march 12, 2015
Long known as a successful movie actor, Mel Gibson has done additional work for the small screen, both in front of the camera and behind it. Most of it was for Australian television and were done early in his career, so many people may not even be aware of it. Fortunately for movie fans everywhere, his talent was recognized early and he quickly became a world famous star. Here are four TV shows Gibson took part in:
1. “The Sullivans” (1976)
One of Gibson’s first roles was on a show called “The Sullivans”. It was a minor role as an Australian navy lieutenant named Ray Henderson. The show centered on a family living in Australia before and during World War II.
“The Sullivans” was critically acclaimed for its acting and realism to the time. One feature of the show that was considered exceptional was that each week’s episode reflected what would have been a week of real time during the war. That meant that if a character went on a naval ship and would be incommunicado for two weeks, then the character would not be on the show for the same amount of time.
2. “Punishment” (1981)
Gibson worked on an Australian soap opera called “Punishment.” The show lasted a very short time. Gibson’s time on the show was shorter; he only appeared in the pilot episode. He played a young, likeable prisoner named Rick who only smoked hand-rolled cigarettes, despite being known for having a pack of cigarettes rolled up the sleeve of his short-sleeve T-shirt, according to the Aussie Soap Archive.
3. “The Hero” (1979)
This made-for-TV movie was created by the Australian division of ABC. It was an educational show for children that explained how TV shows are produced.
4. “The Three Stooges” (2000)
After making it as a movie star, Gibson did not return to television, at least not in front of the cameras. This made-for-TV movie was shown on the ABC network. It is the most likely piece or work where people outside of Australia will have seen anything that Gibson collaborated on for the small screen.
Anyone that has watched the “Lethal Weapon” movies has seen "The Three Stooges" on in the background at some point. Viewers will also see several of their slapstick stunts used in the movies, such as when Gibson’s character slaps three drug dealers selling Christmas trees at the start of the first movie.
Gibson has been a longtime fan of the Stooges and was one of the executive producers of the movie. The movie ranked at No. 14 for the week in the ratings, according to SFGate.com.