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Who is Mel Gibson?

by Ratan Srivastava
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Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson or Mel Gibson AO is an actor, film director, producer, and screenwriter from the United States. He is most recognised for his action hero roles, most notably as Max Rockatansky in the first three Mad Max films and as Martin Riggs in the buddy cop film series Lethal Weapon. Gibson was born in Peekskill, New York, and relocated to Sydney, Australia, with his parents when he was 12 years old. He studied acting at the National Institute of Dramatic Art, where he appeared in a Romeo and Juliet performance alongside Judy Davis. In the 1980s, he formed Icon Entertainment, a production business that has been described as “an alternative to the studio system” by independent film director Atom Egoyan.

In the World War I drama Gallipoli, director Peter Weir cast him as one of the leads (1981).

Gibson received the Golden Globe Award for Best Director, the Academy Award for Best Director, and the Academy Award for Best Picture for Braveheart, a historical epic he produced, directed and acted in 1995. Later, he directed and produced The Passion of the Christ, a commercially successful and politically divisive biblical drama. He has gained praise for directing the action-adventure picture Apocalypto (2006), which takes place in Mesoamerica around the early 16th century.

Gibson’s public image collapsed after many legal difficulties and inflammatory utterances were made public, damaging his acting and directing careers. With his performance in Jodie Foster’s The Beaver and his directorial return after a 10-year hiatus, Hacksaw Ridge (2016), he resurrected his career, winning two Academy Awards and being nominated for four more.

When Gibson initially entered the movie business, he received glowing reviews from reviewers and was compared to a number of legendary movie icons. Vincent Canby said in 1982 that “Mr Gibson remembers Steve McQueen when he was younger… I’m not sure what’s quality is, but Mr Gibson possesses it.” Gibson has also been compared as “Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart together.”

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