uperstar, heart-throb actor born Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson in Peekskill, New York State in 1956 and coming to Australia aged 12.
Sixth in a family of eleven, Mel was part of his father's ploy to evade the draft for any of his sons into the Vietnam War. His father, Hutton, was a railway worker won $30,000 on the TV quiz show Jeopardy. Dad used the dosh to shift the whole family to Oz.
Mel studied his profession at NIDA with Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis and debuted in Summer City in 1976. In February '99 he gave $1 million to NIDA on its Fortieth birthday. The money will go towards a new theatre, studio and library.
Mel played retarded Tim before starring in Mad Max in 1979 and then subsequent sequels.
Gibson then worked under direction of Peter Weir in Gallipoli (1981) and The Year of Living Dangerously (1983).
|Mel Gibson in The Year of Living Dangerously|
Mel's Hollywood debut was in Bounty in 1984. One of the replicas of the original ship can be seen in Sydney Harbour, where you can go on board and lunch whilst cruising the beautiful harbour. The other replica of Bounty was of course burned to the waterline in the film as per what happened in the true story - see page on William Bligh.
Gibson then made Mrs Soffel, directed by Australian Gillian Armstrong, then The River and the Lethal Weapon series with Danny Glover as his sidekick.
In 1990 there were two not so good flicks - Bird On A Wire and Air America, remember them?
More recent films are Hamlet, Forever Young (1992), Man Without a Face (1993), Maverick (1994), Ransom, Conspiracy Theory and the latest Lethal Weapon (1998). Warner Bros. paid him $30 million to do LW4.
In 1996 he won the Oscar for best director of the film he starred in, Braveheart, where he played the Scottish hero William Wallace.
Mel's latest film is the smash box-office hit Payback, in which he plays a baddie.
Mel, a devout Catholic, and wife of over 18 years, Robyn, have 6 children, a girl and 5 boys with another set of twins (?) on the way. No! It was another boy, born in April '99.
In May 99 Mel's Icon Productions bought the distribution rights to the now in production film of Norman Lindsay's classic childrens' book The Magic Pudding.
Not so tall Mel has the beginnings of a beer gut and is reputed to be a bit of a grouch at times.
The Gibsons have homes in Montana, Connecticut, Malibu and Australia.