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Summary Article: Gibson, Mel (Columcille Gerard)
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US-born Australian film actor and director. He became an international star through lead roles in the first three Mad Max films (1979, 1981, 1985) and the Lethal Weapon series (1987–98). He directed, produced, and starred in the historical drama Braveheart (1995), which received Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director.

Although best known as an action hero, he is a versatile actor who has been acclaimed in films as diverse as Peter Weir's Gallipoli (1981), Zeffirelli's Hamlet (1990), his directorial debut, and Nancy Meyer's comedy What Women Want (2000). He produced and directed The Passion of the Christ (2004), which graphically depicted the last hours of Jesus Christ and was controversial because of its alleged anti-Semitism and extreme violence, and Apocalypto (2006), set during the decline of the ancient Mayan civilization.

He directed and starred in The Man Without a Face (1993). His other acting credits include The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), Mutiny on the Bounty (1984), Ransom (1996), What Women Want (2000), The Million Dollar Hotel (2000), We Were Soldiers (2002), and The Singing Detective (2003).

He was born in Peekskill, New York, the sixth of 11 children. The family moved to Australia when Gibson was 12 and he subsequently studied acting at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney. He made his big-screen debut in the surfer film Summer City (1977).


Gibson, Mel(vin)

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