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  • B I O G R A P H Y

    Real Name: Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson ; Birthday: January 3, 1956 ; Place of Birth: Peekskill, NY ; Education: National Institute of Dramatic Art, Sydney, Australia

    Though introduced to US audiences as an Australian actor, the strikingly handsome, blue-eyed Gibson was actually born in New York state and emigrated to Australia in 1968. He made a name for himself in the leather-clad title role of George Miller's Mad Max, as the post-apocalyptic action hero, and in Tim (both 1979), playing a retarded handyman in love with Piper Laurie.

    Gibson became a bankable star in Australia after starring in Peter Weir's war drama, Gallipoli, and The Road Warrior (both 1981), Miller's transcendent follow-up to Mad Max. The latter, hailed as an action classic, was an international hit in 1982 and made Gibson a rising star.

    Gibson reteamed with Weir for The Year of Living Dangerously (1983). As an Australian reporter who is forced to confront the political upheavals in 1960s Indonesia, Gibson exuded charm, intelligence and, more importantly, sex appeal in his first film as a romantic lead.

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