Actor, director, producer. Born on January 3, 1956, in Peekskill, New York. Gibson was the sixth of 11 children born to Hutton and Ann Gibson, who were Roman Catholics of Irish descent. Shortly after the onset of the Vietnam War, Hutton Gibson relocated his family to Australia for fear that his sons would be drafted into battle. Mel spent the remainder of his childhood in Sydney, where he attended an all-boys Catholic high school. After Gibson’s high school graduation, he considered becoming a chef or journalist. However, when his sister submitted an application on his behalf to The National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney, he decided to audition. Without any prior acting experience, he was accepted and enrolled in the drama school. While there, he made his stage debut in a production of Romeo and Juliet, and his screen debut in the low-budget film Summer City (1977). Upon his graduation that year, Gibson joined the Southern Australian Theater Company, where he appeared in the title roles of classical productions, such as Oedipus and Henry IV. After conquering the stage, Gibson tried his hand at television, landing his first role on the Australian series The Sullivans. In 1979, Gibson graduated to mainstream cinema with his role as a futuristic warrior in Mad Max, and as a mentally retarded man in love with Piper Laurie in Tim, for which he earned his first Australian Film Institute (AFI) Award for Best Actor. Furthermore, Mad Max became the biggest commercial success of any Australian film, grossing over $100 million worldwide. Gibson received his second AFI Award for Best Actor for his performance as a patriotic idealist in Peter Weir’s World War I drama Gallipoli (1981). Later that year, he reprised his role as the leather-clad hero in Mad Max 2 (1981). The film was released in the U.S. as The Road Warrior in 1982, and it’s success established Gibson as an international star. His second collaboration with Weir, The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), featured the actor in his first romantic lead alongside Sigourney Weaver. Gibson’s American film debut in The River (1984) was considered a success. The film earned four Oscar nominations, including a Best Actress nod for Sissy Spacek. In 1985, he returned to Australia to complete the Mad Max trilogy in the less impressive Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome, which co-starred singer Tina Turner.
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Mel Gibson biography
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