Mel Gibson: Sexiest Man Alive

About Mel Gibson:
Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson AO (born January 3, 1956) is an American actor and filmmaker. He is most well known as an action hero, for roles such as Martin Riggs in the Lethal Weapon buddy cop film series and Max Rockatansky in the first three films in the Mad Max post-apocalyptic action series.


He was born in Peekskill, New York, and moved with his parents to Sydney when he was 12 years old. He studied acting at the Australian National Institute of Dramatic Art. During the 1980s, Gibson founded Icon Entertainment, a production company which independent film director Atom Egoyan has called, "an alternative to the studio system." Director Peter Weir cast Gibson as one of the leads in the critically acclaimed World War I drama Gallipoli (1981), which earned Gibson a Best Actor Award from the Australian Film Institute. The film also helped to earn Gibson the reputation of a serious, versatile actor.

Early life
Gibson was born in Peekskill, New York, the sixth of eleven children, and the second son of Hutton Gibson, a writer, and Irish-born Anne Patricia (née Reilly, died 1990). His paternal grandmother was opera contralto Eva Mylott (1875–1920), who was born in Australia, to Irish parents, while his paternal grandfather, John Hutton Gibson, was a millionaire tobacco businessman from the American South. One of Gibson's younger brothers, Donal, is also an actor. Gibson's first name is derived from Saint Mel, fifth-century Irish saint, and founder of Gibson's mother's native diocese, Ardagh, while his second name, Colm-Cille, is also shared by an Irish saint and is the name of the parish in County Longford where Gibson's mother was born and raised. Because of his mother, Gibson retains dual Irish and American citizenship.


His father was awarded US$145,000 in a work-related-injury lawsuit against New York Central Railroad on February 14, 1968; and soon afterwards relocated his family to West Pymble, Sydney. Mel Gibson was 12 years old at the time. The move to his grandmother's native Australia was both for economic reasons and his father's expectation that the Australian Defence Forces would reject his eldest son for the draft during the Vietnam War.

Gibson was educated by members of the Congregation of Christian Brothers at St Leo's Catholic College in Wahroonga, New South Wales, during his high school years

Controversies:
1.  The Maccabees film:
In 2011, it was announced that Gibson had commissioned a screenplay from Joe Eszterhas about the Maccabees. The film is to be distributed by Warner Brothers Pictures. The announcement generated significant controversy. In April 2012, Eszterhas wrote a letter to Gibson accusing him of sabotaging their movie about the Maccabees because he "hates Jews", and citing a series of private incidents during which he allegedly heard Gibson express extremely racist views. Although written as a private letter, it was subsequently published on a film industry website. In response, Gibson stated that he still intends to make the movie, but will not base it upon Eszterhas' script, which he called substandard. Eszterhas then claimed his son had secretly recorded a number of Gibson's alleged "hateful rants".


In a 2012 interview, Gibson explained that the Maccabees film was still in preparation. He explained that he was drawn to the Biblical account of the uprising due to its similarity to the American Old West genre.

2. Prankster:
Gibson has a reputation for practical jokes, puns, Stooge-inspired physical comedy, and doing outrageous things to shock people. As a director he sometimes breaks the tension on set by having his actors perform serious scenes wearing a red clown nose. Helena Bonham Carter, who appeared alongside him in Hamlet, said of him, "He has a very basic sense of humor. It's a bit lavatorial and not very sophisticated." During the filming of Hamlet, Gibson would relieve pressure on the set by mooning the cast and crew, directly following a serious scene. In addition to inserting several homages to the Three Stooges in his Lethal Weapon movies, Gibson produced a 2000 television movie about the comedy group which starred Michael Chiklis as Curly Howard. As a gag, Gibson inserted a single frame of himself smoking a cigarette into the 2005 teaser trailer of Apocalypto.

3. Fahrenheit 9/11:
Gibson complimented filmmaker Michael Moore and his documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 when he and Moore were recognized at the 2005 People's Choice Awards. Gibson's Icon Productions originally agreed to finance Moore's film, but later sold the rights to Miramax Films. Moore said that his agent Ari Emanuel claimed that "top Republicans" called Mel Gibson to tell him, "don't expect to get more invitations to the White House". Icon's spokesman dismissed this story, saying "We never run from a controversy. You'd have to be out of your mind to think that of the company that just put out The Passion of the Christ.


