A walking dichotomy, this controversial Hollywood megastar is the embodiment of prankster and preacher, hero and villain, success and failure, both on and off screen. Born in the U.S. but raised in Australia from age 12, the ruggedly handsome, blue-eyed actor hit it big (at least Down Under) in 1979, with a pair of antithetical films. He earned an Australian Film Institute Award as a mentally challenged laborer involved with an older woman in Tim, and proved himself an able action hero in Mad Max, which launched a successful franchise. But his international breakthrough came two years later, when he again showcased his range as a short-distance runner in the World War I-set Gallipoli (snagging him a second Australian Film Institute Award) and a return run as Mad Max in The Road Warrior. Hollywood pounced on the actor, and while his U.S. career got off to a rocky start with a number of flops, he became an icon playing a crazy cop in the 1987 smash Lethal Weapon, marking the beginning of a fruitful collaboration between Gibson and director Richard Donner. Over the years, the two worked together on a number of movies, including three more Lethal Weapon flicks. While Gibson was a winner in front of the camera, his private life was messy. Although he seemed to have a stable personal life with his wife and children, he was also an alcoholic with a talent for putting his foot in his mouth. In the '90s, he seemed to put that all behind him. He ostensibly sobered up, worked steadily and even went behind the camera, winning an Oscar for best director for his second feature, the Scottish war saga Braveheart. Although the devout Catholic was well liked in Hollywood, charming his costars with his outrageous on-set pranks and donating millions of dollars to charity, he made a number of public statements about homosexuals and non-Catholic Christians that prompted some to brand him a bigot. Then in 2004, his film The Passion of the Christ stirred up controversy once again. Gibson wrote, produced, directed and independently financed the movie, an extremely graphic depiction of Jesus Christ's suffering on the day of his crucifixion. Critics claimed that the film had an anti-Semitic slant — a claim the auteur pooh-poohed on various TV news shows — and regardless of the film's social politics, it was a box-office smash. After keeping a low profile for the next two years, Gibson's name was suddenly plastered all over the media again when he made a number of allegedly anti-Semitic and sexist remarks while being arrested for drunk driving in July 2006. Although he quickly issued an apology and checked into rehab, his reputation had been tarnished, and many weren't able to look at him — or his work — in the same way afterward.