Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman
Stuart Wilson / Getty Images


Hugh Jackman
Film: North side of the 6900 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born Hugh Michael Jackman on Oct. 12, 1968 in Sydney, Australia

Hugh Jackman occupies an interesting and unusual intersection of Hollywood stardom: He's a sprightly song-and-dance man who's not afraid to turn on his inner tough-guy. In the A-list echelons of the movie world, Jackman might be the only guy who could host the Tony Awards and believably wield Wolverine's Adamantine claws.

It was on the stage in Melbourne that the handsome Australian found his life pursuit, landing roles such as cynical Joe Gillis in "Sunset Boulevard" and the brawny Gaston in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast."

He wanted to make the transition to film, but his path to his most famous role — as Wolverine in the "X-Men" franchise — was an unlikely one. He and his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, came to the U.S. to adopt their first child, Oscar, and, through a series of unexpected events, he ended up inheriting the part from Scottish actor Dougray Scott, who had to drop out of the Marvel comic book adaptation because filming on "Mission: Impossible II" ran long.

"When I first started the role of Wolverine, back for the first 'X-Men' movie, I watched a lot of Mike Tyson videos in my trailer," Jackman told The Times in 2009. "I kept saying to the writers, 'Don't give me long, choreographed fights for the sake of it. Don't make the fights pretty.' Like Tyson, if Wolverine wants to take your . . . head off, he's going to do it."

In addition to his recurring appearances in the "X-Men" movies as the feral mutant superhero, Jackman has starred as a vampire hunter ("Van Helsing"), a singing penguin ("Happy Feet") and a former boxer on the ropes in his personal life ("Real Steel"). He's worked with filmmakers including Darren Aronofsky ("The Fountain"), Christopher Nolan ("The Prestige") and Baz Luhrmann ("Australia").

His performance as Jean Valjean in the 2012 musical movie adaptation "Les Miserables" in some ways represents a culmination of his bifurcated career, as his performance has attracted attention during awards season.

Through the years, Jackman, the youngest of six children, has consistently continued to work in the theater, appearing, for example, opposite Daniel Craig in a 2009 Broadway production of "A Steady Rain."

Among Jackman's other ties to the stage, he's hosted the Tony Awards three times; he also hosted the 81st Academy Awards ceremony in 2009.

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Points of interest

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    2012 Best Actor Les Miserables Nomination
    2012 Best Actor Les Miserables Nomination

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