Pierce Brosnan's 5 Children: Everything He's Said About Parenting
Pierce Brosnan is a father to four adult sons, Christopher, Sean, Dylan and Paris, as well as his late daughter Charlotte
For Pierce Brosnan, family is everything.
The James Bond actor is a father of five. He shares his late daughter Charlotte and sons Christopher, 50, and Sean, 39, with his first wife, the late actress Cassandra Harris. He also shares sons Dylan, 26, and Paris, 22, with wife Keely Shaye Smith.
"My fatherly instincts are purely my own," he told Esquire in 2017 of his parenting. (Pierce was raised by his maternal grandparents as his father left when he was a baby and his mother moved to London to work when he was just 4). "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 goal has always been to make his kids "feel like they belong" and "know the love of family," he told Reader's Digest in 2008. "I'm very aware of how precious the time with my children is."
The deaths of his wife Cassandra in 1991 and daughter Charlotte in 2013 — both due to ovarian cancer — brought that awareness to the forefront. "[Life] can be snatched away without any prior warning, so why waste it?" he told The Herald in 2015. "That's why I enjoy my wonderful, beautiful family, my children and my grandchildren."
Pierce also taught his kids the skills they'd need to succeed at anything — "preparation, passion, confidence, showing up on time," according to Dylan — but there's one career from which he steers them away: his own.
"Just because [acting is] f------ hard work," he told GQ in 2022. "It's a cross to bear. You're constructing and destroying yourself."
Here's everything to know about Pierce Brosnan's children and what he's shared about parenting over the years.
Charlotte Emily Brosnan (née Harris) was born on Nov. 27, 1971, in London to Cassandra and Dermot Harris, brother of actor Richard Harris. Cassandra and Dermot divorced in 1978, and she married Pierce in 1980.
After Dermot's death in 1986, Pierce adopted Charlotte and her younger brother, Christopher, and they both took his last name.
According to family friend Nancy Ellison, Pierce nicknamed his daughter the "custodian of laughter" and took great joy in "always being able to make Charlotte laugh." Ellison described Charlotte as "a bubbly, almost kind of goofy, gorgeous girl."
She went on to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and worked as an actress before focusing on raising her children.
Charlotte was 20 years old when her mother died of ovarian cancer. "There is an incredible cruelty in it all, losing a person you shared everything with," Pierce told PEOPLE in 1992 of the "overwhelming" experience. The actor also said he spoke to his daughter on the phone daily. "You just feel more deeply now. You hug more deeply, you love more deeply."
Charlotte welcomed two children of her own, Isabella and Lucas, with her longtime partner Alex Smith, whom she married in June 2013. However, a few weeks after their wedding, Charlotte died from the same cancer her mother had at 41 years old.
"Charlotte fought her cancer with grace and humanity, courage and dignity," Pierce told PEOPLE at the time. "Our hearts are heavy with the loss of our beautiful dear girl."
In 2014, Pierce spoke about his late wife and daughter at a Stand Up To Cancer fundraiser. "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," he said, according to Entertainment Tonight. "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."
Pierce honored his daughter on the seventh anniversary of her death in 2020 by sharing a photo from his porch in Hawaii.
"Here's looking at you kid," he wrote in the caption. "In remembrance of Charlotte."
Christopher Brosnan, 50
Christopher Ivan Brosnan was born to Cassandra and Dermot Harris on Nov. 11, 1972, in London. Like his older sister Charlotte, he was adopted by Pierce as a teenager.
Christopher was 19 when his mother died. "I can see the pain in Christopher's eyes, the absence in his heart for his mother," Pierce told PEOPLE in 1992.
He later studied screenwriting at UCLA and directing at the New York Film Academy, per a 2006 press release.
Early in his career, Chris worked on 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, Chris appeared on Celebrity Love Island.
Today, Christopher lives a private life. In 2022, Pierce posted an Instagram photo for Father's Day and mentioned Chris in his caption. "My love forever to you dear sons, Paris, Dylan, Sean and Christopher," he wrote. "Thank you deeply for your love ❤️ on this Father's Day."
Sean Brosnan, 39
Pierce and Cassandra welcomed their son Sean William Brosnan on Sept. 13, 1983, in Los Angeles.
Sean was 8 years old when his mother died, and he later recalled learning about it 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 said. "He started to cry, but I didn't cry. I was comforting him."
Sean said it wasn't until "maybe six months later" that he understood his mom wouldn't be coming back. "That is when it transitioned into anger," he added.
The anger affected how he acted in school; Sean said he went from being a "somewhat popular" kid to an outcast. "It was pretty lonely and pretty isolating," he shared, noting that he had begun experimenting with drugs around that time. Things got worse when Sean, then 16, was in a serious car accident — a trauma that led to a painkiller addiction.
