B I O G R A P H Y
He made a less auspicious American feature debut, however, as a reluctantly mutinous Fletcher Christian opposite Anthony Hopkins' Captain Bligh in The Bounty (1984) and appeared in two more films that year. He returned to Australia to wrap up the Mad Max series with Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), a cumbersome satire with less action, a bigger budget, Tina Turner and Max, mostly on foot, looking like a wandering prophet.
After taking two years off, Gibson returned with Lethal Weapon (1987) playing one of his most popular characters, Martin Riggs, an explosive homicide cop paired with the long-suffering Danny Glover. The film propelled Gibson to superstardom and spawned two sequels, in which he created an unusually rich characterization for a modern action hero.
He then made a surprising career move with his portrayal of the melancholy Dane in Franco Zeffirelli's Hamlet (1990). While the film was problematic, Gibson turned in a finely rendered portrait of the famed prince. This was the first film produced by his ICON Productions. After continuing in a more sentimental vein with the sudsy Forever Young (1992), he made his directorial debut with The Man Without a Face (1993), a drama in which he played a burn victim.
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