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THE PATRIOT

MEL GIBSON (Benjamin Martin) is not only one of the world's most accomplished actors, but also an Oscar® winning director and a respected filmmaker. In the course of his career as an actor, he has assayed a variety of films, from the extremely successful "Lethal Weapon" series to the spirited western "Maverick" to the psychological thriller "Conspiracy Theory" to the historical epic adventure "Braveheart." Gibson produced, directed and starred in "Braveheart," which won five Academy Awards® out of ten nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. Gibson's company Icon Productions, which Gibson created with Bruce Davey, who serves as its president, developed and produced "Braveheart," along with many other movies, including the hit actioner "Payback," which also starred Gibson. He recently completed Wim Wenders' "The Million Dollar Hotel," which Icon also produced. Gibson follows up "The Patriot" with the romantic comedy, "What Women Want" for director Nancy Meyers which Paramount will release in the winter of 2000.

Gibson was born in upstate New York and moved with his family to Australia when he was 12 years old. Gibson attended the National Institute of Dramatic Arts at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. His stage appearances include "Death of a Salesman."

Gibson was eventually brought to the attention of director George Miller who cast him in the cult classic "Mad Max," the film that first brought him worldwide recognition. This was followed by the title role in "Tim." Gibson's portrayal of a handicapped young man won him an Australian Film Institute Best Actor Award.

He was further established as an international star by the two hit sequels to "Mad Max -- The Road Warrior" and "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" -- along with Peter Weir's "Gallipoli," which brought Gibson a second Australian Best Actor Award. A few years later, Weir and Gibson again collaborated on "The Year of Living Dangerously."

Gibson made his American film debut in "The River," but is best remembered as Danny Glover's infectiously crazy partner Martin Riggs in the "Lethal Weapon" film series. Gibson's other films include "The Bounty," "Mrs. Soffel," "Tequila Sunrise," "Bird on a Wire," "Air America" and "Hamlet." When Gibson starred in "Hamlet" directed by Franco Zeffirelli, the film was the first to be produced by Gibson's production company Icon Productions. The role brought him the William Shakespeare Award from the Folger Theatre in Washington, DC. Icon also produced "Forever Young" and "Maverick," in which he starred. Gibson made his directorial debut and starred in "The Man Without A Face," another Icon production. The company has also produced "Immortal Beloved" and "Airborne."

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