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Mel Gibson (1956)

Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson

Type :  

  Summary  

Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson, AO is an American actor, film director, producer and screenwriter. Born in Peekskill, New York, Gibson moved with his parents to Sydney, Australia when he was 12 years old and later studied acting at the Australian National Institute of Dramatic Art.

After appearing in the Mad Max and Lethal Weapon series, Gibson went on to direct and star in the Academy Award-winning Braveheart. In 2004, he directed and produced The Passion of the Christ, a controversial yet successful film portraying the last hours in the life of Jesus. In recent years, remarks by Gibson have generated accusations of homophobia, antisemitism, racism, and misogyny; he has apologised repeatedly for the statements and denied that they represent his real opinions.

  Biography  

 early life
Gibson was born in Peekskill, New York, the sixth of 11 children, and the second son of Hutton Gibson and Irish-born Anne Patricia (née Reilly, died 1990). His paternal grandmother was the Australian opera contralto Eva Mylott (1875–1920). One of Gibson's younger brothers, Donal, is also an actor. Gibson's first name comes from Saint Mel, fifth-century Irish saint, and founder of Gibson's mother's native diocese, Ardagh, while his second name, Colm-Cille, is also shared by an Irish saint and is the name of the parish in County Longford where Gibson's mother was born and raised. Because of his mother, Gibson holds dual Irish and American citizenship.

Soon after being awarded US$145,000 in a work-related-injury lawsuit against New York Central Railroad on 14 February 1968, Hutton Gibson relocated his family to West Pymble, Sydney, Australia. Mel Gibson was 12 years old at the time. The move to Hutton's mother's native Australia was for economic reasons, and because Hutton thought the Australian Defence Forces would reject his oldest son for the draft during the Vietnam War.

Gibson was educated by members of the Congregation of Christian Brothers at St Leo's Catholic College in Wahroonga, New South Wales, during his high school years.

 career
Gibson gained very favorable notices from film critics when he first entered the cinematic scene, as well as comparisons to several classic movie stars. In 1982, Vincent Canby wrote that “Mr. Gibson recalls the young Steve McQueen... I can't define "star quality," but whatever it is, Mr. Gibson has it.” Gibson has also been likened to “a combination Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart.” Gibson's roles in the "Mad Max" series of films, Peter Weir's Gallipoli, and the "Lethal Weapon" series of films earned him the label of "action hero". Later, Gibson expanded into a variety of acting projects including human dramas such as Hamlet, and comedic roles such as those in Maverick and What Women Want. He expanded beyond acting into directing and producing, with: The Man Without a Face, in 1993; Braveheart, in 1995; The Passion of the Christ, in 2004; and Apocalypto, in 2006. Jess Cagle of TIME has compared Gibson to Cary Grant, Sean Connery, and Robert Redford. Connery once suggested Gibson should play the next James Bond to Connery's M. Gibson turned down the role, reportedly because he feared being typecast.

 Stage
Gibson studied at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney. The students at NIDA were classically trained in the British-theater tradition rather than in preparation for screen acting. As students, Gibson and actress Judy Davis played the leads in Romeo and Juliet, and Gibson played the role of Queen Titania in an experimental production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. After graduation in 1977, Gibson immediately began work on the filming of Mad Max, but continued to work as a stage actor, and joined the State Theatre Company of South Australia in Adelaide. Gibson’s theatrical credits include the character Estragon in Waiting for Godot, and the role of Biff Loman in a 1982 production of Death of a Salesman in Sydney. Gibson’s most recent theatrical performance, opposite Sissy Spacek, was the 1993 production of Love Letters by A. R. Gurney, in Telluride, Colorado.

 Australian television and cinema
While a student at NIDA, Gibson made his film debut in the 1977 film Summer City, for which he was paid $400.

Gibson then played the title character in the film Mad Max . He was paid $15000 for this role. Shortly after making the film he did a season with the South Australian Theatre Company. During this period he shared a $30 a week apartment in Adelaide with his future wife Robyn. After Mad Max Gibson also played a mentally slow youth in the film Tim.

