Australian Jackman’s handsome face was familiar Down Under before he took on Hollywood as a pompadour-sporting, claw-baring mutant in the X-Men movies. After studying at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Melbourne, he landed a role on the short-lived 1995 prison series Corelli opposite Deborra-Lee Furness, who soon became his wife. In between TV work, Jackman showed off his impressive singing and dancing skills in the musicals Beauty and the Beast and Sunset Boulevard. His critically acclaimed performance as Curly in a London revival of Oklahoma! upped his profile considerably. His career went into overdrive when he was picked to replace Dougray Scott as Wolverine in 2000’s X-Men. The role made excellent use of his easygoing wit and perfect body and showcased his effortless charisma. A slew of Hollywood movies followed, including romantic comedies (Kate & Leopold), thrillers (Swordfish) and, of course, more action flicks (Van Helsing). In 2003 Jackman took time off from his busy filming schedule to make his Broadway debut in The Boy from Oz as the late showman Peter Allen. Not only did he earn a 2004 Tony for his performance, but he also hosted the awards telecast that year, a gig that netted him an Emmy in 2005. His subsequent successful turns at hosting the Tonys resulted in being selected as host of the 81st annual Academy Awards in 2009. Off the stage, Jackman devotes time and money to charity work, which has included a stint as a World Vision ambassador.
• Turned down a role in the popular Australian drama Neighbours to attend the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.
• Met wife Deborra-Lee Furness while starring with her in the prison drama Corelli in 1995.
• Has a strong musical-theater background, including starring roles in Australian productions of Beauty and the Beast and Sunset Boulevard, and a National Theatre revival of Oklahoma! in London’s West End.
• Appeared in the 2002 short film Standing Room Only, his wife’s directorial debut.
• Declined the role of Billy Flynn in the 2002 film adaptation of Chicago (which later went to Richard Gere) because he felt he was too young for the part.
• Debuted on Broadway in 2003’s The Boy From Oz as Peter Allen, the showman who died of AIDS in 1992.
• Named People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2008.
• Donated $100,000 to one of his Twitter followers’ favorite charities in 2009.
• 2006, Emmy — Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program: Nominee
• 2005, Emmy — Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program: Winner
• 2002, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy: Nominee
• 2004, Tony — Actor (Musical): Winner
• 2010, People’s Choice Awards — Favorite Action Star: Winner
• 2012, People’s Choice Awards — Favorite Action Movie Star: Winner
• 2013, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical: Winner
• 2012, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
• 2012, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
• 1999, Australian Film Institute Awards — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
• 2012, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
• 2015, Emmy — Outstanding Special Class Program: Nominee
• 2013, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Leading Actor: Nominee
• 2013, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards — Best Song: Nominee
• 2013, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards — Best Actor: Nominee
• 2007, Australian Film Institute Awards — International Award for Best Actor: Nominee
• 2018, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy: Nominee
• 2009, Emmy — Outstanding Special Class Program: Nominee
• 2012, Tony — Special Tony Award: Winner
• 2008, Australian Film Institute Awards — Readers’ Choice Award: Winner
• Ava Eliot Jackman — Daughter
• Oscar Maximillian Jackman — Son
• Chris Jackman — Father
• Ian Jackman — Brother
• Deborra-Lee Furness — Wife
• Grace Watson — Mother
• Sonya Jackman — Sister
• Ralph Jackman — Brother
• Grace Murdoch — Godchild
• Chloe Murdoch — Godchild
• University of Technology, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (BA, 1990); Edith Cowan University, Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts, Perth, Western Australia, Australia (1994)
1 “I just love making a fool out of myself. I made my living as a clown at kids’ parties for about three years.”
2 “I’m an actor who believes we all have triggers to any stage of emotion. It’s not always easy to find but it’s still there.”
3 “Now I meet people with full-color Wolverine tattoos on their backs. Thank God I did okay, because I think if I hadn’t, they’d spit on me in the street.”
4 “It dawned on me that acting was what I wanted to do with my life. Nothing had ever touched my heart like acting did.”
5 “Being on Broadway is the modern equivalent of being a monk. I sleep a lot, eat a lot, and rest a lot.”
6 “I have a wife and a son, but the gay rumors have started. I guess it’s a sign that I’m moving up the ladder.”
7 “I’m a big goofball, you know. Don’t tell anyone that, but I’m a big goofball. In Australia
we call it a dag.”
8 “We feel that there are so many kids who need adopting. We thought we’d do it after having a couple of our own, but we just changed our mind.”
9 “My gosh, I love food. If I wasn’t an actor, I could be a completely different body shape right now.”
10 “My agent said to me five years ago, ‘Hugh, I can see one day you… if I had to plan a goal for you, it’s for you to have the kind of career that Sinatra had.”