His family line goes back several generations in Australia, but his ancestors originally came from Ireland and Scotland.
A chain smoker for most of his career, in 2004 Gibson's wife persuaded him to limit his addiction to just three cigarettes a day. However this did not last.
Cited as America's Favorite Movie Star in Harris Polls conducted in 1996 and 2003.
His performance as "Mad" Max Rockatansky in the "Mad Max" trilogy is ranked #78 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
Owns a summer home in Branford, Connecticut.
Turned down the role of Sgt. John McLoughlin in World Trade Center (2006) to direct Apocalypto (2006) instead.
He turned down the role of Harvey Dent/Two Face in Batman Forever (1995), due to scheduling conflicts with Braveheart (1995).
On July 28, 2006, he was arrested for drunk driving in Malibu, California.
Supports Rudolph W. Giuliani as the Republican candidate in 2008.
He was the original choice to play Jack Stanton in Primary Colors (1998) but lost out to John Travolta.
Oliver Stone has tried casting him twice. Once as Jim Garrison in JFK (1991), and another time as Sgt. John McLoughlin in World Trade Center (2006).
First studied drama at the New Zealand Drama School, Toi Whakaari in Wellington, New Zealand. After getting accepted he completed the course and used this as a foot-in into NIDA in Australia in 1975.
Turned down the role of the Terminator in James Cameron's The Terminator (1984).
Director Martin Scorsese sent him the script for The Departed (2006), offering him an unspecified role in the film. Gibson was unable to accept the role as he was starting production on Apocalypto (2006) that same year.
Owns a production company with branches in the USA, Australia and the UK.
Gibson has been widely perceived as a conservative Republican, even though he has never identified himself as such. In March 2004 he expressed doubts over the Iraq war, in particular the failure to find weapons of mass destruction, although he maintained that President George W. Bush had "done a lot of good" elsewhere. At the People's Choice Awards ceremony in January 2005, Gibson again condemned the Iraq war and praised the liberal director Michael Moore and his documentary film Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004). Many of Gibson's positions are in accordance with traditional Catholicism. He released a statement in March 2005 condemning the euthanasia of Terri Schiavo, and has criticized stem cell research. He is also a proponent of the death penalty, which many conservative Catholics support but which the Roman Catholic Church opposes.
He was named after the Church of St. Mel in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland where his mother's family is from.
Moved to Sydney, Australia at age 12 with his family.
Voted the most powerful Christian in Hollywood in a poll by religious website Beliefnet.com in October 2007.
Was spoofed in both "South Park" (1997) and "Family Guy" (1999), and both of the times he was spoofed, there was a reference to the Looney Tunes cartoons. In the "South Park" (1997) episode "The Passion of the Jew", his character acts a lot like Daffy Duck in the cartoon Yankee Doodle Daffy (1943), while scaring Stan and Kenny, in the hopes that they will both torture him. And in the "Family Guy" (1999) episode "North by North Quahog", he chases Peter and Lois Griffin to the top of Mount Rushmore and is tricked into walking off a ledge, to which he plummets to the ground, very much like Wile E. Coyote does in several cartoons.
Gibson has an estimated fortune of $850 million, according to the "Los Angeles Business Journal". The size of his fortune him the 47th richest person in the Los Angeles area and the wealthiest actor in the world.
Along with Rolf Harris and Clive James, Gibson publicly supported keeping Queen Elizabeth II as head of state in an Australian poll in 1999.
Was offered the role of Eliot Ness in The Untouchables (1987), but had to decline because he was already working on one of the Lethal Weapon films.
Checked himself into a recovery program for alcohol abuse. (1st August 2006)