During this period Gibson also appeared in Australian television series guest roles. He appeared in serial The Sullivans as naval lieutenant Ray Henderson, in police procedural Cop Shop, and in the pilot episode of prison serial Punishment which was produced in 1980, screened 1981.

Gibson joined the cast of the World War II action film Attack Force Z, which was not released until 1982 when Gibson had become a bigger star. Director Peter Weir cast Gibson as one of the leads in the critically acclaimed World War I drama Gallipoli, which earned Gibson another Best Actor Award from the Australian Film Institute. The film Gallipoli also helped to earn Gibson the reputation of a serious, versatile actor and gained him the Hollywood agent Ed Limato. The sequel Mad Max 2 was his first hit in America . In 1982 Gibson again attracted critical acclaim in Peter Weir’s romantic thriller The Year of Living Dangerously. Following a year hiatus from film acting after the birth of his twin sons, Gibson took on the role of Fletcher Christian in The Bounty in 1984. Playing Max Rockatansky for the third time in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, in 1985, earned Gibson his first million dollar salary.

 Hollywood

Early Hollywood years
Mel Gibson's first American film was Mark Rydell’s 1984 drama The River, in which he and Sissy Spacek played struggling Tennessee farmers. Gibson then starred in the Gothic romance Mrs. Soffel for Australian director Gillian Armstrong. He and Matthew Modine played condemned convict brothers opposite Diane Keaton as the warden's wife who visits them to read the Bible. In 1985, after working on four films in a row, Gibson took almost two years off at his Australian cattle station. He returned to play the role of Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon, a film which helped to cement his status as a Hollywood "leading man". Gibson's next film was Robert Towne’s Tequila Sunrise, followed by Lethal Weapon 2, in 1989. Gibson next starred in three films back-to-back: Bird on a Wire, Air America, and Hamlet; all were released in 1990.

1990s
During the 1990s, Gibson alternated between commercial and personal projects. His films in the first half of the decade were Forever Young, Lethal Weapon 3, Maverick, and Braveheart. He then starred in Ransom, Conspiracy Theory, Lethal Weapon 4, and Payback. Gibson also served as the speaking and singing voice of John Smith in Disney’s Pocahontas.

After 2000

In 2000, Gibson acted in three films that each grossed over $100 million: The Patriot, Chicken Run, and What Women Want. In 2002, Gibson appeared in the Vietnam War drama We Were Soldiers and M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs, which became the highest-grossing film of Gibson’s acting career. While promoting Signs, Gibson said that he no longer wanted to be a movie star and would only act in film again if the script were truly extraordinary. In 2010, Gibson appeared in Edge of Darkness, which marked his first starring role since 2002 and was an adaptation of the BBC miniseries, Edge of Darkness. In 2010, following an outburst at his ex-girlfriend that was made public, Gibson was dropped from the talent agency of William Morris Endeavor.

 Producer

After his success in Hollywood with the Lethal Weapon series, Gibson began to move into producing and directing. With partner Bruce Davey, Gibson formed Icon Productions in 1989 in order to make Hamlet. In addition to producing or co-producing many of Gibson's own star vehicles, Icon has turned out many other small films, ranging from Immortal Beloved to An Ideal Husband. Gibson has taken supporting roles in some of these films, such as The Million Dollar Hotel and The Singing Detective. Gibson has also produced a number of projects for television, including a biopic on The Three Stooges and the 2008 PBS documentary Carrier. Icon has grown from being just a production company to also be an international distribution company and film exhibitor in Australia and New Zealand.

