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Friday, February 03, 2006

Brisbane Courier Mail on Mel Gibson turning 50

Brisbane Courier Mail has an article today on Mel Gibson turning 50 earlier this year. It talks about his financial success with the Passion of the Christ, relates his rags-to-riches story and ends by mentioning his current work on Apocalypto:

When Mel Gibson was 20 he was petrol-pinching poor, but at 50 he's the world's richest actor, reports Alan Veitch.

At 50 every man has the face he deserves," wrote George Orwell, and if the eminent British author was correct then still strikingly handsome American-born Australian actor Mel Gibson, who hit the half century on January 3, deserves to be well satisfied with his mirror reflection.

At 50 Gibson should be even happier with his financial situation, because, according to Forbes magazine, he's well on the way to reaching billionaire status – at least in Australian dollars – as a result of his Icon production company's daring gamble two years ago to finance the controversial religious movie, The Passion of the Christ.

Though the entire dialogue was in Aramaic and Latin and sub-titled all through, and upset Jews around the world, Passion surprisingly turned out to be the biggest independent film box office success in Hollywood history.

Eighteen months ago Forbes dubbed Gibson "the most powerful celebrity in the world" on the basis of his personal earnings from Passion of about $280 million for the previous 12 months. Since then he has made another $250 million with Passion video and DVD sales, and when all that is added to his pre-Passion fortune, estimated at another $200 million, and with more blockbuster film projects on the way it seems only a matter of time before Gibson can call himself an Australian billionaire.

Read the rest.