by bit by this insidious disease, that part of your sorrow becomes an indelible part of your psyche. I held the generous, strong, beautiful hand of my first wife Cassie as ovarian cancer took her life much too soon. Just last year, I held the hand of my funny, wonderful daughter Charlotte before she, too, died from this wretched inherited disease.”

Christopher Brosnan

Christopher Ivan Brosnan was born to Cassandra and Dermot Harris on November 11, 1972, in London. Like his older sister Charlotte, he was adopted by Pierce Brosnan during his teenage years. Christopher was 19 when his mother passed away. “I can see the pain in Christopher’s eyes, the absence in his heart for his mother,” Pierce revealed to PEOPLE in 1992. He pursued higher education in screenwriting at UCLA and directing at the New York Film Academy, according to a 2006 press release. Early in his career, Chris contributed to the production side of several of his father’s films, including Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, and The Thomas Crown Affair. In 2006, he was featured on Celebrity Love Island. Today, Christopher maintains a private lifestyle. In a 2022 Father’s Day post on Instagram, Pierce shared a photo and included Chris in his heartfelt caption, saying, “My love forever to you dear sons, Paris, Dylan, Sean, and Christopher. Thank you deeply for your love ❤️ on this Father’s Day.

Sean Brosnan

Pierce and Cassandra welcomed their son Sean William Brosnan on September 13, 1983, in Los Angeles. Sean was eight years old when his mother passed away, a moment he later described on the podcast Inner Space with Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen. “I remember the day my dad told me she passed, and it was a few days after Christmas,” he recounted. “He started to cry, but I didn’t cry. I was comforting him.”

It took “maybe six months later” for the reality to sink in that his mom was not coming back. “That is when it transitioned into anger,” he revealed. This anger impacted his behavior at school; Sean mentioned he went from being a “somewhat popular” kid to becoming an outcast. “It was pretty lonely and pretty isolating,” he noted, adding that he began experimenting with drugs around that time. Things escalated when Sean, at 16, was involved in a serious car accident—a trauma that led to an addiction to painkillers. “I broke my back and shattered my tailbone, my pelvis in five places, my left femur,” he explained to Van Dahlen. “I pretty much had to learn how to walk again. I tasted opioids for the first time in the hospital.”

Sean graduated from the Central School of Speech and Drama with aspirations to follow in his father’s acting footsteps. He performed with the now-defunct British Shakespeare Company and appeared in roles on MTV’s Dubplate Drama and in A West Texas Children’s Story with Val Kilmer, all while battling his addiction.

Dylan Brosnan

Pierce and his now-wife Keely Shaye Smith celebrated the arrival of their son Dylan Thomas Brosnan on January 13, 1997, in Los Angeles. Dylan spent his childhood in Kauai, Hawaii, and as a teenager, he began dividing his time between the island and Malibu, California. “Kids would be like, ‘Oh, yeah — you’re that guy. I went to fifth grade with you for, like, one week and then you left,'” he shared with GQ in September 2022 about his unique childhood.

Dylan’s early years also included visits to his father’s film sets. During a live chat on PEOPLE’s Instagram in 2021, Pierce asked Dylan, “Do you remember coming down to the James Bond set [for] Die Another Day?” Dylan replied, “That was really cool. I was really young, but I loved the cars … and you had the cars, you had the hovercrafts, and I was really obsessed with the hovercrafts.”

Pierce humorously noted that Dylan was more enthralled with the vehicles than the filming of an action sequence. “I had to dive and weave my way through this minefield, and I always remember standing there thinking, ‘There’s my boy. There’s Dylan,'” he recalled. “I could see you across the lot in this massive moment that was about to happen. … And I got to the end of it and I said, ‘How was it?’ And you said, ‘Are the cars okay, Daddy?'”

Now grown up, Dylan graduated from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts in spring 2020. He has since established himself as a filmmaker, with several projects under his belt, including Western Stars with Bruce Springsteen and the docu-series Willie Nelson & Family. He also worked on the 2023 short film So Many Dreams about his father.

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Pierce Brosnan may be a Hollywood heartthrob (even at age 70), but he truly excels in his roles as a devoted dad and husband. He tied the knot with Keely Shaye Brosnan (née Smith) in 2001 after they first crossed paths in 1994. Together, they have two sons, Dylan and Paris. Keely, a former model and actress who has worked in television and film, later transitioned to become an on-air correspondent, advocating for environmentalism and animal rights. In 2016, she stepped behind the camera to direct the film Poisoning Paradise, which highlights the toxic environmental practices in Kauai, Hawaii, where she and Pierce reside part of the year.

After more than two decades together, Keely and Pierce’s romance continues to thrive. We like each other a lot. We love each other a lot,” the Dante’s Peak star shared with Fox News in December 2023. “Watching someone grow up with you and grow old with you is a very spiritual journey. To watch each other change… whatever it may be, the hair, the waist. But it’s the love in the heart.” Continue reading for all the details about Pierce Brosnan’s wife, Keely Shaye Brosnan.