Pierce Brosnan Turns 71: Look Back at the 'Lucky Day' the Actor Met Wife Keely 30 Years Ago

The actor and his wife Keely Shaye met at a party in Mexico in 1994 and later married in 2001

<p>Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty </p> Pierce Brosnan on March 7, 2024

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Pierce Brosnan on March 7, 2024

Happy birthday, Pierce Brosnan.

The former James Bond actor turns 71 on May 16. Brosnan's birthday comes just over a month after he and his wife of 22 years Keely Shaye Brosnan reflected on the 30th anniversary of their first meeting in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

As Brosnan told PEOPLE back in 2001, he first connected with Keely at a party after she was scheduled to interview Ted Danson and the actor was pulled away. Keely recently wrote about the moment on Instagram April 9 to note the anniversary of the couple's initial meet-cute.

"4-8-94 was my lucky day. How could I have known as I walked around the corner and into your life that my destiny was about to change forever?" she wrote in a caption alongside a series of throwback photos.

"Thanking my lucky stars that I had the courage to introduce myself to you and forever grateful for the connection and family we share 3 decades later," she added. "Happy 30th Anniversary! @piercebrosnanofficial. Time flies on loves wings."

Related: Pierce Brosnan and Wife Keely Shaye Brosnan: 15 Photos from the Early Days of Their Romance

<p>Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p> Keely Shaye Smith and Pierce Brosnan on March 28, 1998

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Keely Shaye Smith and Pierce Brosnan on March 28, 1998

"Thank God for you my dear Keely, you have given me wings to fly," Brosnan wrote in the comment section. "Love you dearly."

Brosnan, who was born and raised in Ireland, began his screen acting career in 1980 with roles in the television movie Murphy's Strike and the film The Long Good Friday, among other appearances.

Before meeting Keely and subsequently taking on his famed 007 role for 1995's GoldenEye, Brosnan was married to his first wife Cassandra Harris, who died of cancer in 1991 at 43; the pair shared two children from Harris' first marriage, whom Brosnan adopted in the 1980s, as well as their son Sean, 40.

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<p>Fred Duval/FilmMagic</p> Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith on Nov. 1, 1995

Fred Duval/FilmMagic

Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith on Nov. 1, 1995

Keely told PEOPLE in 2001 that Pierce "was captivating" when they first met in 1994. "Tall, dark and handsome — everything that everybody would immediately be attracted to. He had this mischievous sparkle in his eyes. I thought, ‘Wow! Wow!' ”

Pierce and Keely married in 2001 and have since welcomed two children of their own: Dylan, 27, and Paris, 23.

In December 2023, the actor spoke with Fox News about the couple's marriage, saying, "We like each other a lot. We love each other a lot. And we've been down the road, and we've seen many, many hardships as families do, as we all do."

Related: Pierce Brosnan Is Unrecognizable as Prince Naseem Hamed's Trainer in Movie About Boxer's Life

<p>Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty</p> Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Bornsan on March 7, 2024

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Bornsan on March 7, 2024

"But watching someone grow up with you and grow old with you is a very spiritual journey," he added. "To watch each other change … whatever it may be, the hair, the waist. But it's the love in the heart."

Keely celebrated Pierce's milestone 70th birthday in 2023 by sharing a photo of her actor husband posing against a backdrop of yellow flowers on Instagram.

"Happy Birthday my darling @piercebrosnanofficial," she wrote at the time. "Wishing you a blessed, bountiful and adventurous new trip around the sun. It’s not how old you are … it’s how bold you are in life. I love you with all my heart."

Brosnan next stars in The Great Lillian Hall opposite Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Lily Rabe and Jesse Williams, on HBO and Max May 31.

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