The Son, Pierce Brosnan, cancer

‘The Son’ Star Pierce Brosnan Shared His Real Heartbreak Over Losing His Family To Cancer

The Son is the latest offering from AMC, telling the story of America’s rise as a world power through the lives of one Texas oil family, proving that family and loyalty are often intertwined with history and patriotism. For Pierce Brosnan, who plays patriarch Eli McCullough, that theme of family couldn’t be more poignant, as he candidly shared the devastating experience of losing his own family to cancer and trying to rebuild a life in the wake of so much grief. As he pours those uncorked emotions into his performances on The Son, Pierce recollects living through losses that were previously impossible to conceive.

Pierce Brosnan Was ‘Helpless’ to Save His Family

Pierce Brosnan, cancer
Pierce Brosnan faced cancer for the first time when his wife died in 1991. [Image by Charley Gallay/Getty Images]

The Son actor recently shared the double loss of his wife, Cassandra, and 22 years later, the loss of his daughter, Charlotte. As People reports, Brosnan lost both women to ovarian cancer and in each circumstance, he felt powerless to do anything to either help them or to ease their suffering. At the time of Cassandra’s death, Pierce spoke publicly about the loss, sharing his grief over losing someone with whom he had shared every part of his life.

“From day 1, we really had a fight on our hands,” said Brosnan at the time of Cassandra’s passing. “This wasn’t a shadow or a small tumor — this had invaded Cassie’s being.”

Brosnan went on to describe the battle they faced together with Cassandra taking the fight against cancer head on and handling every bad turn with the “courage and grace” that he had come to expect from his wife. Pierce explained that his wife challenged doctors, determining for herself which treatments and medications she would try and which ones she would reject. The Son star admitted to being less vocal, letting Cassandra determine her own path, though he was always supportive of her.

Cassandra fought the illness for two years until she finally realized she was losing the battle in 1991.

The Son Star Pierce Brosnan Faced a Second Tragedy in His Life

Pierce Brosnan, Keely Shaye Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan faced the death of his daughter, Charlotte, with the help of his second wife, Keely Shaye Brosnan. [Image by Charley Gallay/Getty Images]

While Pierce Brosnan might have thought the worst of it was over and there was the possibility that he might never have to face that kind of crippling grief again, Huffington Post Canada reports that his daughter contracted the same cancer 22 years later in 2013. Charlotte was just 41 at the time of her death and her life was just beginning to come together. Her acting career was taking off, she had just married her longtime sweetheart, and she was a mother to Isabella, 14, and Jacob, who was 8-years-old at the time.

“Charlotte fought her cancer with grace and humanity, courage and dignity. Our hearts are heavy with the loss of our beautiful dear girl,” Mr. Brosnan said publicly of the loss of his daughter.

Pierce was devastated all over again, but much as it was with the loss of his life, The Son actor had his family for support and love. Together with Christopher and Sean, Cassandra’s sons, and Pierce’s newest family members, current wife Keely Shaye Smith and their sons Dylan and Pari, the entire family remained strong for one another and found joy in the memories of their recently departed Charlotte.

Brosnan remembered Charlotte as a funny, jovial and kind girl, the type of person who was always ready with a joke or a bit of witty rhetoric to lighten up a somber situation. A source close to The Son actor, Nancy Ellison, says Pierce remarked that he just wanted to make Charlotte laugh once more.

“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.”

The Son, starring Pierce Brosnan, Zahn McClarnon, Tatanka Means, and Paola Nuñez, premieres on Saturday, April 15 on AMC.

[Featured Image by Charley Gallay/Getty Images]