Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson
(born January 3, 1956)
is an American Australian actor, film director and producer and
screenwriter. Born in Peekskill, New York, Gibson moved with his parents to
Sydney when he was 12 years old and later studied acting
at the National
Institute of Dramatic Art.
After appearing in the Mad Max
went on to direct and star in the Academy
Gibson's direction of Braveheart
made him the sixth
actor-turned-filmmaker to receive an Academy Award for Best Director
In 2004, he directed and produced The Passion of the Christ
controversial but successful film that portrayed the last hours of
the life of Jesus Christ
. The movies he
has acted in have grossed more than two billion dollars in the U.S.
born in Peekskill, New York, the sixth of eleven children, and the
second son of Hutton Gibson and
Irish-born Anne Reilly.
His paternal grandmother was the
Australian opera soprano, 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 shared
by an Irish saint and is name of the parish in County Longford where Anne Reilly was born and raised.
Because of his mother, Gibson holds dual Irish and American
Soon after being awarded $145,000 in a work-related-injury lawsuit
against New York Central
on February 14, 1968, Hutton Gibson relocated his
family to Sydney, Australia. 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 military would
reject his oldest son for the Vietnam War
educated by members of the Congregation of Christian
Brothers at St. Leo's
Catholic College in Wahroonga, New South Wales, during his high school
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
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
and Humphrey Bogart
Gibson's physical appearance made him a natural for leading male
roles in action projects such as the "Mad Max" series of films,
, and the "Lethal
Weapon" series of films. 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
. His most artistic and
financial success came with films where he expanded beyond acting
into directing and producing, such as 1993's The Man Without a Face
, 2000's The Patriot
2004's The Passion of the
and 2006's Apocalypto
. Gibson was considered for roles
, The Golden Child
, Robin Hood: Prince of
. Actor Sean 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
Gibson studied at the National Institute of
(NIDA) in Sydney. The students at NIDA were
trained in the British-theater tradition rather than in preparation
acting. As students, Gibson and
actress Judy Davis
played the leads
, and Gibson played the role of Queen Titania
in an experimental
production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
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
(opposite Geoffrey Rush
) in Waiting for Godot
, and the role of
in a 1982 production of
Death of a Salesman
Sydney. Gibson’s most recent theatrical performance, opposite
, was the 1993 production
of Love Letters
Gurney, in Telluride, Colorado.
Australian television and cinema
While a student at NIDA
, Gibson made his
film debut in the 1977 film Summer
, for which he was paid $250. Gibson also played a
mentally-slow youth in Tim
which earned him the
Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Leading
. The release of Mad Max
1979 brought Gibson to mainstream attention.
During this period Gibson also appeared in Australian television
series guest roles on programs The
, Cop Shop
1980), and in the pilot episode of Punishment
(produced in 1980,
Gibson joined the cast of the World War
action film Attack Force
, 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
, which earned Gibson
another Best Actor Award from the Australian Film Institute
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 (released as The Road Warrior
). In 1982 Gibson
again attracted critical acclaim in Peter
’s romantic thriller The Year of Living
. Following a year hiatus from film acting
after the birth of his twin sons, Gibson took on the role of
in 1984. Playing
for the third time
in Mad Max Beyond
in 1985 earned Gibson his first million dollar
Early Hollywood years
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
Australian director Gillian
. 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 ranch. He returned to play the role of Martin Riggs
in Lethal Weapon
, a film which helped to
cement his status as a Hollywood star. Gibson's next film was
’s Tequila Sunrise
, followed by
Lethal Weapon 2
After starring in three films back-to-back, Bird on a Wire
, Air America
, and Hamlet
, Gibson took another hiatus
During the 1990s, Gibson used his boxoffice power to alternate
between commercial and personal projects. His films in the first
half of the decade were Forever
, Lethal Weapon
. He then starred in
, Conspiracy Theory
Lethal Weapon 4
. Gibson also served
as the speaking and singing voice of John Smith
In 2000, Gibson acted in three films that each grossed over $100
, Chicken Run
and What Women Want
2002, Gibson appeared in the Vietnam War
drama We Were Soldiers
M. Night Shyamalan
, 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. Gibson is currently filming
, which marks his first starring role since
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
. 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
An Ideal Husband
Gibson has taken supporting roles in some of these films, such as
The Million Dollar
to improve their commercial prospects.
