Australian native Hugh Jackman made his first major US film appearance as Wolverine in the first installment of the "X-Men" franchise, a role he reprised in the enormously successful X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006. Most recently in the franchise, he played Wolverine in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which serves as a prequel to the popular series and grossed an outstanding $85 million domestically in its first weekend of release in May 2009. Audiences will again see Jackman in the popular role in the next X-Men chapter titled The Wolverine, which is set to begin filming next year.
Beginning in October, Jackman will return to the Big Way with his one-man show "Hugh Jackman – Back on Broadway". Backed by an eighteen-piece orchestra, the revue, which previously opened to rave reviews during its limited engagements in San Francisco and Toronto earlier this year, is comprised of both Broadway hits and a selection of some of his personal favorite standards.
"My passion and fire for learning was lit at UTS and it still burns to this day… I'm proud to be part of UTS and I'm proud to be with such an illustrious group as the other UTS Luminaries."
After its final performance in late December, Jackman will begin production on the much-anticipated film adaptation of Les Miserables, directed by Tom Hooper (of The King's Speech) and opposite Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway.
Most recently on the big screen, Jackman starred in Dreamworks' Real Steel. Directed by Shawn Levy, this thrilling story is set in the near future where 2,000-pound human-looking robots do battle and led the box office two weeks in a row.
In the fall of 2009, Jackman made a return to Broadway in the Keith Huff penned "A Steady Rain." Co-starring Daniel Craig, the play tells the story of two Chicago cops who are lifelong friends and whose differing accounts of a few traumatic days change their lives forever.
On February 22, 2009, Jackman took on the prestigious role of hosting the 81st Annual Academy Awards. Live from the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, he wowed those in attendance and helped ABC score a 13% increase in viewership from the previous year. This wasn't, however, Jackman's first foray into Awards show hosting. Previously, Jackman served as host of the Tony Awards three years in a row from 2003 – 2005, earning an Emmy Award for his 2004 duties at the 58th Annual ceremony, and an Emmy nomination for his 2005 appearance at the 59th Annual ceremony.
In late 2008, Jackman appeared in 20th Century Fox's romantic action-adventure epic Australia directed by Baz Luhrmann. The film, set in pre-WWII northern Australia, sees Jackman as a rugged cattle driver who assists an English aristocrat (played by Nicole Kidman) in driving a herd of 2000 cattle across hundreds of miles of rough terrain where they must also face the Japanese bombing of Darwin, Australia.
In early 2008, Jackman was seen in the 20th Century Fox film Deception opposite Ewan McGregor. The dark film explores the mystery of a woman's disappearance and a multi-million dollar heist.
Additionally, Jackman has starred in Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain, Christopher Nolan's The Prestige, and Woody Allen's Scoop. In addition, he lent his voice to the animated features Happy Feet and Flushed Away. Other films in which he has had leading roles include Someone Like You, Swordfish, Van Helsing, and Kate and Leopold, for which he received a 2002 Golden Globe nomination.
For his portrayal of the 1970s singer-songwriter Peter Allen in "The Boy From Oz," Jackman received the 2004 Tony Award for Best Actor in a musical as well as Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World awards.
Previous theater credits include "Carousel" at Carnegie Hall, "Oklahoma!" at the National Theater in London (Olivier Award nomination), "Sunset Boulevard" (MO Award - Australia's Tony Award) and Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" (MO Award nomination).
Jackman's career began in Australia in the independent films Paperback Hero and Erskineville Kings (Australian Film Critics' Circle Best Actor award and The Australian Film Institute Best Actor nomination). In 1999, he was named Australian Star of the Year at the Australian Movie Convention.
Image: Ben Watts