 Director
Mel Gibson has credited his directors, particularly George Miller, Peter Weir, and Richard Donner, with teaching him the craft of filmmaking and influencing him as a director. According to Robert Downey, Jr., studio executives encouraged Gibson in 1989 to try directing, an idea he rebuffed at the time. Gibson made his directorial debut in 1993 with The Man Without a Face, followed two years later by Braveheart, which earned Gibson the Academy Award for Best Director. Gibson had long planned to direct a remake of Fahrenheit 451, but in 1999 the project was indefinitely postponed because of scheduling conflicts. Gibson was scheduled to direct Robert Downey, Jr. in a Los Angeles stage production of Hamlet in January 2001, but Downey's drug relapse ended the project. In 2002, while promoting We Were Soldiers and Signs to the press, Gibson mentioned that he was planning to pare back on acting and return to directing. In September 2002, Gibson announced that he would direct a film called The Passion in Aramaic and Latin with no subtitles because he hoped to "transcend language barriers with filmic storytelling." In 2004, he released the controversial film The Passion of the Christ, with subtitles, which he co-wrote, co-produced, and directed. The film went on to become the highest grossing rated R film of all time with $370,782,930 in U.S. box office sales. Gibson directed a few episodes of Complete Savages for the ABC network. In 2006, he directed the action-adventure film Apocalypto, his second film to feature sparse dialogue in a non-English language.

 personal life
 Family
Gibson met Robyn Denise Moore in the late 1970s soon after filming Mad Max when they were both tenants at a house in Adelaide. At the time, Robyn was a dental nurse and Mel was an unknown actor working for the South Australian Theatre Company. On 7 June 1980, Mel and Robyn Gibson were married in a Roman Catholic church in Forestville, New South Wales. They currently have one daughter, six sons, and three grandchildren as of 2011.

After 26 years of marriage, Mel and Robyn Gibson separated on 29 July 2006. In a 2011 interview, Gibson stated that the separation began the day following his arrest for drunk driving in Malibu. Robyn Gibson filed for divorce on 13 April 2009, citing irreconcilable differences. In a joint statement, the Gibsons declared, "Throughout our marriage and separation we have always strived to maintain the privacy and integrity of our family and will continue to do so." The divorce filing followed the March 2009 release of photographs appearing to show him on a beach embracing Russian pianist Oksana Grigorieva. Gibson's divorce was finalized on December 23, 2011, and the settlement with his ex-wife was said to be the highest in Hollywood history at over $400,000,000.

On 28 April 2009, Gibson made a red carpet appearance with Grigorieva. Grigorieva, who had previously had a son with actor Timothy Dalton, gave birth to Gibson's daughter Lucia on 30 October 2009. In April 2010, it was made public that Gibson and Grigorieva had split. On 21 June 2010, Grigorieva filed a restraining order against Gibson to keep him away from her and their child. The restraining order was modified the next day regarding Gibson's contact with their child. Gibson obtained a restraining order against Grigorieva on 25 June 2010.
In response to claims by Grigorieva that an incident of domestic violence occurred in January 2010, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department launched a domestic violence investigation in July 2010.

On 23 December 2011, a Los Angeles judge approved the divorce settlement between Gibson and wife of 31 years, Robyn Denise Moore. No details of the divorce settlement were released by either party. The divorce takes effect on January 9, 2012.

 Investments
Gibson is a property investor, with multiple properties in Malibu, California, several locations in Costa Rica, a private island in Fiji and properties in Australia. In December 2004, Gibson sold his Australian farm in the Kiewa Valley for $6 million. Also in December 2004, Gibson purchased Mago Island in Fiji from Tokyu Corporation of Japan for $15 million. Descendants of the original native inhabitants of Mago, who were displaced in the 1860s, have protested the purchase. Gibson stated it was his intention to retain the pristine environment of the undeveloped island. In early 2005, he sold his Montana ranch to a neighbour. In April 2007 he purchased a ranch in Costa Rica for $26 million, and in July 2007 he sold his Tudor estate in Connecticut (which he purchased in 1994 for $9 million) for $40 million to an unnamed buyer. Also that month, he sold a Malibu property for $30 million that he had purchased for $24 million two years before. In 2008, he purchased the Malibu home of David Duchovny and Téa Leoni.