Gibson has also produced a number of projects for television,
including a biopic on The Three
and the 2008 PBS
. Icon has
grown beyond just a production company to an international
distribution company and a film exhibitor in Australia and New
Mel Gibson has credited his directors, particularly George Miller
, Peter Weir
, and Richard
, 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
, followed two years later by Braveheart
, which earned Gibson the Academy Award for Best
. Gibson had long planned to direct a remake of
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
2001, but Downey's drug relapse ended the project. In 2002, while
promoting We Were Soldiers
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
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
, which he co-wrote, co-produced, and
directed. 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.
On July 25, 1997, Gibson was named an honorary Officer of the Order of
(AO), in recognition of his "service to the
Australian film industry". The award was honorary because
substantive awards are made only to Australian citizens. In 1985,
Gibson was named "The Sexiest Man
" by People
first person to be named so. Gibson quietly declined the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres
from the French government in 1995 as a protest against France's
resumption of nuclear testing in the Southwest Pacific.
magazine chose Mel
Gibson and Michael Moore as Men of
in 2004, but Gibson turned down the photo session and
interview, and the cover went instead to George W. Bush
Mad Max series
Gibson got his breakthrough role as the leather-clad
post-apocalyptic survivor in George Miller
's Mad Max
. The independently-financed blockbuster
earned Gibson $15,000 and helped to make him an international star
everywhere but in the United States, where the actors' Australian
accents were dubbed with American accents. The original film
spawned two sequels: Mad Max 2
(known in North America as The Road Warrior
Mad Max 3
in North America as Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
). A fourth
movie, Mad Max 4: Fury
, is in development, but both Gibson and George Miller
have indicated that
the starring role would go to a younger actor.
Gibson played the role of the cynical Frank Dunne alongside co-star
in the 1981 Peter Weir
film. Gallipoli is about several young
men from rural Western
Australia who enlist
in the Australian Army during the
First World War. They are sent to Turkey, where they
take part in the Gallipoli
During the course of the movie, the young men
slowly lose their innocence about the purpose of war. The climax of
the movie occurs on the ANZAC
and depicts the brutal attack at
. The critically-acclaimed
film helped to further launch Gibson's career. He won the award for
Best Actor in a Leading Role
from the Australian Film Institute
The Year of Living Dangerously
Gibson played a naïve but ambitious journalist opposite Sigourney Weaver
and Linda Hunt
’s atmospheric 1982 film The Year of Living
, based on the novel of the same name by
. The movie was
both a critical and commercial success, and the upcoming Australian
actor was heavily marketed by MGM
studio. In his
review of the film, Vincent Canby of the New York Times
wrote, "If this film doesn't
make an international star of Mr. Gibson, then nothing will. He
possesses both the necessary talent and the screen presence."
Gibson was initially reluctant to accept the role of Guy Hamilton.
