He might claim to not understand them, but women sure do love blue-eyed actor Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson (1956-), born on this day in Peerskill, New York.
As the sixth of 11 kids, Gibson was raised in Sydney, Australia from the age of 12 when his father moved them there to provide a safer environment.
"I don't think of myself as either American or Australian really, I'm a true hybrid. It's a good thing for me because both of them are really good countries," he once explained.
In the land down-under, Gibson wrecked revenge in Mad Max (1980), then followed up with the high-octane The Road Warrior (1982). In 1985, he was named People magazine's first ever "Sexiest Man Alive," rising to international box-office sweetheart.
He won two Academy Awards-- Best Director and Best Picture-- for 1995's Braveheart and was ranked tenth in Forbes Top 100 Celebrities (2001).
There is more to Gibson than meets the eye. In February 1999, he donated $640,000 to Sydney's National Institute of Dramatic Art where he studied acting for three years. The money helped build a theater, film and television studio, and library.
The actor is a devout conservative Catholic who said his faith helped him overcome struggles with addiction and other personal problems. His phenomenal hit, The Passion of the Christ was born from Gibson's "deep need" to tell the story of Christ's final hours in both Aramaic and Latin.
The controversial, emotionally-charged film was 10 years in the making, a work of love...and passion. After the film grossed $125 million in its first five days, Gibson said the message mattered most to him. "I don’t care about the money."
More Film-Making Quotations
You don't have to understand, just love.