 Prankster
Gibson has a reputation for practical jokes, puns, Stooge-inspired physical comedy, and doing outrageous things to shock people. As a director he sometimes breaks the tension on set by having his actors perform serious scenes wearing a red clown nose. Helena Bonham Carter, who appeared alongside him in Hamlet, said of him, "He has a very basic sense of humor. It's a bit lavatorial and not very sophisticated." During the filming of Hamlet, Gibson would relieve pressure on the set by mooning the cast and crew, directly following a serious scene. In addition to inserting several homages to the Three Stooges in his Lethal Weapon movies, Gibson produced a 2000 television movie about the comedy group which starred Michael Chiklis as Curly Howard. As a gag, Gibson inserted a single frame of himself smoking a cigarette into the 2005 teaser trailer of Apocalypto.

 Philanthropy

Gibson and his former wife have contributed a substantial amount of money to various charities, one of which is Healing the Children. According to Cris Embleton, one of the founders, the Gibsons gave millions to provide lifesaving medical treatment to needy children worldwide. They also supported the restoration of Renaissance artwork and gave millions of dollars to NIDA.

Gibson donated $500,000 to the El Mirador Basin Project to protect the last tract of virgin rain forest in Central America and to fund archeological excavations in the "cradle of Mayan civilization." In July 2007, Gibson again visited Central America to make arrangements for donations to the indigenous population. Gibson met with Costa Rican President Óscar Arias to discuss how to "channel the funds." During the same month, Gibson pledged to give financial assistance to a Malaysian company named Green Rubber Global for a tire recycling factory located in Gallup, New Mexico. While on a business trip to Singapore in September 2007, Gibson donated to a local charity for children with chronic and terminal illnesses.

In a 2011 interview, Gibson said of his philanthropic works, “It gives you perspective. It’s one of my faults, you tend to focus on yourself a lot. Which is not always the healthiest thing for your psyche or anything else. If you take a little time out to think about other people, it’s good. It’s uplifting.”

politics
Gibson has been described as “ultraconservative”.

Gibson complimented filmmaker Michael Moore and his documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 when he and Moore were recognized at the 2005 People's Choice Awards. Gibson's Icon Productions originally agreed to finance Moore's film, but later sold the rights to Miramax Films. Moore said that his agent Ari Emanuel claimed that "top Republicans" called Mel Gibson to tell him, "don’t expect to get more invitations to the White House". Icon's spokesman dismissed this story, saying "We never run from a controversy. You'd have to be out of your mind to think that of the company that just put out The Passion of the Christ."

In a July 1995 interview with Playboy magazine, Gibson said President Bill Clinton was a "low-level opportunist" and someone was "telling him what to do". He said that the Rhodes Scholarship was established for young men and women who want to strive for a "new world order" and this was a campaign for Marxism. Gibson later backed away from such conspiracy theories saying, "It was like: 'Hey, tell us a conspiracy'... so I laid out this thing, and suddenly, it was like I was talking the gospel truth, espousing all this political shit like I believed in it." In the same 1995 Playboy interview, Gibson argued against ordaining women to the priesthood.

In 2004, he publicly spoke out against taxpayer-funded embryonic stem-cell research that involves the cloning and destruction of human embryos. In March 2005, he condemned the outcome of the Terri Schiavo case, referring to Schiavo's death as "state-sanctioned murder".

Gibson questioned the Iraq War in March 2004. In 2006, Gibson said that the "fearmongering" depicted in his film Apocalypto "reminds me a little of President Bush and his guys."

In a 2011 interview, Gibson stated, "The whole notion of politics is they always present you with this or this or this. I’ll get a newspaper to read between the lines. Why do you have to adhere to prescribed formulas that they have and people argue over them and they’re all in a box. And you watch Fox claw CNN, and CNN claw Fox. Sometimes I catch a piece of the news and it seems insanity to me. I quietly support candidates. I’m not out there banging a drum for candidates. But I have supported a candidate and it’s a whole other world. Once you’ve been exposed to it, once or twice or however many times, if you know the facts and see how they’re presented, it’s mind-boggling. It’s a very scary arena to be in, but I do vote. I go in there and pull the lever. It’s kind of like pulling the lever and watching the trap door fall out from beneath you. Why should we trust any of these people? None of them ever deliver on anything. It’s always disappointing."

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Mel Gibson", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.