"I didn't necessarily see my role as a great challenge. My
character was, like the film suggests, a puppet. And I went with
that. It wasn't some star thing, even though they advertised it
that way." Gibson saw some similarities between himself and the
character of Guy. "He's not a silver-tongued devil. He's kind of
immature and he has some rough edges and I guess you could say the
same for me." Gibson has cited this screen performance as his
Gibson followed the footsteps of Errol
, Clark Gable
, and Marlon Brando
by starring as Fletcher Christian
in a cinematic
retelling of the mutiny on the
. The resulting 1984 film The
is considered to be the most historically accurate
version. However, Gibson thinks that the film's revisionism did not
go far enough. He stated that his character should have been
portrayed as more of a villain and described Anthony Hopkins
's performance as William Bligh
as the best aspect of the
Lethal Weapon series
Gibson moved into more mainstream commercial filmmaking with the
popular buddy cop Lethal Weapon
series, which began with the 1987 original. In the films he played
, a recently widowed
veteran with a death wish and a
penchant for violence and gunplay. In the films, he is partnered
with a reserved family man named Roger
the success of Lethal Weapon
director Richard Donner
cast revisited the characters in three sequels, Lethal Weapon 2
(1989), Lethal Weapon 3
Lethal Weapon 4
This series would come to exemplify the subgenre of the buddy film
Gibson made the unusual transition from the action to classical
genres, playing the melancholic Danish prince in Franco Zeffirelli
. Gibson was cast
alongside such experienced Shakespearean
actors as Ian Holm
, Alan Bates
. He described working
with his fellow cast members as similar to being "thrown into the
ring with Mike Tyson
The film met with critical and marketing success and remains steady
in DVD sales. It also marked the transformation of Mel Gibson from
action hero to serious actor and filmmaker.
Mel Gibson directed, produced, and starred in Braveheart
, an epic telling of the legend of
Sir William Wallace
, a 13th century
martyr of Scottish nationalism
Gibson received two Academy Awards
second directorial effort. Braveheart
influenced the Scottish
nationalism movement and helped to revive the film genre of the
historical epic. The Battle of Stirling Bridge sequence in Braveheart is considered by critics to be
one of the all-time best directed battle scenes.
The Passion of the Christ
Gibson directed, produced, co-wrote, and self-funded the 2004 film
The Passion of the
which chronicled the passion
and death of Jesus Christ.
The cast spoke the languages of Aramaic
. Although Gibson originally
announced his intention to release the film without subtitles; he
relented on this point for theatrical exhibition. The highly
controversial film sparked divergent reviews, ranging from high
praise to criticism of the violence to charges of anti-Semitism.
The movie grossed US$
and $370,782,930 in the US alone, surpassing any motion picture
starring Gibson. It became the eighth highest-grossing film in
history and the highest-grossing rated R
film of all time. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards
and won the People's Choice Award
Gibson further established his reputation as a director with his
2006 action-adventure film Apocalypto
. Gibson's fourth directorial
effort is set in Mesoamerica
early 16th century against the turbulent end
of a Maya civilization
The sparse dialogue is spoken in the Yucatec Maya
language by a cast of Native American
In March 2007, Gibson told a screening audience that he was
preparing another script with Farhad
about the writing of the Oxford English Dictionary
(OED). Gibson's company has long owned the rights to The Professor and the Madman
which tells the story of the creation of the OED
Gibson has dismissed the rumors that he is considering directing a
film about Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa
in September 2007 if he planned to return to acting and
specifically to action roles, Gibson said:
- "I think I’m too old for that, but you never know.
I just like telling stories. Entertainment is valid
and I guess I’ll probably do it again before it's over.
You know, do something that people won’t get mad with me
Gibson is next acting in a film adaptation of the BBC miniseries,
Edge of Darkness
will be his first starring role since Signs
back in 2002. Edge of Darkness
currently in post-production and is slated for a January 29, 2010
In 2005, the film “Sam and George” was announced as the seventh
collaboration between director Richard
and Gibson. In February 2009, Donner said that this
project was “dead,” but
that he and Gibson were planning another film based on an original
script by Brian Helgeland
production in fall 2009.
Gibson filmed The Beaver
a film directed by former Maverick
co-star, Jodie Foster
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
. On June 7, 1980, they were married in a
Catholic church in Forestville, New South Wales.
The couple have one daughter, six sons, and
two grandchildren. Their seven children are Hannah (born 1980),
twins Edward and Christian (born 1982), William (born 1985), Louis
(born 1988), Milo (born 1990), and Thomas (born 1999).
