Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson in Peekskill, New York on January
3, 1956, Gibson was the sixth of 11 children later raised in Australia,
where father Hutton
Gibson moved the family in 1968 in protest of the Vietnam
holding American citizenship, Gibson would later return to the
U.S. to take Hollywood by storm with a string of successful action
movies and at least one attempt at Hamlet.
world famous as a Hollywood actor, Gibson remains
today at the center of controversy for his religious views as
director of The
Passion of the Christ and for anti-Semetic rantings in the press.
began his acting career on Australian television and then went
on to debut in one of his most famous roles as Mad
Max (later resulting in two hit Hollywood sequels). His early
Australian film career also included a critically acclaimed performance
U.S. movie debut came with a starring role as Fletcher Christian,
Bounty playing opposite Anthony Hopkins as Captain Bligh,
later achieving superstar status with the release of the first
in a series of action movies in which he starred as cop Martin
Riggs in Lethal Weaponalongside Danny Glover.
(From left:) Along with appearances in early films such as "Galipoli" and "The Year of Living Dangerously",
more memorable Hollywood films include starring in the Max Max and Lethal Weapon
as well as his acting and directing roles in the Oscar-winning "Braveheart."
against type, Gibson next took on the role of Hamlet
in 1990, surprising the critics with a strong performance in the
Shakespeare classic, then appeared throughout the decade in an
eclectic mix of movie performances in such films as the screwball
comedy Bird on a Wire opposite Golden Hawn, and in the
sensitive drama Man Without A Face, his directorial debut.
Gibson's second foray into acting and directing was as the Scottish
warlord William Wallace inBraveheartfor which he won two Academy awards for Best Picture and Best
Director in 1996.
2004, Gibson was at the center of worldwide controversy for his
directing and producing role in The
Passion of the Christ, recounting the last 12 hours of the
life of Jesus Christ.
film spawned an international debate on its merits as historically
accurate, with charges that Gibson's own staunch Catholicism had
colored the depiction of the Jews as violent antagonists within
the story, and thereby fomenting anti-Jewish sentiment. Despite
the controversy (or perhaps because of it) the film went on to
take in than $600 million in tickets worldwide to become the most
successful independent film of all time.
The mug shot, released by the LAPD
following Gibson's DUI arrest in 2006.
Gibson came under fire from Jewish groups once again after he
was stopped on a Los Angeles highway in July 2006 for driving
while intoxicated, later reportedly spewing anti-Semitic remarks
at police. According to portions of the police
report, Gibson at one point reportedly asked if the officer
is a Jew and in a state of deep intoxication claimed "all
wars are started by Jews."
report was first published on TMZ.com,
which hinted at a cover-up by LA police for excising Gibson's
comments from the official record. The controversial actor later
apologized for the remarks, which he described as "despicable".
actor's next film foray was as writer and producer of the historic action
in 2006, it's main claim to fame was that its cast of characters were played by Maya and Native American actors who spoke only in the Yucatec Mayan language. Despite its obscure premise (and Gibson's recent and much-publicized personal problems) the film was widely praised as a the work of a serious filmmaker, and won major acclaim at the Golden Globes and the Bafta Awards the following year.
Divorce settlement a record breaker
2009, Gibson was back in the headlines when the devoutly Catholic actor
and Robyn Gibson, his wife of 30 years, announced their plans
to divorce. For
months beforehand it was rumored that Gibson and Oksana Pochepa,
a Russian pop star, had begun an affair that had pushed Mrs. Gibson
to file divorce proceedings, setting the stage for one of the
most expensive break-ups in history. Gibson's divorce was finalized on December 23, 2011, and the settlement with his ex-wife was said to be the highest in Hollywood history at over $400 million.
More about Mel Gibson's life & career around the Web:
Mel Gibson News - The latest headlines and breaking news related
to the actor from various sources on the Web.
Gibson Pictures - The motherlode from a major fan site,
browseable by topic with photos from his major hits.
Gibson - Wikipedia - A complete biography from Gibson's
earliest acting career up to The Passion of the Christ,
with photo and related links.