4. President Bill Clinton:
In a July 1995 interview with Playboy magazine, Gibson said President Bill Clinton was a "low-level opportunist" and someone was "telling him what to do". He said that the Rhodes Scholarship was established for young men and women who want to strive for a "new world order" and this was a campaign for Marxism. Gibson later backed away from such conspiracy theories saying, "It was like: 'Hey, tell us a conspiracy'... so I laid out this thing, and suddenly, it was like I was talking the gospel truth, espousing all this political shit like I believed in it." In the same 1995 Playboy interview, Gibson argued against ordaining women to the priesthood.

5. State-Sanctioned Murder:
In 2004, he publicly spoke out against taxpayer-funded embryonic stem-cell research that involves the cloning and destruction of human embryos. In March 2005, he condemned the outcome of the Terri Schiavo case, referring to Schiavo's death as "state-sanctioned murder".

6. Iraq War:
Gibson questioned the Iraq War in March 2004. In 2006, Gibson said that the "fearmongering" depicted in his film Apocalypto "reminds me a little of President Bush and his guys."

In a 2011 interview, Gibson stated:

"The whole notion of politics is they always present you with this or this or this. I'll get a newspaper to read between the lines. Why do you have to adhere to prescribed formulas that they have and people argue over them and they're all in a box. And you watch Fox claw CNN, and CNN claw Fox. Sometimes I catch a piece of the news and it seems insanity to me. I quietly support candidates. I'm not out there banging a drum for candidates. But I have supported a candidate and it's a whole other world. Once you've been exposed to it, once or twice or however many times, if you know the facts and see how they're presented, it's mind-boggling. It's a very scary arena to be in, but I do vote. I go in there and pull the lever. It's kind of like pulling the lever and watching the trap door fall out from beneath you. Why should we trust any of these people? None of them ever deliver on anything. It's always disappointing."


7. Alcoholic:
Gibson has said that he started drinking at the age of 13. In a 2002 interview about his time at NIDA, Gibson said, "I had really good highs but some very low lows. I found out recently I'm manic depressive."


Gibson was banned from driving in Ontario for three months in 1984, after rear-ending a car in Toronto while under the influence of alcohol. He retreated to his Australian farm for over a year to recover, but he continued to struggle with drinking. Despite this problem, Gibson gained a reputation in Hollywood for professionalism and punctuality such that Lethal Weapon 2 director Richard Donner was shocked when Gibson confided that he was drinking five pints of beer for breakfast. Reflecting in 2003 and 2004, Gibson said that despair in his mid-30s led him to contemplate suicide, and he meditated on Christ's Passion to heal his wounds.

He took more time off acting in 1991 and sought professional help. That year, Gibson's attorneys were unsuccessful at blocking the Sunday Mirror from publishing what Gibson shared at AA meetings. In 1992, Gibson provided financial support to Hollywood's Recovery Center, saying, "Alcoholism is something that runs in my family. It's something that's close to me. People do come back from it, and it's a miracle."

8. Driving Under the Influence:
On July 28, 2006, Gibson was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) while speeding in his vehicle with an open container of alcohol, which is illegal in much of the United States. According to a 2011 article in Vanity Fair, Gibson first told the arresting officer, "My life is over. I'm fucked. Robyn's going to leave me." According to the arrest report, Gibson exploded into an angry tirade when the arresting officer would not allow him to drive home. Gibson climaxed with the words, "Fucking Jews... the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you a Jew?"


After the arrest report was leaked on TMZ.com, Gibson issued two apologies through his publicist, and in a televised interview with Diane Sawyer he affirmed the accuracy of the quotations. He further apologized for his "despicable" behavior, saying that the comments were "blurted out in a moment of insanity", and asked to meet with Jewish leaders to help him "discern the appropriate path for healing." After Gibson's arrest, his publicist said he had entered a recovery program to battle alcoholism.


