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Although he maintained his United States citizenship, he was raised in Australia from the age of twelve. Following a victory on the TV game show Jeopardy!, Gibson's father, Hutton, moved his family to Australia in 1968 in protest of the Vietnam War for which his elder sons were potentially at risk for being drafted, and also because he believed that changes in American society were immoral.
Gibson's full name is Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson. He was born in Peekskill, New York, the sixth of ten children born to Ann Reilly (who was born in the U.S. to Irish immigrants) and Hutton Gibson, whose parents were Australians of Irish heritage. The family also adopted one child, bringing the total number of children in the family to 11. His younger brother, Donal, is also an actor.
Some people have criticised him and his father, Hutton Gibson, for their traditional Catholic beliefs and political views, which have drawn accusations of Anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. Gibson commented on the New Yorks Time columnist who implied his father was a Holocaust denier, angrily saying, "I want to kill him. I want his intestines on a stick. I want to kill his dog... He (Hutton) never denied the Holocaust. He just said there were fewer than six million."
Very devoted to his faith, Mel Gibson has donated money to finance the construction of a traditional style Catholic chapel in Malibu, California.
Gibson married Robyn Moore on June 7, 1980, with whom he has the following children: daughter, Hannah (born 1980); twin sons, Edward and Christian (born 1982); son, Willie (born 1985); son, Louis (born 1988); son, Milo (born 1990); son, Tommy (born 1999). Rumors that Hannah was going to become a nun were quashed by the family after initial mention in the media.
In early 2005, Mago Island was purchased by Gibson. Descendants of original native inhabitants of Mago, who were displaced in the 1860s, have protested Mel Gibson's purchase of Mago from Japan's Tokyu corporation for $15 million.
In Gibson's early Australian television and film roles he spoke in a general Australian accent. His voice was even dubbed in the US release of Mad Max (along with the rest of the cast). In the early 1990s he began to lose the accent after having lived in the United States for over a decade. He now has a fully American accent.
Gibson was born with a physical anomaly called "Horseshoe kidney". His two kidneys are fused at the base into a U shape. This fusion anomaly occurs in about one of every 400 people.
Gibson and the movies
After graduating from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1977, Gibson's acting career began in Australia with appearances in the television series including The Sullivans, Cop Shop and Punishment.
He made his Australian movie debut as the leather-clad post-apocalyptic survivor in George Miller's Mad Max, which later became a cult hit and launched two of its own sequels. His international profile increased through Peter Weir's anti-war First World War film Gallipoli. In 1984, Gibson's boyish good looks made him a natural for leading man roles, Gibson made his U.S. movie debut, starring as Fletcher Christian in The Bounty. Actor Anthony Hopkins played opposite Gibson as Captain Bligh.
Lethal Weapon and Hamlet
Gibson moved to more mainstream filmmaking with the popular Lethal Weapon series, where he starred as a maverick and violent cop, Martin Riggs, in a buddy relationship with his older and more conservative partner played by Danny Glover. Gibson surprisingly moved to the classical genre, playing the melancholy Danish prince in Franco Zeffirelli's movie of Shakespeare's Hamlet (1990). Gibson has been equally successful as a comedy actor, in movies such as Maverick (1994) and What Women Want (2000).
The Passion of the Christ
Gibson co-wrote, produced and directed The Passion of the Christ, a 2004 movie in Aramaic, Hebrew, and Latin, recounting a description of the last twelve hours of the life of Jesus Christ. The movie has received praise from Christians and a number of politically conservative Jewish leaders and scholars (e.g., Michael Medved, David Horowitz, and Steven Waldman).
The movie was initially criticised by some Christian and Jewish figures, a number of whom claimed that it may promote anti-Semitism, as it relies on imagery similar to that of passion-plays, a mainstream Christian tradition that some activists believe to be capable of inciting anti-Semitic incidents. The movie has been criticised by a group of Protestant scholars for its adherence in a number of scenes and details to the visions of a 17th century mystic and nun, the Venerable Mary of Agreda and a 19th Century German visionary, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, both Roman Catholics.
Gibson was asked if his movie would be offensive to Jews today; his response was "It's not meant to. I think it's meant to just tell the truth. I want to be as truthful as possible. But when you look at the reasons Christ came, he was crucified≈he died for all mankind and he suffered for all mankind. So that, really, anyone who transgresses has to look at their own part or look at their own culpability." He also stated on his decision to cut a scene in which Caiaphas says "his blood be on us and on our children" soon after Pontius Pilate washes his hands of Jesus :"I wanted it in. My brother said I was wimping out if I didn't include it. But, man, if I included that in there, they'd be coming after me at my house. They'd come to kill me."
When the Carmelite nuns at the convent in Coimbra, Portugal got word out that they wanted to see a copy of the film before it was released on DVD, Gibson personally arranged for a special digital screening from one inch tape and shipped in a projector and screens to view it and introduced the film in person. Later, he stopped by again to have a private meeting with the convent's most famous nun, Sister Lucia, who was 97 and was the last survivor of the three children who saw the vision of the Our Lady of Fatima, the Virgin Mary, and were said to have been given secrets by her, known as the Three Secrets of Fatima. Sister Lucia died not long after.
In spite of the criticism (or perhaps helped by it), the movie grossed $611,899,420 worldwide ($370,782,930 in the US alone) and became the eighth highest-grossing film in history. It currently is the 10th highest-grossing film and the highest-grossing Rated R film of all time. Despite this, the film went without any significant recognition by the major American film award celebrations. Although it was nominated for Best music (score), Best cinematography, and Best make-up at the 77th Academy Awards.