Daughter Hannah Gibson married blues
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
September 16, 2006. Gibson's spokesman previously had denied a
rumor that Hannah was planning to become a nun.
After nearly three years of separation, Robyn Gibson filed for
divorce on April 13, 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."
Gibson's girlfriend, Russian
Oksana Grigorieva, has a son with former boyfriend, actor Timothy Dalton
. On October 30, 2009,
Grigorieva gave birth to their daughter, Lucia.
has an avid interest in property investments, 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
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 neighbor for an undisclosed multimillion
dollar sum. In April 2007 he purchased a ranch in
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
Religious and political views
Gibson was brought up as a Traditionalist Catholic
. As part of
his response to a question on whether Pope John Paul II
saw The Passion of the Christ
Gibson said, "I’d like to hear what he has to say. I’d like to hear
what anyone has to say. This film isn’t made for the elite. Anyone
could see this film, even the occupier of the chair of Peter
can see this film." Gibson
also referred to him as "Pope John Paul II" in a 2004 Reader's Digest
acquaintance Father William Fulco
said that Gibson denies neither the Pope
When asked about the Catholic doctrine of "Extra Ecclesiam nulla
", Gibson replied, "There is no salvation for those
outside the Church … I believe it. Put it this way. My wife is a
saint. She's a much better person than I am. Honestly. She's, like,
Episcopalian, Church of England. She prays, she believes in God,
she knows Jesus, she believes in that stuff. And it's just not fair
if she doesn't make it, she's better than I am. But that is a
pronouncement from the chair
go with it." When he was asked at Willow
Creek church whether John 14:6 is an intolerant position,
he said that "through the merits
of Jesus' sacrifice… even people who don't know Jesus are able to
be saved, but through him."
Gibson told Diane Sawyer
that he believes non-Catholics and
non-Christians can go to heaven.
2007, Mel Gibson flew to Hermosillo, Mexico, where he attended a Tridentine Mass during which grandchildren
of his friends and two of his children received the sacrament of Confirmation, administered by
Archbishop emeritus Carlos
The same Archbishop Arce consecrated
Gibson's private traditional
in February, 2007.
beliefs have been the target of attacks, especially
during the controversy over his film The Passion of the Christ
Gibson stated in the Diane Sawyer
interview that he feels that his "human rights were violated" by
the often vitriolic attacks on his person, his family, and his
religious beliefs which were sparked by The Passion
Gibson has been called everything from “ultraconservative” to
“politically very liberal” by acquaintance William Fulco
. Although he has denied that he
is a Republican
Gibson is often referred to as one in the press, and WorldNetDaily
once reported that there was
grassroots support among Republicans for "a presidential run" in
Gibson complimented filmmaker Michael
and his documentary Fahrenheit 9/11
when he and Moore were
recognized at the 2005 People's
. Gibson's Icon
originally agreed to finance Moore's film, but
later sold the rights to Miramax
. 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
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
In a July 1995 interview with Playboy
magazine, Gibson said President
was a "low-level
opportunist" and someone was "telling him what to do". He said that
the Rhodes Scholarship
established for young men and women who want to strive for a
"new world order
this was a campaign for Marxism
later backed away from such conspiracy
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 the same 1995 Playboy
interview, when Gibson was asked
why he was against women being priests, he responded that "men and
women are just different. They're not equal. The same way that you
and I are not equal... You might be more intelligent, or you might
have a bigger dick. Whatever it is, nobody's equal. And men and
women are not equal. I have tremendous respect for women. I love
them. I don't know why they want to step down. Women in my family
are the center of things. And good things emanate from them. The
guys usually mess up... Women are just different. Their
sensibilities are different." When asked for an example, he
responded "I had a female business partner once. Didn't work." When
asked why, he said that "she was a cunt." Gibson also said
"Feminists don't like me, and I don't like them. I don't get their
point. I don't know why feminists have it out for me, but that's
their problem, not mine."
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 issued a statement condemning the outcome of the
Terri Schiavo case
, referring to
Schiavo's death as "state-sanctioned murder" on Sean Hannity
's radio show.
