Some actors spend a lifetime working at their craft before they’re finally discovered. The A-lister, Mel Gibson, isn’t one of those. In fact, Gibson was still a student at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney when he landed his first roles. In 1976, Gibson landed roles on TV in the Australian series “The Sullivans” and “Cop Shop.”
Gibson soon made his debut performance in a movie production in the Australian thriller “Summer City” in 1977. However, the break Gibson needed came in 1979 when he got the role of Max Rockatansky in “Mad Max.” While many actors work for years before getting a breakthrough, things came a bit more easily for Gibson during his time in Australia.
A Mega Milestone
One of the films most associated with Mel Gibson is “Braveheart.” Back in the 1990s, historical epics were a hit and continued to be a hit for almost two decades. “Braveheart” was one of the first and was a mega hit back in its day. Gibson gave a riveting performance as William Wallace and is famous for delivering one of the film’s iconic lines — “Freedom!”
What most people don’t know is that “Braveheart” was not only one of Gibson’s best performances, but it was his success story and dream child in every way. Gibson directed, produced, and starred in “Braveheart”. The film raked in five Academy Awards and a Golden Globe. In fact, Gibson won the awards for Best Director at both award ceremonies. “Braveheart” was certainly a mega milestone.
While most of us know the A-lister as Mel Gibson, his full name is Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson. What’s interesting is that Mel’s name is not short for another name – that’s his full Christian name. And when we say Christian, that’s exactly the reason why Mel ended up with his name.
His mother, Anne Gibson (neé Reilly), was raised in Ireland, and she called the actor after the church, St. Mel's Cathedral, in her hometown, Longford. The religious connections do not end there. He was also given the second name Columcille after the Irish saint (Colmcille or Columba), who is important in Ireland. In fact, Colmcille, or Columba, is considered one of the 12 apostles of Ireland.
While Mel Gibson is the most known Gibson at the moment, the “Lethal Weapon” actor comes from a lineage of successful individuals. Gibson’s paternal grandmother was an Australian contralto opera singer, Eve Mylott. The man Mylott married also had his fair share of success.
John Hutton Gibson was a successful American businessman who made his fortune from tobacco production in the American South. When it comes to Mel Gibson, it seems that the apple didn’t fall too far from the paternal tree. We would just have to wait and see if the same occurs with one of the actor’s children.
Quite the Smarty Pants
Mel Gibson might have made a name for himself in Hollywood, but his father, the writer Hutton Gibson, was quite the quiz-show contestant. In 1968, Hutton appeared on the show “Jeopardy!” five times. Due to the show’s rules, Gibson had to leave the show after his fifth appearance, even though he was undefeated.
That year, he was recalled on “Jeopardy!” for the tournament of champions round, where Gibson senior was crowned the grand champion, walking home with just over $1000 and a trip for two to the West Indies. Overall, Hutton won $21,000 on “Jeopardy!” but that was not the last of him. In Australia, he appeared on the quiz shows “Big Nine” and “Ford Superquiz.” Gibson won a vehicle and $100,000 after appearing on a quiz show.