Pierce Brendan Brosnan, OBE is best known as Remington Steele and as the fifth actor to play James Bond. Brosnan broke role as a dashing dramatic actor with his portrayal of played Sam Carmichael, one of three men rumored to be the father of lead Amanda Seyfried, in the 2005 hit Mamma Mia!
Brosnan's preparation in singing in Mamma Mia! included walking up and down the coast and singing karaoke to his own voice for about six weeks, followed by rehearsals in New York in which he noted he "sounded dreadful."
Brosnan was born in Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland. Brosnan was mostly raised by his grandparents. Brosnan left Ireland in August 1964 and was reunited with his mother and her new husband, a British World War II veteran, William Carmichael, who took Brosnan to see the James Bond film Goldfinger, at the age of 11.
After leaving school at 16, he decided to be a painter and began training in commercial illustration at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. He later trained for three years as an actor at the Drama Centre London.
After graduating from the Drama Centre in 1975, Brosnan began working as an acting assistant stage manager at the York Theatre Royal, making his acting debut in Wait Until Dark. Within six months, he was selected by playwright Tennessee Williams to play the role of McCabe in the British première of The Red Devil Battery Sign. In 1977 he was picked by Franco Zeffirelli to appear in the play Filumena by Eduardo De Filippo opposite Joan Plowright and Frank Finlay.
He continued his career making brief appearances in films such as The Long Good Friday and The Mirror Crack'd in 1980, as well as early television performances in The Professionals, Murphy's Stroke, and Play for Today. He became a television star in the United States with his leading role in the popular miniseries Manions of America.
He followed this with his 1982 Masterpiece Theatre documentary that chronicled the life of Lady Nancy Astor, the first woman to sit in British Parliament. His portrayal of Robert Gould Shaw II garnered him a 1985 Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
In 1982, Brosnan moved to Southern California and rose to popularity in the United States playing the title role in the NBC romantic detective series Remington Steele.
After Remington Steele ended in 1987, Brosnan went on to appear in several films, including The Fourth Protocol, The Deceivers, James Clavell's Noble House, and The Lawnmower Man. In 1993 he played a supporting role in the comedy film Mrs. Doubtfire. He also appeared in several television films, including Victim of Love, Death Train and Night Watch.
In June 1994, Brosnan was announced as the fifth actor to play Bond. Brosnan was signed for a three-film Bond deal with the option of a fourth. The first, 1995's GoldenEye, grossed US $350 million worldwide, the fourth highest worldwide gross of any film in 1995, making it the most successful Bond film since Moonraker.
Brosnan returned in 1997's Tomorrow Never Dies and 1999's The World Is Not Enough, which were also successful. In 2002, Brosnan appeared for his fourth time as Bond in Die Another Day, receiving mixed reviews but was a success at the box office.
For every Bond film, Brosnan appeared in at least two other mainstream films, including several he produced, playing a wide range of roles, ranging from a scientist in Tim Burton's Mars Attacks!, to the title role in Grey Owl which documents the life of Englishman Archibald Stansfeld Belaney, one of Canada's first conservationists.
In 2008, Brosnan joined Meryl Streep in the film adaption of the ABBA musical Mamma Mia! He played Sam Carmichael, one of three men rumored to be the father of lead Amanda Seyfried, while Streep played her mother.
Brosnan's singing in the film was generally disparaged by critics, with his singing compared in separate reviews to the sound of a water buffalo, a donkey, and a wounded racoon.
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In 2009, Brosnan finished the well-received The Ghost Writer, playing a disgraced British Prime Minister, directed and produced by Roman Polanski. The film won a Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. He starred as Charles Hawkins in the film Remember Me and as Chiron in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, both released in 2010.
In July 2003, Queen Elizabeth II awarded Brosnan an honorary OBE for his "outstanding contribution to the British film industry" (As an Irish citizen, he is ineligible to receive the full OBE honor, which is awarded only to a citizen of the Commonwealth realms.)
In 2002, Brosnan was also awarded an Honorary degree from the Dublin Institute of Technology and, one year later, the University College Cork.
On September 23, 2004, Brosnan became a citizen of the United States, but has retained his Irish citizenship.
Brosnan has not said whether he will sing in any future movies.