Oscar-winning director Mel Gibson is making headlines these days with his new movie, "The Passion of the Christ," about the death of Jesus Christ. Months before its release, Gibson's film is stirring passions over his exclusionary screenings and his depiction of Jews. In this Jan. 24, 2003, photo, Gibson, right, directs Jim Caviezel, center, on the set of the movie.
The dark-haired, blue-eyed Gibson accepts the award he won for favorite motion picture actor at the 30th Annual People's Choice Awards Jan. 11, 2004, in Pasadena, Calif.
The last movie in which the New York-born , Australia-reared actor appeared was 2002's "Signs." In a scene from that movie, Gibson, center left, plays widowed minister Graham Hess who investigates strange occurrences with characters played by Rory Culkin (left), Abigail Breslin (center right), and Joaquin Phoenix (right).
The 48-year-old actor, known for his ultra-conservative Catholicism, including opposition to abortion, has his own production company, Icon Productions. It has produced projects like the Beethoven biopic "Immortal Beloved," the 1997 remake of "Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina" and the black comedy "Ordinary Decent Criminals."
Gibson starred as Lt. Col. Harold G. Moore in Paramount Pictures "We Were Soldiers," released in 2002.
In 2000's Revolutionary War drama "The Patriot," Gibson was cast as a retired "gunslinger" spooked by memories of past wars, who remains a pacifist until his son is in enemy custody.
Gibson is photographed at the premiere of "The Patriot."
With Disney Chairman Michael Eisner, left, Gibson peers out at photographers at the world premiere of his film "Ransom" Nov. 1, 1996, in the Westwood section of Los Angeles.
A Hollywood star and fan magazine heartthrob, Gibson appears with actress Julia Roberts in the 1997 movie "Conspiracy Theory." Here, the two stars walk down the red carpet together at the movie's world premiere at Mann's Village Theater in the Westwood section of Los Angeles, Aug. 4, 1997.
Gibson leads a charge as he stars in the motion picture "Braveheart," which he also directed. In the movie that was filmed on location in Scotland and Ireland, Gibson played Sir William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish nobleman persecuted for his efforts to free Scotland from English rule.
Gibson holds his two Oscars for "Braveheart" at the 68th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, March 25, 1996. He won for Best Director and Best Film.
A two-picture combo shows Gibson, wearing a Buchanan tartan, arriving at Stirling University for the European premiere of "Braveheart" on Sept.3, 1995. In the left panel, the actor jumps to see over the heads of people nearby. After the screening around 700 guests were taken to Stirling Castle for a party.
Gibson, known as a practical joker, rose to stardom in the four-picture "Lethal Weapon" franchise, with co-star Danny Glover. In it, he created the character of homicide investigator Martin Riggs, which allowed him some playfulness in an action-hero format. In this photo, Gibson gestures to Glover during a ceremony at Mann's Chinese Theatre that preceded the July 7, 1998, premiere for "Lethal Weapon 4."