"I broke my back and shattered my tailbone, my pelvis in five places, my left femur," he told 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 hoping to become an actor like his dad. He performed with the now-defunct British Shakespeare Company and had roles on MTV's Dubplate Drama and in A West Texas Children Story with Val Kilmer, all while struggling with addiction.
He had "about a year and a half of sobriety," but relapsed when his older sister Charlotte died in 2013. "I drank on the plane on the way there. The insidious part of the disease was that I almost used it as an excuse," he said. "That is my addict in me saying 'Yes, I can drink, and no one can blame me.' "
Sean got serious about sobriety in 2014 when he found love with and married actress Sanja Banic.
"I did a bunch of amazing things in that kind of year and it was a very spiritual process," he said in 2019. "It was a healing time and just being by myself, and then with my wife, getting married and driving across America, it was all very free."
In 2015, they welcomed their first child, Marley May Cassandra Brosnan. Seven years later, their son Jaxxon Elijah was born.
"All good blessings to you my dearest grandson, welcome," Pierce shared in an Instagram post. "Congratulations my darling Sean, Sanja and Marley. Peace be with you."
Sean has since pivoted from the film industry to the mental health field. "I started as a residence adviser at a treatment center and realized I want to become a clinician and psychologist," he told Van Dahlen. "Right now I am [working] in addiction but I kind of want to do grief and loss."
Dylan Brosnan, 26
Pierce and his now-wife Keely Shaye Smith welcomed son Dylan Thomas Brosnan on Jan. 13, 1997, in L.A.
Dylan grew up in Kauai, Hawaii, and as a teen, began splitting 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 told GQ about his unusual upbringing in September 2022.
He also spent his childhood visiting his dad's film sets. "Do you remember coming down to the James Bond set [for] Die Another Day?" Pierce asked Dylan in a live chat on PEOPLE's Instagram in 2021. "That was really cool," Dylan responded. "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 joked that Dylan was more excited about the cars than he was about watching him film 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 an adult, Dylan graduated from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts in the spring of 2020. He is now a filmmaker with several credits to his name, 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.
In 2020, Dylan and his brother Paris were Golden Globes Ambassadors. "[I feel] lucky to be doing this with my brother and having that support," Dylan told PEOPLE, adding that the event came "with an amount of pressure so it's great to be there together."
Dylan and Paris were featured in PEOPLE's 2022 Sexiest Man Alive issue, where they opened up about being raised by Pierce. "We have the best parents you could ask for," Dylan said.
Paris Brosnan, 22
Pierce and Smith's youngest child, son Paris Beckett Brosnan, was born on Feb. 27, 2001, in L.A. He spent most of his childhood in Kauai.
According to Pierce, his family lived a "rewarding" lifestyle in Hawaii. "It has allowed me to be a father who can sit quietly with my two young sons, Dylan and Paris," the actor told Parade of their "simple and insular" life in 2008.
"I paint, and they paint," he said of his younger sons. "And we play guitar. We play ukulele. My wife is an ace gardener, and the kids get in the mud with her."
Though Pierce was a very loving father, Paris said that he could lay down the law when necessary. "I mean, he's an actor, so he can get medieval real quick as he would say," Paris told PEOPLE for the 2022 Sexiest Man Alive issue. "We keep it pretty mellow. But he could put on an energy that was a force to be reckoned with!"
At 22 years old, Paris has already worked as a model, filmmaker and environmental activist. He walked in a charity runway show at the British Museum during London Fashion Week, appeared in GQ with his dad and brother and modeled for Dolce & Gabbana and Balmain.
As for his work in film, Paris worked as a production assistant for Pierce's film Black Adam in 2022 and has produced videos and short films for important causes. He also joined his father in a video PSA about plastic waste in partnership with the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.
In 2021, he directed a short film documenting his 2019 trip to Sri Lanka and highlighting a new partnership between Clarins and the organization FEED to support school meal programs worldwide and end childhood hunger.
"When I got the opportunity to go to Sri Lanka, I had to do it — and it was amazing," Paris told PEOPLE of the experience. "This was an opportunity as a filmmaker to go out and see another part of the world, see how kids are living and shed some light on important issues that are going on there."
Pierce was touched by his son's work, telling PEOPLE, "I am beyond words, flabbergasted really. I'm over the moon for both of our sons."
Most recently, Paris graduated from Loyola Marymount University in May 2023.
"Go into the world with a brave heart and create stories that will make the world a better place @paris.brosnan," Pierce wrote in a congratulatory Instagram post.
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