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MEL GIBSON (Thomas Craven) is an award-winning actor, director, writer and producer. In 1995, he directed and produced the epic box office hit "Braveheart,” in which he also starred in the title role. The film earned 10 Academy Award® nominations, winning five, including Best Director and Best Picture. Gibson also won Golden Globe and Critics' Choice Awards for Best Director, and a Special Achievement in Filmmaking Award from the National Board of Review. In addition, Gibson was named the Director of the Year at the 1996 ShoWest Convention and received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Director, as well as a Directors Guild of America Award nomination.

He later directed, co-wrote and produced 2004's "The Passion of the Christ,” which became a worldwide box office phenomenon, exceeding all industry expectations. Earning more than $600 million globally, it remains the highest-grossing independent film in history. More recently, Gibson directed, co-wrote and produced the drama "Apocalypto,” which received Golden Globe, BAFTA Award and London Film Critics Circle Award nominations for Best Foreign Language Film.

Gibson made his first impact as an actor, starring in such critical and commercial successes as the "Mad Max” trilogy, "Gallipoli,” and the "Lethal Weapon” actioners. Born in upstate New York, Gibson moved to Australia with his family at the age of 12. He attended the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) at the University of New South Wales, where he appeared in several stage productions, including the role of Biff in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman.” On the strength of his stage work, Gibson came to the attention of film director George Miller, who cast him in the title role in 1979's "Mad Max.” The low-budget, postapocalyptic thriller became a surprise worldwide box office smash and put Gibson on the film industry map. The same year, he also played the almost diametrically opposite role of a gentle mentally handicapped man in "Tim,” for which he won the Australian Film Institute's (AFI) Best Actor Award.

In 1981, Gibson starred in two films that further established him as an internationally acclaimed leading man. He won a second AFI Best Actor prize for his performance in Peter Weir's true-life World War I drama "Gallipoli,” and then starred in Miller's "Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior.” The following year, Gibson reunited with Weir to star in "The Year of Living Dangerously,” for which he received another AFI Award nomination in the category of Best Actor. In 1984, Gibson starred in three very different films: Roger Donaldson's "The Bounty,” portraying mutineer Fletcher Christian; Mark Rydell's "The River,” opposite Sissy Spacek; and Gillian Armstrong's "Mrs. Soffel,” with Diane Keaton. He went on to star in George Miller's 1985 hit "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome,” reprising his role for the last time.

Gibson then starred in Richard Donner's 1987 blockbuster "Lethal Weapon,” playing the role of Detective Sergeant Martin Riggs in the initial installment of what would become one of the film industry's most successful action franchises. Over the next 12 years, Gibson starred in three more "Lethal Weapon” films, all directed by Donner.

In 1990, Gibson formed Icon Productions with partner Bruce Davey. The first film produced under the Icon banner was "Hamlet,” directed by Franco Zeffirelli and starring Gibson, who won the William Shakespeare Award from the Folger Library in Washington, DC, for his performance. He has since starred in such Icon projects as "Forever Young,” "Maverick,” "Payback,” "What Women Want” and "We Were Soldiers.” Gibson also made his directorial debut in 1993 with Icon's drama "The Man Without a Face.”

In 2000, Gibson became the first actor to star in three films released in the same year that each earned more than $100 million at the domestic box office: Roland Emmerich's historical epic "The Patriot”; the animated adventure comedy "Chicken Run,” in which he voiced the lead role; and Nancy Meyers' romantic comedy "What Women Want,” opposite Helen Hunt, for which Gibson received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Musical or Comedy.

Gibson previously received a Golden Globe nomination, for Best Actor – Drama, for his performance in Ron Howard's thriller "Ransom.” His long list of film acting credits also includes Robert Towne's "Tequila Sunrise”; John Badham's "Bird on a Wire,” opposite Goldie Hawn; "Air America,” with Robert Downey Jr.; Richard Donner's "Conspiracy Theory,” opposite Julia Roberts; and M. Night Shyamalan's "Signs.”

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