Gibson joked about WMDs
in a February 2004 interview with Diane
and in March 2004 questioned the Iraq war
's radio show. In 2006, Gibson told Time
magazine that the "fearmongering"
depicted in his film Apocalypto
"reminds me a little of President
and his guys."
Allegations of homophobia
& Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
Gibson of homophobia after a December 1991 interview in the Spanish
newspaper El País
. Asked what
he thought of gay people, he said, "They take it up the ass."
Gibson then proceeded to point at his posterior and said: "This is
only for taking a shit." When reminded that he had worked closely
with gay people at drama school, Gibson said, "They were good
people, kind, I like them. But their thing is not my thing." When
the interviewer asked if Gibson was afraid that people would think
he is gay because he's an actor, Gibson replied, "Do I sound like a
homosexual? Do I talk like them? Do I move like them? What happens
is when you're an actor, they stick that label on you." Gibson
later defended his comments on Good Morning America
"[Those remarks were a response] to a direct question. If someone
wants my opinion, I'll give it. What, am I supposed to lie to
them?" In his 1995 Playboy
interview, he responded to
protests over his comment with "I'll apologize when hell freezes
over. They can fuck off". Eventually, however, Gibson joined GLAAD
in hosting 10 lesbian and gay filmmakers for an on-location seminar
on the set of the movie Conspiracy Theory
1997. In 1999 when asked about the comments to El País
, Gibson said, "I shouldn't have
said it, but I was tickling a bit of vodka during that interview,
and the quote came back to bite me on the ass."
Gibson has been criticized for homophobia over his films
and The Passion of the
Allegations of anti-Semitism
Gibson has been accused of anti-Semitism over two issues:His 2004
film The Passion of the
sparked a fierce debate over alleged anti-Semitic
imagery and overtones
. Gibson denied that the film was
anti-Semitic, but critics remained divided. Some agreed that the
film was consistent with the Gospels
traditional Catholic teachings, while others argued that it
reflected a selective reading of the Gospels
or that it failed to comply with recommendations for dramatization
of the Passion
issued by the
Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the USCCB
A leaked report revealed that during Gibson's July 28, 2006, arrest
for driving under the
, he made anti-Semitic remarks to arresting officer
James Mee, who is Jewish, saying, "Fucking Jews... Jews are
responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you a Jew?" Gibson
issued two apologies for the incident through his publicist, and in
a later interview with Diane Sawyer
affirmed the accuracy of the quotations.
Mel Gibson is known for his sense of humor on the set of his
movies. He has a reputation for practical jokes, puns, Stooge
-inspired physical comedy, and doing
outrageous things to shock people. Gibson is fond of drawing
caricatures and hiring high school marching bands to pay tribute to
his co-workers. 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
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." On the set of Maverick
Gibson played a joke on
co-star Jodie Foster's
secretly rewriting the script to give her character all corny
dialogue. Foster returned the favor by hiring a bagpiper
in full Scottish regalia to follow Mel
around at the Vanity Fair
Oscar party after he won for Braveheart
. On the set of Ransom
, Gibson presented Ron Howard
with a mock Braveheart For Your Consideration
ad when both
and Apollo 13
were nominated for Best Picture
. The ad was for
“Best Moon Shot,” and featured a picture of Braveheart's
Scottish army mooning
the English. While filming Conspiracy Theory
, he and
co-star Julia Roberts
played a series
of pranks on each other, beginning with Gibson welcoming Roberts to
the set with a gift-wrapped freeze-dried rat. In addition to
inserting several homages to the Three
in his Lethal
movies, Gibson produced a 2000 television movie
about the comedy group which starred Michael Chiklis
as Curley Howard
. As a gag, Gibson inserted a
single subliminal frame of himself smoking a cigarette into the
2005 teaser trailer of Apocalypto
Mel Gibson has said that he started drinking at the age of
thirteen. In a 2002 interview about his time at NIDA
, Gibson said, "I had
really good highs but some very low lows. I found out recently I'm
." Gibson has not
made any other public mention of having bipolar disorder
Gibson was arrested in Toronto in 1984 for driving with a blood
alcohol level between 0.12%-0.13% after he rear-ended a car.
pled guilty and was fined $300 and banned from driving in Ontario for 3 months.
