Pierce Brosnan is an Irish actor, working from the Late '70s/Early '80s to the present.
Brosnan seems to particularly like played flawed spies and thieves, but he has played a variety of roles, not always with the suave sophistication he is noted for. He played Remington Steele from '82-'87, which was his breakthrough role. He had to turn down James Bond while working on the show  but he became James Bond from Goldeneye until the franchise was rebooted.
Aside from Bond, Brosnan has done many other notable movies, such as the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair, and The Tailor Of Panama, a film adaptation of John Le Carre's novel in which he basically got to play the anti-Bond.
- That is to say, he took the role after Steele was cancelled, but had to drop out after it was brought back, because the network wanted to capitalise on on his new found fame as the new Bond.