Hugh Michael Jackman (born 12 October 1968) is an Australian actor, singer, and producer.
Jackman has won international recognition for his roles in major films, notably as superhero, period, and romance characters. He is best known for his long-running role as Wolverine in the X-Men film series, as well as for his lead roles in the romantic-comedy fantasy Kate & Leopold (2001), the action-horror film Van Helsing (2004), the magic-themed drama The Prestige (2006), the epic historical romantic drama Australia (2008), the sci-fi sports drama Real Steel (2011), the film version of Les Misérables (2012), and the thriller Prisoners (2013). His work in Les Misérables earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and his first Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy in 2013. In theater, he won a Tony Award for his role in The Boy from Oz.
A four-time host of the Tony Awards, winning an Emmy Award for one of these appearances, Jackman also hosted the 81st Academy Awards on 22 February 2009.
Jackman was born in Sydney, New South Wales, the son of Grace McNeil (née Greenwood) and Christopher John Jackman, a Cambridge-trained accountant. His parents were English and had come to Australia in 1967 as part of the “Ten Pound Poms” immigration. One of his paternal great-grandfathers was Greek. His parents were devout Christians, having been converted by Evangelist Billy Graham after their marriage. Jackman has four older siblings, and was the second of his parents’ children to be born in Australia. He also has a younger half-sister, from his mother’s remarriage. His parents divorced when he was eight, and Jackman remained in Australia with his father and Jackman’s two brothers, while his mother moved back to England with Jackman’s two sisters. As a child, Jackman liked the outdoors, spending a lot of time at the beach and on camping trips and school holidays all over Australia. He wanted to see the world: “I used to spend nights looking at atlases. I decided I wanted to be a chef on a plane. Because I’d been on a plane and there was food on board, I presumed there was a chef. I thought that would be an ideal job.”
Jackman went to primary school at Pymble Public School and later attended the all-boys Knox Grammar School on Sydney’s Upper North Shore, where he starred in its production of My Fair Lady in 1985, and became the school captain in 1986. Following graduation, he spent a gap year working at Uppingham School in England. On his return, he studied at the University of Technology, Sydney, graduating in 1991 with a BA in Communications. In his final year of university, he took a drama course to make up additional credits. The class did Václav Havel’s The Memorandum with Jackman as the lead. He later commented, “In that week I felt more at home with those people than I did in the entire three years at university”.
After obtaining his BA, Jackman completed the one-year course “The Journey” at the Actors’ Centre in Sydney. About studying acting full-time, he stated, “It wasn’t until I was 22 that I ever thought about my hobby being something I could make a living out of. As a boy, I’d always had an interest in theatre. But the idea at my school was that drama and music were to round out the man. It wasn’t what one did for a living. I got over that. I found the courage to stand up and say, ‘I want to do it’.” After completing “The Journey”, he was offered a role on the popular soap opera Neighbours but turned it down to attend the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts of Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia, from which he graduated in 1994.
Jackman has said he “always loved acting but when I started at drama school I was like the dunce of the class. It just wasn’t coming right to me. Everyone was cooler, everyone seemed more likely to succeed, everyone seemed more natural at it and in retrospect I think that is good. I think it is good to come from behind as an actor. I think it is good to go into an audition thinking ‘Man I’ve got to be at my best to get this gig.
Jackman married Deborra-Lee Furness on 11 April 1996 at St. John’s in Toorak, Victoria, a suburb of Melbourne. They met on the set of Australian TV show Correlli. 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”. Furness had two miscarriages, following which she and Jackman adopted two mixed-race children, Oscar and Ava.
Jackman has described himself as a Christian and a “religious person”.
In November 2013, Jackman announced he had basal-cell carcinoma removed from his nose. He had a second carcinoma removed from his nose in May 2014, telling Associated Press that he expects to have future recurrences. This resulted in Jackman attending the various worldwide premieres of X-Men: Days of Future Past with a bandage on his nose, and urging his followers on photo-sharing platform Instagram to “wear sunscreen”.
On 18 March 2015, Jackman revealed that he had to cancel stage performances in Turkey because he had a left vocal chord haemorrhage. His stage performance ‘An Evening with Hugh Jackman’ has been rescheduled in Zorlu PSM Center in Turkey for three days from 30 May to 1 June 2015.