This led to a retreat to his
Australian farm for over a year to recover, but he continued to
struggle with drinking. Despite this problem, Gibson gained a
reputation in Hollywood for professionalism and punctuality, so that
Lethal Weapon 2 director
Richard Donner was shocked when
Gibson confided that he was drinking five pints of beer for
Reflecting in 2003 and 2004, Gibson said that
despair in his mid-30s led him to contemplate suicide, and he
meditated on Christ's Passion
to heal his wounds. He took more time off acting in 1991 and sought
professional help. That year, Gibson's attorneys were unsuccessful
at blocking the Sunday
from publishing what Gibson shared at AA
meetings. In 1992, Gibson provided
financial support to Hollywood's Recovery Center, saying, "Alcoholism
is something that runs in my family.
It's something that's close to me. People do come back from it, and
it's a miracle."
On July 28, 2006, Gibson was arrested for DUI
while speeding in his
vehicle with an open container of alcohol. He admitted to making
anti-Semitic remarks during his arrest and apologized for his
"despicable" behavior, saying the comments were "blurted out in a
moment of insanity" and asked to meet with Jewish leaders to help
him "discern the appropriate path for healing." When pressed for
what his thoughts were at the time in a later interview with Diane
Sawyer, he cited the vitriolic attacks on his film The Passion of the Christ
Gibson's arrest, his publicist said he had entered a recovery
program to battle alcoholism. On August 17, 2006, Gibson pleaded
to a misdemeanor
drunken-driving charge and was sentenced to three years on
probation. He was ordered to attend self-help meetings five times a
week for four and a half months and three times a week for the
remainder of the first year of his probation. He was also ordered
to attend a First Offenders Program, was fined $1,300, and his
license was restricted for 90 days. He also volunteered to record a
public service announcement.
In a October 12, 2006 interview with Diane
, Gibson spoke on his struggle to remain sober.
"The risk of everything - life, limb, family - is not
enough to keep you from it… You cannot do it of
And people can help, yeah.
But it's God.
You've got to go there.
You've got to do it.
Or you won't survive…This whole experience in a way,
for me, I'm sort of viewing it now as a kind of a blessing because,
firstly, I got stopped before I did any real damage to anyone
Thank God for that.
I didn't hurt myself, you know.
I didn't leave my kids fatherless… The other thing is
sometimes you need a cold bucket of water in the face to sort of
snap to because you're dealing with a sort of a malady of the soul,
an obsession of the mind and a physical allergy.
And some people need a big tap on the
In my case, public humiliation on a global scale seems
to be what was required."
At a May 2007 progress hearing, Gibson was praised for his
compliance with the terms of his probation, his extensive
participation in a self-help program, beyond what was
Although the Gibsons have avoided publicity about their
philanthropy, they are believed to contribute a substantial amount
of money to various charities, one of which is Healing the Children
. According to
, one of the founders,
the Gibsons have given millions to provide lifesaving medical
treatment to needy children worldwide. The Gibsons have also
supported the arts, funding the restoration of Renaissance
artwork and giving millions of
dollars to NIDA
filming Apocalypto in the
jungles of Mexico's Veracruz state, Mel Gibson donated one million dollars to
Club to build houses for poor people in the region after
some severe flooding wiped out many homes, stating:
"[T]hey had a lot of floods down
It was like Louisiana down there in the southern
They had severe flooding and something like a
million people were displaced and washed out.
I've always been of the opinion that if you go into
someone else's country to make a film you don't just go in there
and stomp all over the place.
You bring a gift.