Gibson's politics and opinions
Some gay rights groups have accused Gibson of homophobia for his alleged Traditionalist Catholic views on homosexuality. In a 1992 interview, when asked what he thought of gay people, he said, "They take it up the ass." Gibson then bent over and pointed to his buttocks, saying "This is only for taking a shit." When the interviewer recalled that Gibson previously had expressed fear people would think he is gay because he's an actor, Gibson responded in saying "Do I sound like a homosexual? Do I talk like them? Do I move like them?" Gibson later defended his comments on Good Morning America, saying "I don't think there's an apology necessary, and I'm certainly not giving one. [Those remarks were a response] to a direct question. If someone wants my opinion, I'll give it. What, am I supposed to lie to them?"
Gibson later said that he was only joking. In January of 1997, to make amends with the gay community and to show that he is not homophobic, Gibson hosted along with GLAAD 10 lesbian and gay filmmakers for an on-location seminar on the set of the movie Conspiracy Theory. During the seminar Gibson provided up-and-coming lesbian and gay filmmakers with an up-close and personal look into the inner workings of a major Hollywood feature film. 
Other groups were later angry at his depiction of homosexual people as villains in Braveheart. However, historians agree that the character, the Prince (later King) Edward II of England, was indeed homosexual, and also agree with what was portrayed in the movie of the King being a mere puppet of Thomas of Lancaster. It should also be noted that Gibson did not write the screenplay for that film.
Gibson was accused of homophobia once more in his movies with his portrayal of Herod Antipas in The Passion of the Christ. Antipas is portrayed as an effeminate homosexual, complete with a "boy-toy". Although this was a common caricature of Herod in medieval Passion plays, it does not appear in the Gospels and is contrary to the historical record regarding Antipas.
Despite the fact that he has been perceived as being politically conservative (even though he has never identified himself as such), Gibson joined many of his colleagues in the entertainment industry in opposition to the Iraq War and even praised Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11, leading some to question labeling him as conservative.
However, this controversy has not prevented some California political groups from asking Mel Gibson to consider a campaign for Governor of California. 
In December of 2005, it was announced that Gibson will produce a television movie about Dutch Holocaust survivor Flory Van Beek.
"Vatican II corrupted the institution of the church. Look at the main fruits: dwindling numbers and pedophilia." — Time, January 27, 2003
"Why are they calling her a Nazi? ... Because modern secular Judaism wants to blame the Holocaust on the Catholic Church. And it's a lie. And it's revisionism. And they've been working on that one for a while." — On criticism of Anne Catherine Emmerich, an 18th century nun whose writings influenced his portrayal of Jesus' death and also featured what Gibson's opponents consider anti-Semitic overtones. The New Yorker, September 15, 2003
Summer City (1977)
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977)
Mad Max (1979)
The Chain Reaction (1980)
Mad Max 2 (1981)
Attack Force Z (1982)
The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)
The Bounty (1984)
The River (1984)
Mrs. Soffel (1984)
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
Lethal Weapon (1987)
Tequila Sunrise (1988)
Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
Bird on a Wire (1990)
Air America (1990)
Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
Earth and the American Dream (1992) (documentary) (narrator)
Forever Young (1992) (also executive producer)
The Chili Con Carne Club (1993) (short subject)
The Man Without a Face (1993)
Fathers' Day (1997) (Cameo)
Conspiracy Theory (1997)
FairyTale: A True Story (1997) (Cameo)
Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
The Million Dollar Hotel (2000)
Chicken Run (2000) (voice)
The Patriot (2000)
What Women Want (2000)
The One Dollar Diary (2001) (documentary)
We Were Soldiers (2002)
Acting Lessons: Should Have Looked Like Mel (2003) (short subject)
Paparazzi (2004) (also producer)
Sam and George (2007) (currently announced start of production) (also producer)
The Man Without a Face (1993)
The Passion of the Christ (2004) (also producer and writer)
Apocalypto (2006) (currently in pre-production) (also executive producer, producer, and writer)
Awards & accomplishments
Best Actor in a Lead Role, Tim (1979)
Australian Film Institute: Best Actor in a Lead Role, Gallipoli (1981)
People's Choice Awards: Favorite Motion Picture Actor (1991)
MTV Movie Awards: Best Action Sequence, Lethal Weapon 3 (1993)
MTV Movie Awards: Best On-Screen Duo, Lethal Weapon 3 (1993) — shared with Danny Glover
ShoWest Award: Male Star of the Year (1993)
National Board of Review: Special Achievement in Filmmaking, Braveheart (1995)
American Cinematheque Gala Tribute: American Cinematheque Award (1995)
ShoWest Award: Director of the Year (1996)
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards: Best Director, Braveheart (1996)
Golden Globe Awards: Best Director, Braveheart (1996)
Academy Awards: Best Director, Braveheart (1996)
Academy Awards: Best Picture, Braveheart (1996)
People's Choice Awards: Favorite Motion Picture Actor (1997)
Hasty Pudding Theatricals: Man of the Year (1997)
Blockbuster Entertainment Awards: Favorite Actor — Suspense, Ransom (1997)
Blockbuster Entertainment Awards: Favorite Actor — Suspense, Conspiracy Theory (1998)
People's Choice Awards: Favorite Motion Picture Star in a Drama (2001)
People's Choice Awards: Favorite Motion Picture Actor (2001)
Blockbuster Entertainment Awards: Favorite Actor — Drama, The Patriot (2001)
Australian Film Institute: Global Achievement Award (2002)
People's Choice Awards: Favorite Motion Picture Actor (2003)
People's Choice Awards: Favorite Motion Picture Actor (2004)
Named as the world's most powerful celebrity by U.S. business magazine Forbes (2004)
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