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MEL GIBSON (Graham Hess) is not only an accomplished actor but an Oscar®-winning director and producer as well. In the course of his career as an actor, he has tackled roles in films ranging from the smash-hit "Lethal Weapon” series and the wildly successful romantic comedy "What Women Want,” to the western comedy "Maverick” and the suspense thriller "Ransom.”

Gibson produced, directed, and starred in "Braveheart,” which was nominated for 10 Academy Awards® and won five, including Best Picture and Best Director. Icon Productions, the company Gibson founded with Bruce Davey, developed and produced "Braveheart” along with many other films in a diverse range of genres, including "Immortal Beloved” and "FairyTale: A True Story.” Other Icon productions in which Gibson starred include "What Women Want,” "Hamlet,” directed by Franco Zeffirelli, "Forever Young,” "The Man Without a Face” (which also marked Gibson's directorial debut) and the hit thriller "Payback.”

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. He was brought to the attention of George Miller, who cast him in "Mad Max,” the film that first brought him worldwide recognition; he reprised the role in "The Road Warrior” and "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.” He won two Australian Film Institute Best Actor Awards, for his roles in "Tim” and in Peter Weir's "Gallipoli.” Weir and Gibson would later collaborate again on "The Year of Living Dangerously.”

Gibson made his American film debut in "The River.” His other films include "The Bounty,” "Mrs. Soffel,” "Tequila Sunrise,” "Bird on a Wire,” "Air America,” "Conspiracy Theory,” and, most recently, "What Women Want,” "The Patriot,” and "We Were Soldiers.” He also provided a lead voice in the animated film, "Chicken Run.”

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