On August 17, 2006, Gibson pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge and was sentenced to three years probation. He was ordered to attend self-help meetings five times a week for four and a half months and three times a week for the remainder of the first year of his probation. He was also ordered to attend a First Offenders Program, was fined $1,300, and his license was restricted for 90 days

9. GLAAD:
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) accused Gibson of homophobia after a December 1991 interview in the Spanish newspaper El País in which he made derogatory comments about homosexuals. Gibson later defended his comments and rejected calls to apologize even as he faced fresh accusations of homophobia in the wake of his film Braveheart. However, Gibson joined GLAAD in hosting 10 lesbian and gay filmmakers for an on-location seminar on the set of the movie Conspiracy Theory in January 1997. In 1999 when asked about the comments to El País, Gibson said, "I shouldn't have said it, but I was tickling a bit of vodka during that interview, and the quote came back to bite me on the ass."

Gibson's 2004 film The Passion of the Christ sparked a fierce debate over alleged antisemitic imagery and overtones. Gibson denied that the film was antisemitic, but critics remained divided. Some agreed that the film was consistent with the Gospels and traditional Catholic teachings, while others argued that it reflected a selective reading of the Gospels.

In July 2010, Gibson had been recorded during a phone call with Oksana Grigorieva suggesting that if she got "raped by a pack of niggers," she would be to blame. Gibson was barred from coming near Grigorieva or her daughter due to a domestic violence-related restraining order. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department launched a domestic violence investigation against Gibson, later dropped when Gibson pled no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge.

10. Relationship:
After 26 years of marriage, Mel and Robyn Gibson separated on July 29, 2006. In a 2011 interview, Gibson stated that the separation began the day following his arrest for drunk driving in Malibu. Robyn Gibson filed for divorce on April 13, 2009, citing irreconcilable differences. In a joint statement, the Gibsons declared, "Throughout our marriage and separation we have always strives to maintain the privacy and integrity of our family and will continue to do so." The divorce filing followed the March 2009 release of photographs appearing to show him on a beach embracing Russian pianist Oksana Grigorieva. Gibson's divorce was finalized on December 23, 2011, and the settlement with his ex-wife was said to be the highest in Hollywood history at over $400 million.


11. Domestic Violence:
On April 28, 2009, Gibson made a red carpet appearance with Grigorieva. Grigorieva, who had previously had a son with actor Timothy Dalton, gave birth to Gibson's daughter Lucia (b. 2009). In April 2010, it was made public that Gibson and Grigorieva had split. On June 21, 2010, Grigorieva filed a restraining order against Gibson to keep him away from her and their child. The restraining order was modified the next day regarding Gibson's contact with their child. Gibson obtained a restraining order against Grigorieva on June 25, 2010. In response to claims by Grigorieva that an incident of domestic violence occurred in January 2010, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department launched a domestic violence investigation in July 2010.


On July 9, 2010, some audio recordings alleged to be of Gibson were posted on the internet. The same day Gibson was dropped by his agency, William Morris Endeavor. Civil rights activists alleged that Gibson had shown patterns of racism, sexism and anti-Semitism and called for a boycott of Gibson's movies.

Gibson's estranged wife, Robyn Gibson, filed a court statement declaring that she never experienced any abuse from Gibson, while forensic experts have questioned the validity of some of the tapes. In March 2011, Mel Gibson agreed to plead no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge.

In April 2011, Gibson finally broke his silence about the incident in question. In an interview with Deadline.com, Gibson expressed gratitude to longtime friends Whoopi Goldberg and Jodie Foster, both of whom had spoken publicly in his defense. About the recordings, Gibson said,

"I've never treated anyone badly or in a discriminatory way based on their gender, race, religion or sexuality – period. I don't blame some people for thinking that though, from the garbage they heard on those leaked tapes, which have been edited. You have to put it all in the proper context of being in an irrationally, heated discussion at the height of a breakdown, trying to get out of a really unhealthy relationship. It's one terribly awful moment in time, said to one person, in the span of one day and doesn't represent what I truly believe or how I've treated people my entire life."

In the same interview, Gibson stated,

"I was allowed to end the case and still maintain my innocence. It's called a West Plea and it's not something that prosecutors normally allow. But in my case, the prosecutors and the judge agreed that it was the right thing to do. I could have continued to fight this for years and it probably would have come out fine. But I ended it for my children and my family. This was going to be such a circus. You don't drag other people in your life through this sewer needlessly, so I'll take the hit and move on."

