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Mel Gibson celebrates turning 59

January 3, 2015
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Happy birthday, Mel Gibson! As the Oscar winner  celebrates turning 59, HELLO! Online takes a look at what the stars have in store for Mel and you… This is what Mel, who is a Capricorn, can be expecting today: Would you like your life back in 2015? Or are you happy to keep it out on loan? Someone else seems to be doing a pretty good job of living it for you. They are making lots of interesting decisions on your behalf. Then there are all those circumstances that are seemingly beyond your control. They are not exactly reinforcing your sense of autonomy, either. If you leave things as they are, little may alter. But if you take a positive, proactive approach to a daunting situation in January, you can yet change everything for the better. 

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Mel Gibson © Photo: Getty Images

Mel Gibson was first introduced to international audiences as an all-new Aussie star, but Mel was in fact born in New York on January 3, 1956. He is the sixth of 11 children, and has five brothers and five sisters. The family relocated to Australia when he was 12 after his father, a railroad worker, won a large settlement for a job injury.

Mel won a place at the prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art when one of his sisters, recognising his talent, sent in an application behind his back, and Mel landed his first movie lead, Mad Max, soon after graduation, despite the result of a bar-room brawl the night before the audition which left him looking like "a busted grapefruit". In fact, Mel's burnt-out, beat-up appearance was a plus it was exactly the look director George Miller was looking for for his post-apocalyptic road flick. Other roles in film and theatre soon followed, and in 1979 Mel scooped the first of a pair of Australian Film Industry Awards as best actor, playing a handyman in Tim.

He got the second two years later for his lead as an Aussie soldier caught up in WWI in Peter Weir's Gallipoli. Then came the worldwide success of Mad Max 2, and a romantic lead opposite Sigourney Weaver in The Year Of Living Dangerously, which established Mel as an international star. In the midst of all this heady success he married dental nurse Robyn Moore, and the pair have seven children the eldest, Hannah, was born in 1980, followed by twins Christian and Edward, Will, Louis, Milo, and the youngest addition to the clan, Thomas, who came into the world in 1999. In addition to starring in action fare such as 1988's Tequila Sunrise, Mel has proved he's not just a pretty face in more demanding roles, memorably surprising the critics with his interpretation of Shakespeare's Hamlet in 1990.

Mel is probably best known for his role opposite Danny Glover in the Lethal Weapon movies, but it would be for his work behind the camera that he garnered his highest acclaim a best director gong for 1995's Braveheart. For Mel, who also produced the film, it was only his second time in the director's chair, the first being two years earlier for The Man Without A Face, and the film earned five Oscars, including best film. 

In 2004, Mel released one of the most controversial film projects ever, The Passion Of The Christ, a portrayal of the last 12 hours of Jesus' life. Extremely violent, the film was equally praised and criticised, with many labelling the movie as anti-semitic.

 Mel co-wrote and directed the epic, filmed in a mixture of Aramaic, Hebrew and Latin with English subtitles, and, it being a labour of love for the deeply religious star, funded it with $25 million of his own money.It wasn't just his artistic endeavours stirring controversy, however.

In 2006 he was arrested after being pulled over while driving under the influence of alcohol. Anti-semitic comments he made to Jewish police officer James Mee made headlines across the globe, and the under-fire actor issued public apologies for his "despicable" behaviour, adding that his comments had been "blurted out in a moment of insanity".

He checked into rehab to undergo treatment for alcoholism shortly afterwards, and was sentenced to three years' probation. The incident seemed to act as a catalyst for a shake up in Mel's life. He separated from his wife Robyn the same year, after 26 years of marriage.It wasn't until April 2009 that divorce papers were filed, however - one month after Mel was photographed on a beach with another woman, who was later found to be Russian musician Oksana Grigorieva. Mel and Robyn's settlement was thought to be the highest in Hollywood history at over $400,000,000.In October 2009,

 Mel and Oksana welcomed their first child - a daughter named Lucia.

Unfortunately the relationship wasn't to last. Amidst claims of domestic violence and a volatile relationship, they announced that they had split in April 2010 when they both took out restraining orders against each other, and things went from bad to worse when a string of leaked telephone recordings hit the internet, reportedly demonstrating the dad-of-eight using racist language and threatening the mother of his baby.

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