Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson was born January 3rd, 1956 to parents Hutton and Ann Gibson. While many may think that Gibson is originally Australian, he was in fact born in Peekskill, N.Y.
The sixth of eleven children, a young Mel relocated to Sydney, Australia (Ann Gibson's place of birth) after his father, a railroad brakeman, suffered an on-the-job injury. Their move down under was also to avoid the elder Gibson boys from being drafted in the Vietnam war.
Once a high school graduate, Gibson wanted to pursue a career in arts of a different kind -- in cooking or journalism -- but after his sister submitted an application to the National Institute of Dramatic Art at the University of New South Wales, behind Gibson's back, he decided to try his hand at acting.
While at the University, Gibson's film repertoire began with his role in Summer City. Luckily for the thespian, director George Miller caught his Summer City performance and called on the State Theatre Company of South Australia actor to audition for the title role of his film.
By another stroke of luck for Gibson -- and another sign that he was in the right field -- he landed the lead role in Mad Max not only despite the fact that he auditioned with a knocked up face (thanks to a fight he was in the night before), but practically because of it. His role in the 1980 film became Gibson's claim to fame, and eventually led to his transition to the United States. Ironically, his voice was dubbed for the film's American release of the film; it was the follow-up of Mad Max, The Road Warrior, which increased Gibson's stardom.
With the lead role in the most successful Australian movie to date and a Best Actor Australian Film Institute Award for the film Tim under his belt, it was clear that his star was on the rise. By the time he had co-starred with Danny Glover in the box-office hit Lethal Weapon, Gibson had earned another Best Actor Australian Film Institute Award for his role in Gallipoli, and starred in films such as The Year of Living Dangerously, The River, The Bounty, and Mrs. Soffel.
After completing the next installment in the Lethal Weapon franchise, Gibson starred opposite Goldie Hawn in Bird on a Wire; starred as the man in tights himself in the film remake of Hamlet; teamed up with Rene Russo for Lethal Weapon 3; directed and starred in The Man Without a Face; and starred in the successful western Maverick.
But the highlight of Gibson's career came about in 1995, when his role as William Wallace in the epic film Braveheart garnered the actor the award for Best Director and Best Picture.
In 1997, Gibson re-teamed with Rene Russo for the film Ransom; appeared in the bomb Father's Day as a body piercer; co-starred with Julia Roberts in Conspiracy Theory; and appeared yet again as Detective Martin Riggs, this time for the fourth Lethal Weapon.
After his role in Payback (with Lucy Liu), the practical joker starred in the Bono-penned film The Million-Dollar Hotel. The summer of 2000 showed two sides of Gibson, albeit two patriotic sides. He starred in the epic film, The Patriot, and lent his voice to a "flying" American rooster in the animated film Chicken Run.
His poultry-laden role was not the first time he lent his voice to an animated character; he starred as the American officer in Disney's Pocahontas, and even played himself in an episode of The Simpsons.
The first one to be named People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" (in 1985), Gibson has also been on the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" list numerous times.
Women may wish Gibson was an eligible bachelor, but he has been married to his wife, Robyn, for the past 20 years, and together they have 7 children (practically following in the footsteps of his parents).
The accomplished producer/director/actor was recently seen in the comedy, What Women Want, with Helen Hunt and stirred up a huge wake directing Passion of The Christ.
What else do you need to know?