Occupation: Actor, Director, Producer
Date of Birth: January 3, 1956
Place of Birth: Peekskill, NY, USA
Sign: Sun in Capricorn, Moon in Virgo
Relations: Wife: Robyn Moore; kids: Hannah, Edward, Christian, William, Louis, Milo
Education: National Institute of Dramatic Arts, Sydney, Australia
AS A FILM director, he has touched the hearts of millions with his poignant directorial assignments The Man Without a Face and Braveheart As a film actor, his Mad Max and Martin Riggs characters have coldheartedly slaughtered hundreds.
While hugely popular all over the world, Mel manages to be reclusive and quiet when it comes to his personal life. We know this: When he isn't romancing co-stars like Jodie Foster or Julia Roberts on film, he's hanging out with his wife of many years, Robyn, and his six children.
Mel was actually born in America (New York state, to be exact) and lived there until the age of 12. After an accident left his father unable to work, the Gibson family moved their clan (that's Mel and his 10 siblings) to Mom's homeland, Australia.
Life was pretty normal for the young Mel. He entered drama school immediately after from graduating high school (thanks to the financial support of an older sister). After a few years of stage and Australian TV roles, Mel landed the role of Mad Max, a leather-clad anti-hero of the near future. Although low-budget, Mad Max was nevertheless exciting and unique enough to become Australia's highest-grossing film ever. It was quickly followed by the more popular sequel The Road Warrior.
With fame and fortune at his heels, Mel opted to pursue more esoteric film fare with period piece dramas. In 1985 he reprised Mad Max role for the third time with Beyond Thunderdome.
Mel re-gained superstar status in 1987 with his portrayal of suicidal cop Martin Riggs in the international smash-hit Lethal Weapon (a role so great he came back to it three more times!).
The following years were evenly split between serious fare (1990's Hamlet) and Hollywood filler (Bird on a Wire). It was in 1993 that Mel first tried his hand as a director with The Man Without a Face. Critically acclaimed and enjoyed by audiences, Man paved the way for Mel's cinematic coup, Braveheart.
The true story of wild Scotsman William Wallace, Braveheart (which Gibson also starred in) walked away with five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Direction. In the years since, Mel's output has lessened. Three of the last seven film performances he did were uncredited. 1996 saw Mel in the high-grossing kidnapping caper, Ransom. The following year he played a nutty taxi driver in the better-than-it-grossed film Conspiracy Theory.
After a fourth Lethal Weapon installment, Mel took on Payback, a gritty noir thriller based on a Donald Westlake novel. Soon, it'll be back to the director's chair for the second film adaptation of Ray Bradbury's classic sci-fi tale Fahrenheit 451.
1999 Fahrenheit 451
1998 Lethal Weapon 4
1997 Conspiracy Theory
1997 Father's Day
1997 Fairy Tale: A True Story
1993 The Man Without a Face
1993 Earth and the American Dream
1992 Lethal Weapon 3
1992 Forever Young
1990 Bird on a Wire
1990 Air America
1989 Lethal Weapon 2
1988 Tequila Sunrise
1987 Lethal Weapon
1985 Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
1984 The Bounty
1984 Mrs. Soffel
1984 The River
1983 The Year of Living Dangerously
1982 Attack Force Z
1981 The Road Warrior
1980 The Chain Reaction
1979 Mad Max
1977 Summer City
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)