Mel Gibson is an American actor and filmmaker who has a net worth of $425 million in 2023. Gibson rose to fame in the 1980s for his roles in films like Mad Max and Lethal Weapon, and later became an acclaimed director with movies like Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ under his belt.
Despite several controversies throughout his career, Mel Gibson remains one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood.
Early Life and Career Beginnings
Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson was born on January 3, 1956 in Peekskill, New York. His father, Hutton Gibson, was a railroad brakeman, and his mother, Anne Reilly Gibson, was a homemaker. Gibson grew up with 10 siblings in a devoutly Catholic household. When he was 12 years old, the family relocated to Sydney, Australia.
Gibson studied acting at the Australian National Institute of Dramatic Art, graduating in 1977. His first acting roles were in Australian TV productions like The Sullivans. Gibson got his big break when he was cast as the title character in Mad Max (1979), a dystopian action film set in Australia.
The movie was an unexpected hit, grossing over $100 million worldwide. This launched Gibson to stardom and ushered in a new era of post-apocalyptic cinema.
Rise to Stardom in the 1980s
Following the success of Mad Max, Gibson moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. His ascension to the A-list was cemented when he starred as Martin Riggs in the blockbuster Lethal Weapon opposite Danny Glover in 1987.
The action comedy franchise went on to spawn three sequels from 1989 to 1998. During the late 80s, he also starred in Franco Zeffirelli’s Hamlet (1990) and the romantic comedy What Women Want (2000) with Helen Hunt.
Another career-defining role for Gibson was Max Rockatansky in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985). His nuanced portrayal of the former cop navigating a stark post-apocalyptic world is considered one of the best action hero performances ever. Altogether, the Mad Max trilogy grossed over $240 million worldwide and influenced pop culture for years to come.
Transition to Directing
In the 1990s, Gibson expanded into directing, screenwriting, and producing. His directorial debut was The Man Without a Face in 1993, followed by the epic historical drama Braveheart in 1995.
Braveheart was a massive critical and commercial hit, winning 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director for Gibson.
He was only the sixth person in history to direct himself to an acting Oscar nomination. The film’s success established Gibson as a formidable Hollywood multi-hyphenate.
Gibson went on to direct and produce other films including The Passion of The Christ (2004), Apocalypto (2006), and Hacksaw Ridge (2016).
The ultra-violent depiction of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion in The Passion of the Christ sparked accusations of anti-Semitism and controversy upon its release, though it grossed over $600 million globally.
Apocalypto was praised for its immersive portrayal of the Mayan civilization, while Hacksaw Ridge earned Gibson another Best Director Oscar nomination.
Acting in Later Years
While Gibson focused largely on directing, he continued taking on occasional acting roles. In the 2000s, he appeared in films like Signs (2002), The Singing Detective (2003), and Edge of Darkness (2010).
One of his most critically acclaimed late career performances was in Dragged Across Concrete (2018) as a bitter, racist cop opposite Vince Vaughn.
In 2010, tapes surfaced of Gibson making racist, misogynistic rants and death threats towards his then-girlfriend. This greatly damaged his public image.
However, he has still managed to find acting work, playing Santa Claus in Fatman (2020) and starring in the action comedy Last Man Standing (2022).
Personal Life and Controversies
Gibson has been married twice, first to Robyn Moore for 31 years until their 2011 divorce. He has 7 children from that marriage. In 2014 he married Rosalind Ross, with whom he has a son.
Throughout his career, Gibson has been embroiled in various scandals and controversies related to alcohol abuse, drunk driving charges, accusations of homophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, domestic violence, and more.
In 2006, while being arrested for DUI, Gibson went on an anti-Semitic rant towards the arresting officer and later apologized. But in 2010, tapes were leaked of an enraged Gibson hurling racist and misogynistic slurs at his girlfriend.
These incidents have significantly marred Gibson’s reputation in Hollywood and with audiences. He has expressed regret for his offensive remarks and behavior.
Despite the controversies, Gibson has managed to recover his career time and again due to his undeniable talent and box office appeal. He remains a highly sought-after filmmaker in the industry.
Mel Gibson’s Net Worth in 2023
According to multiple reports, Mel Gibson’s net worth is estimated to be $425 million in 2023. Here is a breakdown of how he has amassed his considerable fortune over his decades-long career:
- Movie salaries and backend points: During the height of his acting career in the 1980s and 90s, Gibson commanded some massive paydays, earning $20 million alone for Lethal Weapon 3 and $25 million for Lethal Weapon 4. He also negotiated lucrative percentage points on the backend of his hit films.
- Director, producer and writer fees: Gibson earns multi-million dollar fees for directing, producing and writing his films. He earned $25 million for directing The Passion of The Christ and took a reduced $10 million fee for Apocalypto so he could get it financed.
- Real estate portfolio: Gibson owns an extensive portfolio of mansions, ranches, and beach houses around the world worth over $100 million combined. His main residence is a $42 million, 10-acre estate in Malibu.
- Film and TV royalties: Having starred in several profitable franchises like Mad Max and Lethal Weapon, Gibson continues to earn royalties from these films that pay out over decades.
- Investments and business ventures: Gibson has invested in real estate and various private companies. He also owns the production company Icon Productions Entertainment which has produced many of Gibson’s films.
Forbes estimated that between June 2018-2019, Gibson earned $29.5 million from his various endeavors.
While he may never fully shake off the controversies that have plagued his public image, Mel Gibson remains an active force in Hollywood with a net worth of $425 million and counting.
His continued success as a filmmaker and shrewd business deals indicate that Gibson’s wealth will keep rising for years to come.