A prolific character actor, Gibson was best known for his work on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. His signature act was "The Poet" where he would emerge from behind a stage flat carrying a large flower and recite a humorous and often satirical poem.
He also played a wide variety of other roles, including the Cantakerous Judge Brown in the TV series Boston Legal, a befuddled priest in the film Wedding Crashers, a bumbling Neo-Nazi in The Blues Brothers, and a Ferengi in Star Trek, Deep Space Nine.
Gibson became involved in acting from an early age. Born James Bateman in Germantown PA, he attended St. Joseph's prep school where he was president of the school drama club. He went on the major in drama at Catholic University in Washington DC, earning his Bachelor of Arts in 1957. He took his stage name as a play on the name of the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen.
Gibson died in Malibu, CA in September 2009, just a few days shy of his 74th Birthday. He was preceded in death by his wife of 41 years, Lois Joan Geiger. They are survived by three sons.