Mel Gibson, born on January 3, 1956, is an American-born Australian actor who shot to fame through his roles in various action-adventure movies since the 1980s, such as “Mad Max.” Gibson has directed multiple films, including “The Passion of the Christ” and the award-winning “Braveheart.” He was named an honorary Officer of the Order of Australia (A.O.) for his contribution to the Australian film industry. Let’s celebrate his special day!
Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson is a famous actor, director, screenwriter, and producer born on January 3, 1956, in Peekskill, New York, to Hutton Gibson and Anne Patricia Reilly. He is the second son in the family and the sixth of eleven children. Gibson’s late mother was Irish-born, so he holds dual American and Irish citizenship. He’s also a permanent resident of Australia. Gibson enrolled in Sydney’s National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1974, where he started acting in theater plays, such as “Romeo and Juliet” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Three years later, Gibson made his film debut. He played the role of a surfer in “Summer City” and received $400 as payment. After graduating, Gibson entered the State Theatre Company of South Australia in Adelaide. His theatrical appearances include playing Estragon in “Waiting for Godot” and Biff Loman in “Death of a Salesman.”
Gibson began to gain popularity when he was cast as Max Rockatansky in 1979’s futuristic action film “Mad Max.” That same year, Gibson portrayed a handyman in the movie “Tim,” which earned him the Best Actor award from the Australian Film Institute. Gibson won the award again for his performance in the World War I drama “Gallipoli” (1981). That same year, he rose to international fame after playing the character Max Rockatansky in “Mad Max 2.” The third movie in the “Mad Max” series, “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” (1985), was his first million-dollar film and established him as a top actor. Gibson made his directorial debut with “The Man Without a Face” in 1993. He later directed and starred in “Braveheart” (1995), in which he took on the role of Scottish national hero Sir William Wallace. The film won five Academy Awards, and Gibson himself got the award for Best Director. On July 25, 1997, he was named an honorary Officer of the Order of Australia (A.O.) for his service to the Australian film industry.
In 2004, Gibson wrote, directed, and produced one of his most popular films, “The Passion of the Christ.” The film became the highest-grossing R-rated film that year, getting over $370 million at the box office in the U.S. Two years later, Gibson directed and produced a film portraying the fall of the Mayan empire, “Apocalypto.” He returned to acting in an adaptation of B.B.C.’s miniseries, “Edge of Darkness” (2010). His later films included “Machete Kills” (2013), “The Expendables 3” (2014), “Blood Father” (2016), and “Dragged Across Concrete” (2018). “Hacksaw Ridge” (2016) was Gibson’s return to directing, earning him overwhelming praise and two Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. Gibson was married to Robyn Moore from 1980 to 2011, and the couple had seven children. He later fathered another child with Gibson, Lars Gerard Gibson, born in 2017.
Gibson makes his first film debut, playing the role of a surfer in “Summer City.”
Gibson becomes famous after starring in “Mad Max 2.”
Gibson makes his debut as a film director with “The Man Without a Face.”
Gibson wins the Academy Award for Best Director for his work on “Braveheart.”
Gibson writes, directs, and produces his passion project, “The Passion of the Christ,” which gets $370 million at the box office.
Gibson returns to directing with “Hacksaw Ridge,” which gets nominated in the Academy Awards Best Picture category.
Why We Love Mel Gibson
He’s a philanthropist
Gibson has donated millions to multiple charities. He also supports various arts and environmental causes, such as the restoration of Renaissance paintings, rainforest protection, and many others.
He never stops
Gibson has bipolar disorder and went through depression. He healed himself by creating one of his masterpieces, “The Passion of the Christ.”
He isn’t afraid of challenges
Gibson spent years looking for sponsors to fund “The Passion of the Christ,” but ended up frustrated. Unwilling to give up on his passion project, he invested $45 million of his own money to finance and promote the film, reaping the rewards when the film grossed over $300 million.
5 Surprising Facts
He’s named after two saints
Gibson’s first name came from an Irish fifth-century saint, St. Mél of Ardagh, and his second name from St. Colmcille.
He broke the local salary record
Gibson became the first actor from Australia to be paid one million to star in a movie.
Has a rare disorder
Gibson has a congenital disorder known as a “horseshoe kidney,” which only affects about one in 500 people.
He nearly became James Bond
Gibson was considered to play James Bond in “The Living Daylights” (1987) and “GoldenEye” (1995) in place of Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan.
He was the first “sexiest man alive”
People magazine crowned Gibson the “sexiest man alive” in 1985, making him the first person to receive the honor.
Mel Gibson FAQs
How much money did Mel Gibson's wife get in the divorce?
Gibson paid his former wife $750,000.
Are Clint Eastwood and Mel Gibson friends?
Eastwood and Gibson share a good friendship after many years of working in the same industry. Gibson once described Eastwood as a “wonderful and gifted director.”
Where was “Hacksaw Ridge” filmed?
It was filmed in New South Wales, Australia.
Mel Gibson’s birthday dates