Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson as Scottish hero, William Wallace in Braveheart. Born January 3, 1956, Mel Gibson is an American actor, filmmaker, and screenwriter, most well- known for his action hero roles in the Mad Max and Lethal Weapon franchises. He was born in Peekskill, New York, and moved with his parents to Sydney when he was 12 years old. He studied acting at the Australian National Institute of Dramatic Art and, during the 1980s, he founded the production company, Icon Entertainment. In 1995, Gibson produced, directed, and starred in the epic historical drama, Braveheart, for which he won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Director, along with the Academy Award for Best Picture.