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|Also Known As:||Hugh Michael Jackman||Died:|
|Born:||October 12, 1968||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Sydney, New South Wales, AU||Profession:||actor, singer|
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A stage and screen actor of remarkable versatility, Australia-born Hugh Jackman had the unusual honor of being named one of People magazine's "Sexiest Men Alive," while also maintaining fandom among legions of comic book enthusiasts for portraying famed X-Men character Wolverine. After receiving his start in film and on television in his native Australia, Jackman was catapulted to stardom as the edgy, violence-prone Wolverine in the blockbuster hit "X-Men" (2000), a role he reprised over the course of his career in sequels like "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (2009) and "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (2014) before closing the books on his performance in the R-rated finale "Logan" (2017). In between, he earned critical acclaim for his performance in the romantic comedy "Kate & Leopold" (2001), played a computer-hacking criminal in the thriller "Swordfish" (2001) and cut down vampires as "Van Helsing" (2004). After starring in Christopher Nolan's "The Prestige" (2006) and Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain" (2006), Jackman joined fellow Aussies Nicole Kidman and Baz Luhrmann for the romantic epic "Australia" (2008). A veteran of the musical stage, Jackman was a natural fit to serve as host of the Tony Awards...
A stage and screen actor of remarkable versatility, Australia-born Hugh Jackman had the unusual honor of being named one of People magazine's "Sexiest Men Alive," while also maintaining fandom among legions of comic book enthusiasts for portraying famed X-Men character Wolverine. After receiving his start in film and on television in his native Australia, Jackman was catapulted to stardom as the edgy, violence-prone Wolverine in the blockbuster hit "X-Men" (2000), a role he reprised over the course of his career in sequels like "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (2009) and "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (2014) before closing the books on his performance in the R-rated finale "Logan" (2017). In between, he earned critical acclaim for his performance in the romantic comedy "Kate & Leopold" (2001), played a computer-hacking criminal in the thriller "Swordfish" (2001) and cut down vampires as "Van Helsing" (2004). After starring in Christopher Nolan's "The Prestige" (2006) and Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain" (2006), Jackman joined fellow Aussies Nicole Kidman and Baz Luhrmann for the romantic epic "Australia" (2008). A veteran of the musical stage, Jackman was a natural fit to serve as host of the Tony Awards and Academy Awards, while also starring in the long-awaited adaptation of "Les Misérables" (2012) and appearing as Blackbeard in the Peter Pan reimagining "Pan" (2015) and P.T. Barnum in the musical drama "The Greatest Showman" (2017). Because of his rugged charm and diversity of talent, Jackman capably alternated between great displays of theatricality and calculated reserve while becoming one of Hollywood's favored leading men.
Hugh Michael Jackman was born on Oct. 12, 1968, and raised in Sydney, Australia. The youngest of five children who always clowned around for attention, Jackman performed variety routines for his family and participated in school musical productions when he was young. After earning a journalism degree from the University of Technology in Sydney, he decided to pursue an acting career and trained at the Actor's Centre Sydney before graduating from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 1994. Fresh out of drama school, Jackman landed a role on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) prison drama "Corelli." He powerfully played the role of the violent but insidiously attractive prison inmate Kevin Jones opposite Deborra-Lee Furness, who starred as the title criminal psychologist. The couple's budding romance onscreen led to a behind-the-scenes relationship and the actors' longtime marriage. Jackman landed a recurring role in the adventure series "Snowy River: The McGregor Saga" (1996) and his relaxed and natural presence was tapped for hosting duties on the pop culture show "In Fashion" (Foxtel, 1997) and the 1997 Australian Film Institute Awards.
On stage, Jackman was hailed as one of the most promising newcomers in music theater when he was cast in a Melbourne production of "Walt Disney's Beauty and the Beast," essaying the supporting part of macho villain, Gaston. The tall and muscular Jackman still had to wear prosthetic pieces to pull off the exaggerated build of the character, but even with this added padding, the actor's spot-on portrayal - complete with appropriate pomp and swagger - shone through. He followed up by playing hack screenwriter Joe Gillis in Trevor Nunn's Melbourne production of "Sunset Boulevard," easily making the transition from his previously larger-than-life boaster to the Hollywood-fueled broken man cynicism of Gillis. Nunn was so impressed with the actor's work that he invited him to audition at London's National Theatre, and it was as Curly in the acclaimed West End production of "Oklahoma!" where his strong and energetic performance earned excellent notices and a nomination for the country's top theatrical honor, an Olivier Award.
