Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson, is an actor, film director, producer and screenwriter.Gibson was born in Peekskill, New York, the sixth of 11 children and the second son of Hutton Gibson and Irish-born Anne Patricia (died 1990). 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 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 $145,000 in a work-related-injury lawsuit against New York Central Railroad on February 14, 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.
Gibson gained very favorable notices from film critics when he first entered the cinematic scene, as well as comparisons to several classic movie stars. 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.
Gibson studied at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney. 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.
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' (1979). He was paid $15000 for this role. 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.
Mel Gibson's first American film was Mark Rydell's 1984 drama 'The River', in which he and Sissy Spacek played struggling Tennessee farmers. 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.
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 also produced a number of projects for television. Icon has grown from being just a production company to also be an international distribution company and film exhibitor in Australia and New Zealand.
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. 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. 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 Australia (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 Alive" by People, the 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. Time magazine chose Mel Gibson and Michael Moore as Men of the Year in 2004 but Gibson turned down the photo session and interview and the cover went instead to George W. Bush.
Gibson met Robyn Denise Moore in the late 1970's, 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 June 7, 1980, they were married in a Catholic church in Forestville, New South Wales and she became known as Robyn Gibson. The couple have one daughter, six sons, and two grandchildren.
After 26 years of marriage, the couple separated in August 2006. Nearly three years after the separation began, Robyn filed for divorce on April 13, 2009, citing irreconcilable differences.
On April 28, 2009, Gibson made a red carpet appearance with Oksana Grigorieva, a Russian pianist and an artist on Gibson's record label. Grigorieva has a son (born 1997) with actor Timothy Dalton. Grigorieva gave birth to Gibson's daughter Lucia on October 30, 2009. In April 2010, it was made public that Gibson and Grigorieva had split. On June 21, 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 June 25, 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.