Mel Gibson (born January 3, 1956) is an American-born Australian-reared actor, director and producer best known for either acting in Mad Max movie series, the Lethal Weapon series, Braveheart and directing The Passion of the Christ.
Gibson was born Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson in Peekskill, New York, the sixth child of eleven born to Hutton and Ann Gibson.
Gibson was born with a physical anomaly called "Horseshoe kidney". His two kidneys are fused at the base into a U shape. This fusion anomaly occurs in about one of every 400 people.
Although he maintained his United States citizenship, he was raised in Australia from the age of twelve. Following a victory on the TV game show Jeopardy!, Gibson's father, Hutton, moved his family to Australia in 1968 in protest of the Vietnam War and because he believed that changes in American society were immoral. Some people have attacked Hutton Gibson for religious views that he says are based on traditional Catholicism, and on his political opinions. A Roman Catholic, Mel Gibson has donated money to finance the construction of a traditional Catholic chapel in Malibu, California, called Holy Family.
Gibson, 5 ft 8 in (1.72 m) married Robyn Moore on June 7, 1980 with whom he has six sons and one daughter.
Gibson and the movies
After graduating from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1977, Gibson's acting career began in Australia with appearances in the television series The Sullivans.
He made his Australian movie debut as the leather-clad post-apocalyptic survivor in George Miller's Mad Max, which later became a cult hit and launched two of its own sequels. His international profile increased through Peter Weir's anti-war First World War film Gallipoli. In 1984, he made his U.S. movie debut, starring as Fletcher Christian in The Bounty. Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins played opposite Gibson as Captain Bligh.
Lethal Weapon and Hamlet
Gibson moved to more mainstream filmmaking with the popular Lethal Weapon series, where he starred as a maverick and violent cop, Martin Riggs, in a buddy relationship with his older and more conservative partner played by Danny Glover. Gibson surprisingly moved to the classical genre, playing the melancholy Danish prince in Franco Zeffirelli's movie of Shakespeare's Hamlet (1990). Gibson has been equally successful as a comedy actor, in movies such as Maverick (1994) and What Women Want (2000).
In 1996, Gibson received two Academy Awards (Best Director and Best Picture) for Braveheart (1995), based on the life of Sir William Wallace, a thirteenth century Scottish warlord who fought the English.
The Passion of the Christ
Mel Gibson recently completed The Passion of the Christ, a movie in Aramaic, Hebrew, and Latin, which recounts what Gibson describes as the last twelve hours of the life of Jesus Christ.
Gibson has been accused of being homophobic, anglophobic, and anti-Semitic. After he was arrested in July 2006 on suspicion of drunk driving, he became abusive and began an anti-Semitic tirade. He later apologized for his anti-Jewish remarks, but the general consensus was that his apology was merely an attempt to save his career.