/ : Mel Gibson /

Birth Name: Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson
Birthdate: January 3, 1956
Birthplace: Peekskill, NY
Occupations: Actor, Director, Producer
Quote: On playing Hamlet: "I didn't have control there. It wasn't just difficult because it was a difficult part--it was difficult because of the work situation. I don't want to name names or anything. I should have done it on stage first. Anyway, long story. Boring, boring, making excuses. I'm supposed to know what to do. That's my craft." - Us Magazine, June 1995
Gibson Photo

Claim to Fame: 1979: Feature debut as a lead in Mad Max; voice was dubbed when film was released in the USA

Significant Other(s):
Wife: Robyn Gibson, nurse; married in 1980; have seven children together

Father: Hutton Gibson, railroad brakeman; leading figure in conservative Catholic splinter group The Alliance for Catholic Traditions; won $25,000 on the Art Fleming-hosted Jeopardy in 1968
Mother: Ann Gibson; died December 1990; born in Australia
Siblings: Gibson was the sixth of 11 children
Brother: Donal Gibson; born 1960
Daughter: Hannah Gibson; born 1980
Son: Edward Gibson; twin of Christian; born 1983
Son: Christian Gibson; twin of Edward; born 1983
Son: Willie Gibson; born 1985
Son: Milo Gibson; born in 1990
Son: Has two others

Though introduced to US audiences as an Australian actor, the strikingly handsome, blue-eyed Gibson was actually born in New York state and emmigrated to Australia in 1968. He made a name for himself in the leather-clad title role of George Miller's "Mad Max", as the post-apocalyptic action hero, and in "Tim" (both 1979), playing a retarded handyman in love with Piper Laurie. Gibson became a bankable star in Australia after starring in Peter Weir's war drama, "Gallipoli", and "The Road Warrior", (both 1981), Miller's transcendent follow-up to "Mad Max". The latter, hailed as an action classic, was an international hit in 1982 and made Gibson a rising star.

Gibson reteamed with Weir for "The Year of Living Dangerously" (1982). As an Australian reporter who is forced to confront the political upheavals in 1960s Indonesia, Gibson exuded charm, intelligence and, more importantly, sex appeal in his first film as a romantic lead. He made a less auspicious American feature debut, however, as a reluctantly mutinous Fletcher Christian opposite Anthony Hopkins' Captain Bligh in "The Bounty" (1984) and appeared in two more films that year. He returned to Australia to wrap up the "Mad Max" series with "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" (1985), a cumbersome satire with less action, a bigger budget, Tina Turner and Max, mostly on foot, looking like a wandering prophet.

After taking two years off, Gibson returned with "Lethal Weapon" (1987) playing one of his most popular characters, Martin Riggs, an explosive homicide cop paired with the long-suffering Danny Glover. The film propelled Gibson to superstardom and spawned two sequels, in which he created an unusually rich characterization for a modern action hero. He then made a surprising career move with his portrayal of the melancholy Dane in Franco Zeffirelli's "Hamlet" (1990). While the film was problematic, Gibson turned in a finely rendered portrait of the famed prince. This was the first film produced by his ICON Productions. After continuing in a more sentimental vein with the sudsy "Forever Young" (1992), he made his directorial debut with "The Man Without a Face" (1993), a drama in which he played a burn victim. After this mildly popular effort, Gibson returned to rowdy commercial fare with "Maverick" (1994), an adaptation of the 60s TV Western-comedy series, which shrewdly parlayed his dashing rogue qualities into solid box-office success.

Gibson returned to the director's chair for "Braveheart" (1995), a project far bigger than any with which he had been previously involved in any capacity. Clad in a kilt, sporting blue war paint and wielding a big sword, Gibson starred as Sir William Wallace, a 13th century Scottish nobleman persecuted for his efforts to free Scotland from English rule. Wags dubbed the film "Mad Mac" but Gibson triumphed at that year's Academy Awards with "Beaveheart" earning five statues including Best Picture and Best Director.

Gibson displayed his limited singing abilities voicing John Smith in Disney's animated "Pocahontas" (1995) before reteaming with Rene Russo as the parents of a kidnapped child in "Ransom" (1996) which proved to be a box office success although greeted by some reviewers coolly. His much-anticipated teaming with Julia Roberts in Donner's "Conspiracy Theory" (1997), however, was generally considered a disappointment by critics and audiences alike. In a bid that could be seen cynically as a surefire way to regain audience attention, Gibson and Glover teamed for "Lethal Weapon 4" (1998). He accepted a change-of-pace role as a thief (albeit one with a sense of honor) in the neo-noir "Payback" (1999).The following year Gibson joined "popcorn" specialists Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich for Emmerich's Revolutionary War drama "The Patriot," scripted by Robert Rodat. Essentially a Western, "The Patriot" cast him as a retired "gunslinger", still spooked by his memories of the French and Indian War, who clings fast to his pacifism until his son falls into enemy hands, triggering his course of revenge. After voicing Rocky the Rooster in the animated "Chicken Run", a sort of feathered "Great Escape", he rounded out the busy year as star of Nancy Meyers' romantic comedy "What Women Want" (both 2000).

Aside from making Gibson vehicles, his Icon Productions has produced projects like the Beethoven biopic "Immortal Beloved" (1994, directed by Bernard Rose), the remake of "Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina" (1997, also helmed by Rose), the black comedy "Ordinary Decent Criminals" (a fictionalized version of the life of Irish thief Martin Cahill) and the ABC biopic "The Three Stooges" (both 2000).

ABC World of Discovery: Australia's Outback
We Were Soldiers (2002)
Signs (2002)
Chicken Run (2000)
The Patriot (2000)
The Million Dollar Hotel (2000)
The Three Stooges (2000)
What Women Want (2000)
Payback (1999)
Forever Hollywood (1999)
Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
Anna Karenina (1997)
Fathers' Day (1997)
Conspiracy Theory (1997)
Fairy Tale: A True Story (1997)
Ransom (1996)
Pocahontas (1995)
Braveheart (1995)
Casper (1995)
Maverick (1994)
The Man without a Face (1993)
Earth and the American Dream (1993)
David and Goliath (1992)
Forever Young (1992)
Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
World War II Collection: The Year of the Generals (1992)
Greatest Stories Ever Told: David and Goliath (1992)
Air America (1990)
Bird on a Wire (1990)
Hamlet (1990)
Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
Tequila Sunrise (1988)
Lethal Weapon (1987)
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
The Bounty (1984)
Mrs. Soffel (1984)
The River (1984)
The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)
Gallipoli (1981)
The Road Warrior (1981)
Attack Force Z (1980)
The Chain Reaction (1980)
Mad Max (1979)
Tim (1979)
Summer City (1977)

1979: Australian Film Institute Award: Best Actor, Tim
1981: Australian Film Institute Award: Best Actor, Gallipoli
1992: NATO/ShoWest Male Star of the Year Award
1993: MTV Movie Award: Best Onscreen Duo, Lethal Weapon 3
1995: Broadcast Film Critics Association Award: Best Director, Braveheart
1995: Golden Globe: Best Director, Braveheart
1995: NATO/ShoWest Director of the Year Award
1995: Oscar: Best Picture, Braveheart
1995: Oscar: Best Director, Braveheart
1995: BAFTA Lloyds Bank Award: Favorite Film, Braveheart
1996: MTV Award: Best Action Sequence, Braveheart
1997: People's Choice Award: Favorite Actor in a Film

All-boys Catholic school (he was taunted for his American accent)
National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney, Australia (1977); his sister sent in an application for him without his knowledge



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