In August 2011, Gibson settled with Grigorieva and she was awarded $750,000, joint legal custody and a house in Sherman Oaks, California until their three-year-old daughter Lucia turns 18. In 2013, Grigorieva sued her attorneys accusing them of advising her to sign a bad agreement, including one with Gibson that holds her taking legal action against him would compromise her financial settlement

Interesting Facts:
1. Mel, who is named after a saint and whose name is means "honey" in Portuguese,  was born and raised Catholic and has 10 brothers and sisters. He was the middle child (although of course, at some point, he was the youngest of six).

2. Mel and cut his teeth in Australian theater productions, including one of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, which co-starred Judy Davis.

3. Braveheart, his most famous movie in which he starred while he still had hair, won him two Oscars, for Best Picture and Best Director, in 2006.

4. Gibson spent $25 million of his own money producing the The Passion of the Christ, which Wikipedia describes like this: "…the main story line depicts Jesus relentlessly pursued by an evil cabal of Jews…"


5. In real life, Mel Gibson is one of the richest men in the world, with about $850 million to his name. In 2005 he bought the island of Mago, near Fiji, for $15 million and plans to turn it into his personal retreat.

6. Mel Gibson revealed that he has what is known as a “horseshoe kidney”. This is a condition where two kidneys have been fused into one.

7. In 1995 the actor was considered for the pivotal role of James Bond in the film “GoldenEye”, a role that eventually went to Pierce Brosnan.


8. Director Tim Burton also originally considered Mel Gibson for the lead role of Bruce Wayne in the widely popular film “Batman” in 1989 but he lost that role to Michael Keaton.


9. After displaying a widely controversial attitude and getting in trouble with the law multiple times, it was revealed that Mel Gibson was suffering from bipolar disorder.

Achievements:
1. In the 90’s Mel Gibson appeared in People magazine numerous times in their “50 Most Beautiful People” in the world list.


2. In 1985, Gibson was named the "Sexiest Man Alive" by People, the first person to be named so.


3. Gibson quietly declined the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government in 1995 as a protest against France's resumption of nuclear testing in the Southwest Pacific.

4. On July 25, 1997, Gibson was named an honorary Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), in recognition of his "service to the Australian film industry". The award was honorary because substantive awards are made only to Australian citizens.

5. Australian Film Institute Award: Best Actor in a Lead Role, for Tim (1979) and Gallipoli.

6. Academy Award: Best Picture, for Braveheart.


7. Academy Award: Best Director, for Braveheart (1995).

8. People's Choice Awards: Favorite Motion Picture Actor (1991, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2004).

9. People's Choice Awards: Favorite Motion Picture Star in a Comedy (2001).

10. ShoWest Award: Male Star of the Year (1993).

11. ShoWest Award: Director of the Year (1996).

12. American Cinematheque Gala Tribute: American Cinematheque Award (1995).

13. Hasty Pudding Theatricals: Man of the Year (1997).

14. Australian Film Institute: Global Achievement Award (2002).

15. Honorary Doctorate Recipient and Undergraduate Commencement Speaker, Loyola Marymount University (2003).

16. World's most powerful celebrity by U.S. business magazine Forbes (2004).

17. The Hollywood Reporter Innovator of the Year (2004).

18. Honorary fellowship in Performing Arts by Limkokwing University (2007).

19. Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema Award at the Irish Film and Television Awards (2008).

The Story:
In October 2011, Robert Downey, Jr., who has a history of overcoming legal problems and drug addiction, was honored at the 25th American Cinematheque Awards. Downey chose Gibson to present him with his award for his life's work. After Gibson's introduction, Downey did not discuss himself but instead explained he had chosen Gibson since he had helped Downey through his hardships. Downey then told the audience: "I humbly ask that you join me, unless you are completely without sin, and in which case you picked the wrong fucking industry, in forgiving my friend of his trespasses and offering him the same clean slate that you have me and allowing him to continue his great and ongoing contribution to our collective art without shame." After the speech, the two friends hugged onstage to applause.


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