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The Patriot Film Cast: Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson
Character Portrayed in The Patriot: Benjamin Martin

Born: January 3, 1956; Peekskill, New York
Married: June 7, 1980 - December 23, 2011; Robyn Moore; 7 children

Notable Awards and Nominations:
Academy Awards:
- 1996 Best Director Award for Braveheart
- 1996 Best Picture Award for Braveheart
Australian Film Institute:
- 1979 Best Lead Actor Award for Tim
- 1981 Best Lead Actor Award for Gallipoli
- 1983 Best Lead Actor Nomination for The Year of Living Dangerously
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards (BAFTA):
- 1996 Best Director Nomination for Braveheart
- 2007 Best Film Nomination for Apocalypto
Directors Guild of America:
- 1996 Best Director Nomination for Braveheart
Golden Globes:
- 1996 Best Director Award for Braveheart
- 1997 Best Actor in a Drama Nomination for Ransom
- 2001 Best Actor in a Comedy Nomination for What Women Want

Mel Gibson was born in Peekskill, New York in 1956. In 1968, his family moved to Australia. He studied acting and made his film debut in 1977 in Summer City. In 1979, in just his second film, he was cast in the lead role for Mad Max, which has gone on to become a cult classic. Roles followed in Tim (1979) and Gallipoli (1981), both of which earned him Best Actor Awards from the Australian Film Institute (AFI).

In 1982, Mel Gibson received another AFI Best Actor nomination for The Year of Living Dangerously. Gibson also returned to his star-making Mad Max role in two sequels: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985). In 1984, Gibson made his Hollywood debut in The River with Sissy Spacek. He also played Master's Mate Fletcher Christian opposite Anthony Hopkins' Captain Bligh in The Bounty (1984).

In 1987, Gibson began his rise to Hollywood box office superstar in his first turn as Sergeant Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon. He began to break away from the nutty character typecasting first in Hamlet (1990) and in his directorial debut, The Man Without a Face (1993). He returned to the nutty persona in the Western remake Maverick (1994) and then went off to direct and star in Braveheart (1995), which went on to win Best Picture and Best Director Oscars. Braveheart's critical and box office success cemented Gibson's superstar status.

Aside from a third Lethal Weapon sequel in 1998, Mel Gibson's next few films were darker including Ransom (1996), Conspiracy Theory (1997), Payback (1999) and The Million Dollar Hotel (2000). In 2000, he returned to the summer blockbuster in The Patriot and comedy in What Women Want. His next film, We Were Soldiers (2002), revisted the Vietnam War, while Signs (2002) explored the supernatural. Gibson next stepped behind the camera for The Passion of the Christ (2004), a deeply personal project because of his Catholic faith. Due to the controversial (for Hollywood) nature of the film, Gibson took a heavy risk both financially and professionally, but the film proved to be highly successful.

Gibson's again stayed behind the camera for Apocalypto (2006), which was also another foreign language film - this time set in the Mayan civiliation. Gibson next faced a series of personal challenges with drunken racial rants, separation and eventual divorce from his wife of more than twenty years, fatherhood with and then a nasty break-up from his Russian girlfriend. Gibson has recently returned to acting.

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