About Hugh Michael Jackman
A star in his native Australia thanks to his work on television and in musical theatre, actor Hugh Jackman became known to American audiences through his role as Logan/Wolverine in Bryan Singer's lavish adaptation of the popular Marvel comic X-Men (2000).
Born of English parentage in Sydney, Australia, Jackman was the youngest of five children. When Jackman was eight years old his parents divorced. His mother returned to England to live and care for her own mother, who was ill; the job of taking care of the five young Jackmans fell to his father, an accountant. Although his mother was not a part of his everyday life, Jackman did travel back and forth between Australia and England for visits. It was during those visits that he got his first taste of the theater.
Jackman loved going to plays with his mother, and he frequently acted in school plays, but he did not consider becoming a professional actor. Instead he majored in communications at the University of Technology in Sydney, with an eye toward journalism. During his senior year, Jackman found himself a few credits short, so he decided to take a drama class, primarily because his friends told him that he was guaranteed an easy "A." But as it turned out, the class was a lot of work. "I was shocked at how challenging it was," he admitted to MSNBC News. The class project was to put on a play, and everyone had to take a part. By chance Jackman was cast in the lead, and by the end of the term he was hooked.
Realizing that he was not truly cut out to be a journalist, so he enrolled at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts in Perth to study drama. The fledgling actor got his first big break immediately after graduation, when he was offered a starring role on the popular TV series Corelli; his casting proved to be doubly serendipitous, as it provided him with an introduction to his future wife, actress Deborra-Lee Furness.
Jackman starred in a number of other TV series -- and also began to earn recognition for his work on the stage in such productions as Beauty and the Beast, Sunset Boulevard, and Trevor Nunn's acclaimed Royal National Theatre production of Oklahoma!, the latter of which featured the actor in an Olivier-nominated performance as Curly McLain. In 1999, a year after being nominated for the Olivier, Jackman was again honored, this time with a Best Actor nomination from the Australian Film Institute for his portrayal of a man estranged from his brother in the urban drama Erskineville Kings. The actor's winning streak continued when he was hired to replace Dougray Scott as Wolverine in Bryan Singer's high-profile adaptation of X-Men. The film, whose cast also included Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Anna Paquin, James Marsden, and Halle Berry, opened to strong reviews and box-office to become one of the biggest hits of the summer. Jackman's rising international popularity was reflected by his casting in Tony Goldwyn's Someone Like You, a romantic comedy also starring Ashley Judd and Greg Kinnear. Jackman was hard to ignore in 2001, appearing just a few short months later in John Travolta's latest comback, Swordfish.
2003 saw the return of the X-Men and, with them, Jackman's Wolverine in X2: X-Men United, a film that not only repeated the first film's financial success, but was considered by many to be the rare sequel that outdoes its predecessor. Sticking with the action genre, Jackman could next be seen in the title role of the 2004 ultra-big-budget film Van Helsing. Although Van Helsing was met with critical disdain, and underperformed at the box office, Jackman rebounded by earning rave reviews as the lead in the Broadway musical The Boy From Oz. That same year he hosted the annual Tony awards, again to great acclaim.
Fans had numerous opportunities to see Jackman on the big screen in 2006. He took a humorous turn that summer as a possible serial killer in Woody Allen's comedy Scoop, and in fall he starred opposite Oscar winner Rachel Weisz in the stylish The Fountain as a man who searches through three different time periods concurrently, on a single spiritual journey. That same autumn, Jackman could also be seen in the dark fantasy The Prestige, playing a turn of the century magician who some speculate performs real magic, and before winter, audiences were hearing his vocal work in a pair of animated films, Flushed Away and Happy Feet. 2006 also proved to be the year Jackman announced he would produce and star in a big-screen adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel.
In 2007, Jackman produced and guest-starred in the television musical-dramedy series Viva Laughlin, which was canceled by CBS after two episodes.
Jackman's 2008 movies included Deception (which he starred in and produced), Uncle Jonny, and Australia which co-starred Nicole Kidman. Jackman played a tough, independent cattle drover, who reluctantly helps an English noblewoman in her quest to save both her philandering husband's Australian cattle station and the half-caste Aboriginal child she finds there.
He reprised his role as Wolverine in the fourth installment of the X-Men series in 2009.
Jackman married Deborra-Lee Furness on 11 April 1996. They met on Correlli, an Australian television series. Jackman personally designed an engagement ring for Furness, and their wedding rings bore the Sanskrit inscription "Om paramar mainamar," translated as "we dedicate our union to a greater source." They currently divide their time between Sydney and New York City.
Furness had two miscarriages, following which she and Jackman adopted two children, Oscar Maximillian and Ava Eliot.