Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson was born January 3, 1956 in Peekskill, New York, USA, as the sixth of eleven children of Hutton Gibson, a railroad brakeman, and Anne Patricia (Reilly) Gibson (who died in December of 1990). His mother was Irish, from County Longford, while his American-born father is of mostly Irish descent. Mel and his family moved to Australia in the late 1960s, settling in New South Wales, where Mel's paternal grandmother, contralto opera singer Eva Mylott, was born.
After high school, Mel studied at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, performing at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts alongside future film thespians Judy Davis and Geoffrey Rush. After college, Mel had a few stints on stage and starred in a few TV shows. Eventually, he was chosen to star in Mad Max (1979) and in a movie called Tim (1979), co-starring Piper Laurie. The small budgeted movie Mad Max (1979) made him known worldwide, while Tim (1979) garnered him an award for Best Actor from the Australian Film Institute (equivalent to the Oscar). Later, he went on to star in Gallipoli (1981), which earned him a second award for Best Actor from the AFI.
In 1980, he married Robyn Moore and had seven children. In 1984, Mel made his American debut in The Bounty (1984), which co-starred Anthony Hopkins. Then in 1987, Mel starred in what would become his signature series, Lethal Weapon (1987), in which he played "Martin Riggs". In 1990, he took on the interesting starring role in Hamlet (1990), which garnered him some critical praise. He also made the more endearing Forever Young (1992) and the somewhat disturbing The Man Without a Face (1993). 1995 brought his most famous role as "Sir William Wallace" in Braveheart (1995), for which he won two Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. From there, he made such box office hits as The Patriot (2000), Ransom (1996), and Payback (1999).
Today, Mel remains an international superstar mogul, continuously topping the Hollywood power lists as well as the Most Beautiful and Sexiest lists.
Awards: Won 2 Oscars. Another 31 wins & 30 nominations
Known For: Lethal Weapon (1987) | The Patriot (2000) | Braveheart (1995) | Signs (2002)