Mel Gibson is celebrating his 65 birthday today.
His Early Career
The legendary actor was born in 1956 in Peekskill, New York. His family moved to Sydney, Australia when he was twelve. Shortly after, he began attending the National Institute for Dramatic Art where he became a classically trained actor.
The Mad Max trilogy was Gibson’s breakout role that helped him become a household name. The first Mad Max film was an Australian production. It was later acquired for United States distribution. The first film was released in 1979 and followed by The Road Warrior in 1981. Arguably, the second installment became the fan-favorite. Max (Gibson) becomes a barbarian in the post-apocalyptic world. The first film finds him avenging his family’s brutal murder while the others feature battles and action-packed sequences.
Gallipoli introduced the world to Gibson’s real voice, as his Australian release was dubbed with an American actor’s voice. The World War 1 story follows former athletes, with Gibson as an unemployed youngster, enlisting in the ANZAC forces.
The next year, The Year of Living Dangerously premiered in theaters. The movie showed off a new romantic side of Gibson and is based on the novel by Christopher J. Koch. He portrays a rookie journalist, Guy Hamilton, who flies to Jakarta to report on the government. He falls for Sigourney Weaver’s character, Jill, who works as a British embassy worker.
Mel Gibson and His Breakout Roles
Lethal Weapon spawned a total of four movies after the original released in 1987. He played the character of Sgt. Martin Riggs for over a decade. Riggs is a Los Angeles cop who became reckless after the death of his wife. Riggs meets his new partner, Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover). The pair fight crime together and uncover a major drug trafficking ring.
Hamlet featured an all-star cast including Glenn Close, Paul Scofield, and Alan Bates. Gibson was just becoming a Hollywood staple and was able to hold his own in the Shakespeare movie.
Braveheart was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director. Who could forget the paint on William Wallace’s face? It follows the Scotsman in the thirteenth century who creates a rebellion after the murder of his wife.
Did you know that Gibson was in Disney’s Pocahontas? Firstly, he portrayed John Smith, a soldier and explorer that falls for the chief’s daughter.
Secondly, he was also in the animated film, Chicken Run, as Rocky the chicken. Finally, he was also in The Simpsons, portraying himself. The “Beyond Blunderdome” episode aired in 1999.
Mel Gibson on Writing and Directing
Overall, Mel Gibson has 8 directing credits in his name. The Passion of The Christ, Hacksaw Ridge, Apocalypto, and Braveheart are his most notable films.
Arguably, The Passion of the Christ is his best work to date. The film followed Jesus’ final hours of his life before his untimely murder. The film earned over $370 million in the United States even though it was not in English. It became the highest-grossing non-English speaking film of all time.
Apocalypto was another non-English film and used the ancient Mayan language. The movie follows the story of the Jaguar Paw.
Additionally, Gibson has a handful of writing credits under his belt, including Apocalypto and The Passion.