While Jackman technically made his film debut in the little-seen Australian production "Erskinville Kings" (1999), a drama examining failing relationships, he reached a much wider audience with his starring role in Antony J. Bowman's amiable comedy "Paperback Hero" (1999), where he portrayed an outback trucker who writes a sappy romance novel in his spare time and submits it to a publisher under a female pseudonym. The role was perfectly suited for the open and unpretentious actor, and "Paperback Hero" - more tender and understated than many previous Australian comedies - earned Jackman acclaim and exposed him to an international arthouse audience. But he truly went wide with his follow-up venture as Logan/Wolverine, a mutant superhero with quick-healing powers, unbreakable bones and razor-sharp metal claws, in Brian Singer's crowd pleaser "X-Men" (2000). Jackman perfectly brought the comic-book character of Wolverine, a conflicted anti-hero, to vivid life, pleasing general moviegoers and hardcore fans of the comic book, alike. He stayed in the American spotlight with a supporting role of Ashley Judd's womanizing co-worker in the otherwise pallid "Someone Like You" (2001) and tackled the role of a computer hacker forced to participate in a major heist in the action film, "Swordfish" (2001) opposite John Travolta and his "X-Men" co-star Halle Berry.
Opting for a slight change of pace, Jackman delivered a charming leading man performance as Meg Ryan's time-traveling beau in the romantic comedy-drama "Kate & Leopold" (2001). A courtly gentleman well-versed in the old-fashioned politics of romantic love, the film was radically different from his previous roles and helped solidify a major female fan base. The actor again donned the sideburns and claws of Wolverine for "X2" (2003), the superior sequel to "X-Men" in which Jackman's character stood out amidst the rest of the terrific ensemble cast as bits and pieces of Wolverine's mysterious origins were at last revealed. Now an international movie star, Jackman returned his love of musical theater and debuted on Broadway in 2003 in "The Boy from Oz." He starred as Peter Allen, the flamboyant showman best known for pop songs like "Don't Cry Out Loud," who died of AIDS-related cancer in 1992. Jackman received a highly coveted Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, among other accolades, and also hosted the 2004 Tony Awards ceremony. In another pulpy turn on the big screen, Jackman played Count Dracula's old nemesis Dr. Abraham Van Helsing in the disappointing Universal monster thriller, "Van Helsing" (2004), which pitted the good doctor against an unholy union of his old f , Frankenstein's Monster and the Wolfman.
Meanwhile, Jackman won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for his hosting duties at the Tony Awards. He returned to the stage the following year to host the 59th Annual Tony Awards ceremony, turning in another Emmy-worthy performance. In 2006, Jackman revived Wolverine for the third installment of the series, "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006), directed by Brett Ratner. This time, the mutants face a peculiar choice after a cure for mutations is found: retain their uniqueness and remain isolated from society, or give up their strange powers to become human. In a further display of Jackman's versatility, he turned around to play a charming British playboy suspected of being an infamous killer terrorizing London in "Scoop" (2006), Woody Allen's comedy starring Scarlett Johansson as a journalist who poses as a wealthy American to snuff him out. In Christopher Nolan's period thriller "The Prestige" (2006), he sparkled as a brash showman caught up in a deadly rival with a brilliant trickster (Christian Bale). He lightened the mood considerably with his next project, lending his voice to the hit animated children's adventure, "Happy Feet" (2006), about a tap dancing penguin.
Jackman next starred in Darren Aronofsky's bizarre and confounding time travel picture, "The Fountain" (2006), playing both a 16th century Spanish conquistador looking for the fabled Fountain of Youth and a modern-day scientist desperately seeking a cure for the cancer killing his wife (Rachel Weisz). An unconventional take on love, death and the search for eternal life, "The Fountain" threatened to confuse and even frustrate potential movieg rs with its incomprehensible plot, drab tone and metaphysical pretensions. In contrast, "Deception" (2008), which marked Jackman's foray into producing, was deemed a dull mystery by critics and audiences who stayed away. He rebounded grandly with "Australia" (2008), Baz Luhrman's lush, sweeping historical epic co-starring Jackman and Nicole Kidman as unlikely lovers who meet under the duress of World War II. Adding icing to the cake, the film release coincided with People magazine's annual declaration that for 2008, Jackman was the "Sexiest Man Alive." From classical romance to cult classic came word that Jackman would revisit his character Wolverine in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (2009).