It's like going to somebody's
You bring them a bottle of wine or a bunch of
flowers or a box of chocolates and it's the same sort of thing on a
big scale when you're going in to somebody's country and they are
going to help you make your film.
You help them first somehow or you give them a gift
or you help in what way you can.
So we sort of assisted with the flood relief stuff
Gibson has been involved in discreetly assisting members of the
entertainment community with substance abuse problems. He worked behind the
scenes to get Robert Downey, Jr.
help while at Corcoran State Prison. Hole
praised Mel Gibson for
saving her from a drug relapse after the Hollywood actor helped
force her into rehab. Gibson sought to help the musician at a hotel
in Los Angeles when he heard she was using drugs again. Love later
"I kept slamming the door in (Gibson's)
There were two drug people with me who wouldn't leave,
so they couldn't get me to rehab.
But because of Mel, two drug people ran off to have a
cheeseburger with him because he's Mel, and then Warren [Boyd] (her
drug minder) could get me into rehab."
Gibson donated $500,000 to the El Mirador
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
to make arrangements
for donations to the indigenous population. Gibson met with
Rican President Oscar 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
While on a business trip to Singapore in
September 2007, Gibson donated to a local charity for children with
chronic and terminal illnesses. In September 2008, the Gibsons
donated $50,000 to the Kidney Foundation of Fiji. The check was
delivered by son Milo, who stated he loved Fiji and his family was
grateful to be able to help the organization.
Filmography and awards
Other awards and accomplishments
- 1995 Academy Awards
- Jesus helps Mel hit No. 1: Controversial film gives
Gibson the most weight on Forbes power list; Britney off the chart
again June 18, 2004
- Box Office Mojo.com Domestic Total
Gross:$370,782,930 60.6% + Foreign: $241,116,490 39.4%
- Michael Dwyer, The Irish Times film critic,
interviewed on RTÉ Radio
1's This week programme, August 6, 2006.
- Mel Gibson: Living Dangerously, Wensley Clarkson, Thunder's
Mouth Press, New York, 1993, page 30.
- Clarkson, Wensley. Mel Gibson: Living Dangerously.
- "A Night on Mount Edna," December 15, 1990
- Search Australian Honours - Simple Search
- Order of Australia Association
- Think You Know Sexy?
- Galloway, Stephen. The Hollywood Reporter. October 30,
1995. "It was a definite decision to make a protest against the
nuclear tests", said Gibson, who is mad at French President Jacques
Chirac for deciding to detonate some bombs in the Pacific.
- Michael Moore Defends Cruise, Slags Gibson
September 16, 2006
- The best -- and worst -- movie battle scenes
April 2, 2007
- Event Report: "Mel Gibson Goes Mad At CSU" - CinemaBlend.com
- March 23, 2007
- 10 minutes with Mel Gibson: "When going green comes
naturally" - The New Straits Times - September
1, 2007 - accessed September 9, 2007
- "Mel Gibson to film in Panama?" - Opodo Travel
News - March 7, 2007
- Mel Gibson Thinking About Setting Next Splatter
Film In Panama March 6, 2007
- Enter the eco warrior The Star (Malaysia) -
September 10, 2007 - accessed September 10, 2007
- Mel Gibson: Living Dangerously, Wensley Clarkson, Thunder's
Mouth Press, New York, 1993, page 125.
- Mel Gibson denied bid to reclassify estate as
farm Jan 17, 2005
- Mel Gibson: Hollywood Takes Sides August 4, 2006
- Mel Gibson selling up September 16, 2004
- Mel Gibson reportedly listing his Greenwich, CT
estate for $39.5M; status of his Malibu properties is uncertain
July 12, 2007
- Mel Gibson sells Malibu home for $30 million: Star bought
the property two years ago for $24 million July 30, 2007
- Goodridge, Mike. "The Passion of Mel Gibson." Screen
International. pg 12, February 20, 2004.
- Noonan, Peggy. "Face to Face with Mel Gibson." Reader's
Digest. February 2004.
