PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Happy Birthday to Peekskill’s Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson!
Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson, who was born in Peekskill, turns 58 on Friday.
Mel Gibson, an actor, film director, producer and screenwriter, was born January 3, 1956. After appearing as an action hero during the 1980s, Gibson went on to found Icon Entertainment, a Production Company which independent film director Atom Egoyan has called, "an alternative to the studio system."
In 1995, Gibson produced, directed, and starred in the Academy Award-winning Braveheart. In 2004, he directed and produced The Passion of the Christ, a controversial film depicting the last hours in the life of Jesus Christ. In 1985, Gibson was named "The Sexiest Man Alive" by People, the first person to be named so. 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. 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.
Some of his awards include:
- Australian Film Institute Award: Best Actor in a Lead Role, for Tim (1979) and Gallipoli (1981)
- Academy Award: Best Picture, for Braveheart (1995)
- Academy Award: Best Director, for Braveheart (1995)
- People's Choice Awards: Favorite Motion Picture Actor (1991, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2004)
- People's Choice Awards: Favorite Motion Picture Star in a Comedy (2001)
- ShoWest Award: Male Star of the Year (1993)
- ShoWest Award: Director of the Year (1996)
- American Cinematheque Gala Tribute: American Cinematheque Award (1995)
- Hasty Pudding Theatricals: Man of the Year (1997)
- Australian Film Institute: Global Achievement Award (2002)
- Honorary Doctorate Recipient and Undergraduate Commencement Speaker, Loyola Marymount University (2003)
- World's most powerful celebrity by US business magazine Forbes (2004)
- The Hollywood Reporter Innovator of the Year (2004)
- Honorary fellowship in Performing Arts by Limkokwing University (2007)
- Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema Award at the Irish Film and Television Awards (2008).