Prior to the long-anticipated release of "Wolverine," Jackman hosted the 81st Academy Awards on Feb. 7, 2009. The presentation was dramatically altered from past ceremonies to suit Jackman's song-and-dance style and in hopes of potentially raising the poor ratings from recent years. While he was cited for his strong execution of the show's several dance numbers, Jackman's hosting gig received mixed reviews, with some complaining that his performance turned the movie awards into the Tonys, while others noted his considerable absence from the proceedings once the awards were underway. Regardless of the grumblings from some critics, the ceremony boasted a 13 percent increase in viewership from the previous year, even though the show wound up being the third least-watched Academy Awards since 1974. Back on the big screen, Jackman delivered an uncredited cameo as Wolverine in "X-Men: First Class" (2011) and had a supporting role in Wayne Wang's historical drama set in 19th-century China, "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" (2011). From there, he starred as a former boxer who fights in robot boxing matches while connecting with his biological son in "Real Steel" (2011).
After voicing the Easter Bunny for the animated 3-D fantasy "Rise of the Guardians" (2012), Jackman put his singing skills to good use as Jean Valjean in Tom Hooper's acclaimed adaptation of the popular Broadway musical "Les Misérables" (2012), which also starred Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried. Even before its release, the Hollywood Foreign Press bestowed a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical upon Jackman for his portrayal of Valjean, an accolade soon followed by an Oscar nomination in the Best Actor category. In 2013, Jackman sported adamantium claws yet again for "The Wolverine," a film helmed by James Mangold and designed to return the mutant character to his edgier roots. By the time the movie hit the screens, Jackman was already in Logan mode once more, shooting "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (2014) with Bryan Singer and much of the cast of the first "X-Men" film. The highest-grossing film in the series, it also received glowing reviews from critics who had found Wolverine's two solo films largely disappointing. Jackman followed this up with leading roles in Neill Blomkamp's science fiction drama "Chappie" (2015) and Joe Wright's Peter Pan adaptation "Pan" (2015). He next appeared in a supporting role in the skiing comedy "Eddie the Eagle" (2016) before returning one last time to the role of Wolverine in the R-rated drama "Logan" (2017), which provided the actor with closure for his character arc. Jackman next appeared on the big screen in the starring role of P.T. Barnum in the musical drama "The Greatest Showman" (2017).
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CAST: (feature film)
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Jackman on turning down a role in the popular Australian television drama "Neighbours" that would have brought him instant national fame: "I asked myself the question, 'OK Hugh, if you do 'Neighbors' and you finish in twelve months and you get the call from Sydney Theatre Company or Melbourne Theatre Company to come and audition for a Shakespeare or something, would you feel confident?' and I thought, 'No, I wouldn't'. And so what would 12 months on 'Neighbours' give me to make me feel confident and I couldn't come up with anything, so that was my decision." --from the Australian TV program "Witness", October 15, 1996.
Jackman on deciding to pursue acting as a career following his first round of training: "I realised [sic] how hard it was and that it wasn't to be treated lightly. When I started studying, it changed from a hobby to a way of life really. Acting has been so synonymous with me growing up and, in fact, my personal life and my acting life are still closely correlated. Everything seemed to go hand in hand. The challenge of being an actor seemed to help with my challenge as a person so I knew I was on the right track and that regardless of how things panned out, regardless of whether I got work, it would be a really positive thing for me to have done the training. And when things started to happen I was even more grateful that I'd done my training."---quoted in Panorama, the inflight magazine for Ansett Australia, March 1997.
"The trip is a dream. The National Theatre in London is one of the great training grounds for professionals, and as this production will be in repertory, there will be breaks when I can do classes. I see this experience offering me a fantastic learning curve."---Jackman on working in the West End production of "Oklahoma!", quoted in Sunday Herald Sun TV Extra, December 21-27, 1997.
"Jackman is prime-time ready-to-eat beefsteak, a tall, burly song-and-dance man who looks like Mr. Darcy with better teeth and bigger muscles. He has become something of a pin-up. It is Jackman's face, and body, you see on the posters for the show, Jackman's boy-next-door charms that are being used to lasso the coachloads of out-of-town show-fans to the Lyceum."---from reporter Dylan Jones' profile of Jackman in the London Times, January 31, 1999.
Entertainment Weekly (June 27/July 4, 2003) said that Jackman turned down the role of Billy Flynn in "Chicago" (2002) because he felt he was too young for the role.
"I'm a rock star," he said of the new 'do. "Although my 3-year-old (Oscar) thinks I'm a girl. He says, 'Daddy, you're Mummy now.'"---Jackman on his long hair for the movie "Van Helsing" EW June 16, 2003
"He's the perfect man, Everyone loves him, and he's sexy as hell."---Rebecca Romjin-Stamos on Jackman EW June 16, 2003
"It's ironic that actors, who can slip in and out of roles, often tend to take their own lives so seriously. it's all a play, after all, and a wonderful one. Success in this business is very much determined by public opinion, and we all know how fickle that can be."---Jackman interview May 2004
Jackman was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People for 2004
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