Columcille Gerard Gibson
was born on the 3rd of January, 1956. He is an American-born Australian-raised
movie actor, director, and producer best known for his roles in
the Mad Max series, the Lethal Weapon series, and Braveheart.
Gibson was born in Peekskill, New York as one of eleven children,
but raised in Australia from the age of twelve. He maintained
his U.S. citizenship.
a victory on the Jeopardy! game show, Gibson's father Hutton
moved his family to Australia in 1968 in protest of the Vietnam
War and because he believed that changes in American society
were immoral. Some people have attacked Hutton Gibson for religious
views that he says are based on traditional Catholicism, and
on his political opinions. A Roman Catholic, Gibson has donated
money to finance the construction of a traditional Catholic
chapel in Malibu, California called Holy Family.
to Robyn for 24 years, with whom he has six sons and one daughter.
born with a rare 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.
Mel Gibson and the Movies
After graduating from NIDA in 1977, Gibson's acting career began
in Australia with appearances in the television series The Sullivans.
his Australian film debut as the leather-clad post-apocalyptic
survivor in George Miller's Mad Max, which later became a cult
hit and launched a series of films. His international profile
increased through Peter Weir's anti-war First World War film
Gallipoli. In 1984 he made his US movie debut, starring as Fletcher
Christian in The Bounty. Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins played
opposite Gibson as Captain Bligh.
Lethal Weapon and Hamlet Movies
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 film of Shakespeare's Hamlet (1990).
Gibson has been equally successful as a comedy actor, in films
such as Maverick (1994) and What Women Want (2000).
In 1996 Gibson received two Academy Awards (Best Director and
Best Picture) for the film Braveheart (1995), based on the life
of Sir William Wallace, a thirteenth century Scottish warlord
who fought the English.
of the Christ
Mel Gibson recently completed The Passion of the Christ, a film
in Aramaic, Hebrew, and Latin, which recounts what Gibson describes
as the last twelve hours of the life of Jesus Christ. The movie
has received praise from many Christians and a number of politically
conservative Jews (e.g. Michael Medved, David Horowitz, Steven
has been criticised by some liberal Christian and Jewish scholars,
some of whom have claimed it may promote anti-Semitism, as it
relies on passion-play images that have traditionally incited
anti-Semitic incidents. The movie has been criticised by many
Christian scholars for taking liberties with the New Testament
storylines; a significant number of scenes and details in the
movie are original ideas from an 19th century Catholic nun,
Anne Catherine Emmerich, in her book "The Dolorous Passion
of Our Lord Jesus Christ."
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 crucifiedhe 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 in an interview
in The New Yorker, that he trimmed a scene from The Passion
of the Christ involving the Jewish high priest Caiaphas because
if he did not, "they'd be coming after me at my house,
they'd come to kill me."
Mel Gibson on Politics
Gibson's political viewpoints, while lauded by middle America,
have been described by some liberal groups variously as 'conservative'
and 'far right'. Some gay rights groups have accused him of
homophobia for his alleged conservative Catholic views of homosexuality,
and for allegedly depicting homosexuals as villains (The Man
without a Face, Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ). However,
others contend that even if he does hold these views they would
simply be common to adherents of his faith.
conservative political views and support of Traditional Catholic
beliefs have led to charges of anti-semitism by Jewish leaders,
charges that increased following his making of the Gospel-based
movie The Passion of the Christ. Particularly problematic is
a scene in the film where the Jewish crowd expressed support
for the crucifixion of Christ by shouting His blood be on us
and on our children! (Matthew 27:25), a verse that has been
historically misused to justify hatred towards Jews. Jewish
leaders also do not agree with various scenes which they believe
portray Jews as bloodthirsty people. In response to criticism,
Gibson removed the subtitle for this line, but left the line
itself in the movie.
not everyone agrees that the film is incontrovertibly anti-semitic.
Even many liberals have come out in support for Gibson, claiming
that traditional Catholicism is not in itself anti-Semitic,
and Gibson has no record of intolerance towards Jews or other
ethnic groups. Evangelical Christian pastors who have seen the
film have applauded Gibson's film as being faithful to the text.