Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson, AO (born January 3, 1956) is an American-born, Australian-raised actor, film director, film producer and screenwriter. Born in New York, Gibson moved to Sydney (Australia) when he was 12 years old and later studied acting at the National Institute of Dramatic Art. After appearing in the Mad Max and Lethal Weapon series, Gibson went on to direct and star in the Academy Award-winning Braveheart. Gibson's direction of Braveheart made him the sixth actor-turned-filmmaker to receive an Oscar for Best Director. In 2004, he directed and produced The Passion of the Christ, a controversial but hugely successful film that portrayed the last hours of the life of Jesus Christ.