PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Happy Birthday to Peekskill’s Mel Gibson.
The actor, film director, producer and screenwriter was born Jan. 3, 1956, in Peekskill, N.Y.
Gibson had a few stints on stage and starred in a few TV shows early in his career. The small budgeted movie "Mad Max" (1979) made him famous worldwide, while "Tim" (1979) garnered him an award for Best Actor from the Australian Film Institute (equivalent to the Oscar). Later, he went on to star in "Gallipoli" (1981), which earned him a second award for Best Actor from the AFI.
In 1982, he starred in Peter Weir's romantic thriller "The Year of Living Dangerously." Among Gibson's first American films were Mark Rydell's 1984 drama "The River" and Robert Towne's "Tequila Sunrise," followed by two installments in the "Lethal Weapon" series.
He starred in three films back-to-back: "Bird on a Wire," "Air America" and "Hamlet," all released in 1990.
After his success in Hollywood with the "Lethal Weapon" series, he moved into producing and directing and formed Icon Productions in 1989 to make "Hamlet."
He produced a number of projects for television, including a biopic on The Three Stooges and the 2008 PBS documentary "Carrier."
He made his directorial debut in 1993 with "The Man Without a Face," followed two years later by "Braveheart," which earned Gibson the Academy Award for best director.
In 2004, he released the controversial film "The Passion of the Christ," with subtitles, which he co-wrote, co-produced, and directed. The film went on to become the highest grossing rated R film of all time with $370,782,930 in U.S. box office sales.
In 2006, he directed the action-adventure film "Apocalypto," his second film to feature sparse dialogue in a non-English language.