05/16/2012 09:00 am ET

James Bond Actor Turns 59!

Someone get birthday boy Pierce Brosnan a drink -- shaken, not stirred!

One of the elite group of actors in the James Bond franchise, the 59-year-old Brosnan portrayed 007 between 1995 and 2002 before Daniel Craig took the reigns in 2006. Brosnan starred in four Bond films, including 1995's "GoldenEye."

When Brosnan traded his secret agent persona to sing in the film "Mamma Mia!" in 2008, he told Good Housekeeping:

"I'm pretty tried-and-tested in the world of 'suit acting.' So I'm thrilled to be able to tackle something like this. I'm excited to see what will happen next. Really, at this stage in my career, I'm happy to still be at the table."

Before the big screen, Brosnan made a splash on the television show "Remington Steel," which ran 1982 to 1987. In 2011, he made his way back to TV in the screen adaptation of Stephen King's "Bag of Bones," portraying a novelist in the A&E mini-series. People Magazine named Brosnan one of its 50 Most Beautiful People in 1991 and 1996, and Sexiest Man Alive in 2001.

Brosnan was born in County Meath, Ireland and his family relocated to London when he was 11. When his wife Cassandra Harris died in 1991 from ovarian cancer at age 39, Brosnan adopted her two children from an earlier marriage (the couple had a third child together). The actor remarried in 2001 to Keely Shaye Smith, and they have two children.

As an activist, Brosnan has been outspoken on a number of issues, including whale hunting, which he blogged about for The Huffington Post.

Happy birthday, Pierce Brosnan! For more on this debonair post 50 star, check out the slideshow below.



Pierce Brosnan