Mel Gibson (born Mel Com-Cille Gerard Gibson, 3.1.1956)
Mel Gibson is an internationally renowned actor, film director and producer. Amongst his best-known films are the Mad Max series and the Lethal Weapon series.
Mel Gibson: Childhood
Mel Gibson was born in the Peekskill area of New York. He has 10 siblings, being the sixth of 11 children born to Hutton Gibson and Anne Reilly. Mel's mother was Irish, so he was born with dual Irish and American nationality.
Hutton Gibson won $145,000 in an injury lawsuit against his employers, the New York Central Railroad, in 1968 and the family moved to Sydney, Australia. Mel Gibson was 12 years old at the time.
Mel Gibson: Acting Career
Early on in his acting career, Mel Gibson was compared to the likes of Steve McQueen, Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable. One his first films was 1981's Gallipolli, which also starred Mark Lee and Bill Kerr. He was easily cast into a number of very masculine lead roles, such as the Mad Max films. The first in the series of futuristic dystopian films was released in 1979. It was followed by Mad Max 2 in 1981 and Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome in 1985. The Mad Max films also starred Tina Turner and Bruce Spence and were directed by George Miller.
Another cornerstone of Gibson's career is the Lethal Weapon franchise. Also starring Danny Glover, the debut film was released in 1987, followed by Lethal Weapon 2 in 1989, Lethal Weapon 3, with Joe Pesci and Rene Russo in 1992 and a delayed follow-up in 1998, Lethal Weapon 4, with Chris Rock and Jet Li in 1998.
In 1993, Gibson starred in The Man Without A Face, a moving drama that Gibson also directed.
The following year saw Gibson team up with Jodie Foster and James Garner for the Western Comedy, Maverick. The film was met with a lukewarm response. Gibson's career did not falter, though, as 1995 saw the release of Braveheart, one of Gibson's most popular and successful films, telling the story of William Wallace. Again, Gibson directed the film, as well as starring in it.
Gibson also acted in The Patriot, an epic war film released in 2000. The film also starred Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson and Jason Isaacs. Reviews of the film were mixed, with its critics bemoaning its inaccurate depiction of historical events during the Revolutionary War. That same year, Mel Gibson also starred in a light-hearted comedy, opposite Helen Hunt, entitled What Women Want.
One of Mel Gibson's more controversial projects came in 2004, with the release of The Passion of the Christ. The film depicts the events surrounding the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The dialogue of the film is in Aramaic, Latin and Hebrew, with subtitles, making it the highest-grossing non-English language film of all time.
In 2006, Mel Gibson returned to depicting historical events with Apocalypto, which was concerned with the decline of the Maya civilisation. The film features a cast of Native Americans, using the Yucatec Maya dialogue.
Mel Gibson has also undertaken a wealth of theatrical roles, including the lead role in Romeo and Juliet opposite Judy Davis, when he was a student. He also took on the role of Queen Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, in an avant-garde production of the Shakespearian play. Mel Gibson was also once a member of the State Theatre Company of South Australia in Adelaide, appearing in productions such as Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.
Mel Gibson: Personal Life
In June 1980, Mel Gibson married Robyn Denise Moore. They have seven children together. In June 2009, Robyn Gibson filed for divorce, after the couple had been separated for three years.
Mel Gibson then started dating a Russian musician, named Oksana Grigorieva and in may 2009, announced that they are expecting their first child. Grigorieva already has a son by the actor Timothy Dalton.
Mel Gibson has never been shy of courting controversy. In the past, he has been accused of homophobia, anti-Semitism and drink driving.