Pierce Brosnan
Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
December 6, 2023 ·  4 min read

Pierce Brosnan’s daughter married in secret just days before her death

Charlotte Brosnan is the daughter of Cassandra Harris and adopted daughter of actor Pierce Brosnan. She fought ovarian cancer, the same disease that killed her mother and grandmother, for three years until she died at age 41. But she lived life on her own terms. In 2013, Pierce Brosnan walked her down the aisle as she married artist Alex Smith. However, the cancer took her just two weeks later.

It wasn’t a day to be sad.

Charlotte’s mom, Cassandra Harris, married Pierce Brosnan in 1980. When their biological father, Dermot Harris, died in 1986, Pierce adopted Charlotte and her brother Christopher. In 1987, Cassandra received her ovarian cancer diagnosis, the same disease that killed her mother. Unfortunately, Cassandra passed away in 1991 at age 43.

Charlotte reportedly fell to depression and addiction after seeing her mother fight against a devastating then fatal illness. In 2003, she checked herself into a rehab center to heal from her addiction to drugs and alcohol. She began acting, appearing in an episode of NYPD Blue, and the films The Disappearance of Kevin Johnson and The Nephew. But her career was cut short by her own ovarian cancer diagnosis. She struggled through the difficult treatments but she maintained an optimistic attitude. 

Soon before her death, Charlotte married Alex Smith in a secret ceremony, only attended by their close friends and family members. Despite the painful reality of Charlotte’s terminal disease, a family friend called the event beautiful. “It was the most moving day of my life. It wasn’t a day to be sad. Alex and Pierce were smiling broadly.”

Then, on June 28, 2013, Charlotte passed away in London surrounded by her family, including her two children, Lucas and Isabella. Afterward, Pierce released a statement paying tribute to her. “On June 28 my darling daughter Charlotte Emily passed on to eternal life, having succumbed to ovarian cancer,” he said. “…Charlotte fought her cancer with rare grace and humanity, courage and dignity. Our hearts are heavy with the loss of our beautiful dear girl. We pray for her, and that the cure for this wretched disease will be at hand soon. We thank everyone for their heartfelt condolences.” [1]

Pierce Brosnan Remembers Charlotte

Loved ones may be gone, but they are never forgotten. On the seventh anniversary of Charlotte’s death in 2020, Pierce Brosnan posted a remembrance to his daughter on Instagram. “Here’s looking at you kid… in remembrance of Charlotte,” Pierce wrote alongside a photo — taken by his wife Keely Shaye Smith — of the James Bond actor sitting on the porch at his home in Hawaii. “And with happy birthday wishes for my darling Marley May.” She is his granddaughter through his son Sean, Charlotte’s half-brother.

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A post shared by Pierce Brosnan (@piercebrosnanofficial)

Charlotte had passed away at almost the same age as her mother. And Charlotte’s children were about the same ages as Charlotte and Christopher at the time. Although the parallels are painful to think about, Charlotte’s close friend, Clare Beckwith, has found a positive similarity. Charlotte had loved and impacted her children for the better as her mom did for her.

“To their mummy, Bella and Lucas were absolutely the pinnacle,” said Beckwith. “They have always got that for the rest of their life, that their mum just worshipped them. People would ask her why she didn’t move into acting, and she would always say, ‘No, this is my family.’ She wanted to give her family as much love as she could. She was totally devoted to them.” [2]

Pierce had opened up in 2014 about the pain of losing his wife and daughter at a Stand Up To Cancer telethon. “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. “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.”

Go out there and do good things.

Brosnan’s longtime friend Nancy Ellison explained that Pierce had adored Charlotte’s bubbly, happy personality. He had even nicknamed her the “custodian of laughter.” Ellison added, “Pierce wrote to me after she died that the most intense memory that he had was of always being able to make Charlotte laugh. He wanted to be able to make her laugh again.”

Today, Pierce Brosnan is healing from the grief with the help of his wife, Keely. They met in 1994, married in 2001, and have two sons. “You have to trust and follow your heart,” said Pierce in 2018. “And try to meet the best people in life. When Keely looks at me, I go weak. I love her vitality, her passion. She has this strength that I wouldn’t be able to live without… I found a great woman in Keely. Not if I searched a million times over would I find one as good. There are so many lessons you learn each day and each passing year. It’s important to have good faith in yourself and to know yourself as much as you can, and then to go out there and do good things.[3]

Keep Reading: ‘Cherishing Every Moment’: Bruce Willis’ Family ‘Praying’ For Christmas Miracle As His Health Deteriorates


  1. Pierce Brosnan’s Daughter Charlotte Married Weeks Before Her Death.HuffPost. July 3, 2013
  2. “Pierce Brosnan Remembers Daughter Charlotte 7 Years After Her Death: ‘Here’s Looking at You Kid’.” Yahoo News. Claudia Harmata. June 30, 2020
  3. “Pierce Brosnan pays tribute to his late daughter Charlotte: ‘Here’s looking at you, kid’.” Fox News. Stephanie Nolasco. June 29, 2020