- “Whose Passion? Media, Faith & Controversy”
panel discussion video, time 1:05
- Boyer, Peter J. The New Yorker. September 15,
- "Inside Mel Gibson's "Passion"."
Salon. January 27, 2004.
- "Gibson attends Roman Catholic Confirmation in
Mexico." Fox News. May 23, 2007.
- "Mel Gibson y el Obispo emérito de Hermosillo." Fox
News. May 23, 2007.
- "Mel Gibson visits Archbishop." azstarnet.com.
- Padgett/Veracruz, Tim. "Apocalypto Now." Time. March 19,
- Weiner, Allison Hope. "The Year of Living Dangerously." Entertainment
Weekly. December 8, 2006.
- "Mel Gibson Pushed for President." World
- "Moore, Gibson: I Love His Work." Fox News.
January 10, 2005.
- Keough, Peter. "Not so hot: Fahrenheit 9/11 is more smoke than
fire." Boston Phoenix. June 25, 2004.
- Stein, Ruthe. "'Fahrenheit 9/11' too hot for Disney." San
Francisco Chronicle. May 6, 2004.
- Grobel, Lawrence. "Interview: Mel Gibson". Playboy. July 1995. Vol. 42, No.
7, Pg. 51. Retrieved May 17, 2006.
- Nui Te Koka. "Did I say that?" The Daily Telegraph.
January 30, 1999, pg 33.
- Grobel, Lawrence. Grobel, Lawrence. The art of the interview:
lessons from a master of the craft. Three Rivers Press,
2004. Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized May 21,
2008. ISBN 1400050715. p. 151.
- DeAngelis, Michael. Gay Fandom and Crossover Stardom.
Duke University Press, 2001. ISBN
- "Braveheart Stands Athwart a Brave New World."
National Review. November 1, 2004.
- "It's Modern Crucifixion." World Net
- "Mel Gibson joins stars to question Iraq war."
Sydney Morning Herald. March 18, 2004.
- Wockner, Rex. "Mel Gibson, Circa 1992, "Refuses to Apologize to
Gays"." San Francisco Bay Times. August 17, 2006
- "Mel Gibson to Meet Up-and-Coming Lesbian and Gay
- Rotello, Gabriel. "Gays Should Beware of Men in Kilts." New
York Newsday. June 1, 1995.
- Clinton, Paul. "Review: A powerful, personal 'Passion'." CNN.
February 25, 2004.
- Some criticism of The Passion
- USCCB stance on The Passion
- Gibson's Anti-Semitic Tirade - Alleged Cover
July 28, 2006
- Mel Gibson: Clowning Around. Anecdotage.com
Accessed August 3, 2006
- The Passion of Mel Gibson Jan. 19, 2003,
Time.com Accessed September 9, 2007
- Wensley Clarkson's "Mel Gibson: Living Dangerously", page
- Mel's Other 'Passion': Practical Jokes Accessed September 2,
- Teaser Trailer. Frame 2546. Timecode 01:01:47:03.
- "Rant aftermath a gift, says Gibson."
Herald Sun. January 15, 2007.
- The Advertiser. September 22, 1991
- Higgins, Bill. Los Angeles Times. December 14,
- "Mel Gibson Praised for Progress in Alcohol
Rehab." Newsmax. May 12, 2007.
- "Actor and Director Mel Gibson Donates $10
Million." UCLA.edu Newsroom.
- "Mel's $14m donation." Sydney Morning
Herald. October 13, 2004.
- "Mel Gibson gives Rotary $1 million for Mexico
disaster recovery." Rotary.org.
- "Mel Gibson Reveals His Apocalypto."
comingsoon.net. October 30, 2006.
- "Gibson Saves Love From Drugs." February 1,
- "Mel Gibson Meets With Costa Rican Leader."
ABC News. July 10, 2007.
Gibson Backs Green Rubber." EcoRazzi.com. July 12, 2007.