Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness are one of the most powerful couples in Hollywood. The two of them have a big age gap of a total of 13 years between them but for these lovebirds, age is just a number as they have been together since the mid-1990s.
The Aussie stars met each other for the first time in the year 1995 on the sets of the Australian television series, Corelli and they hit it off instantly. Hugh and Deborra-Lee tied the knot in 1996 and they have been together ever since then. Continue reading further to learn everything about the fairytale romance of Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness.
1995: Hugh meets Furness for the first time
The Greatest Showman star and The Last of the Finest actress met each other for the first time in the year 1995 at work. At that point, the two of them shared a screen on the Australian television series, Corelli. In a 2017 interview with People magazine, Hugh recalled the pair’s meeting.
Jackman told the publication, “Deb, she was a big star. I get picked up, and Deb is in the front seat of the car. I’ll never forget. She took off her seatbelt, and she turned around and put out her hand and took off her sunglasses and said, ‘Hi, I’m Deborra-lee Furness, nice to meet you.’ I remember thinking, ‘I like this girl.’”
1995: Hugh confesses his true feelings to Deborra-Lee
Nearly two weeks later, Jackman already knew that he had found his soulmate in Furness. During a 2018 interview with Sunday Today, the Golden Globe award winner said, “I knew two weeks into meeting Deb that we were going to be together for the rest of our lives.”
Soon after, Hugh and Deborra-Lee became good friends. After four weeks, Jackman gathered courage and confessed his true feelings to Furness. In an earlier interaction with People, he said, “I invited 20 people [over for dinner]. She came over, and I said, ‘Deb, give me a hand with the dessert.’”
Once the Logan star and his leading lady were alone, he poured his heart out. Hugh told the media outlet, “I said, ‘[I’ve] got a crush on you. I’ll get over it; I’m sorry.’ She goes, “‘Oh? Because I’ve got a crush on you too.’ I never in a million years thought she reciprocated.”
During the same year, Furness skipped an outing with Mick Jagger to stay at the dinner party. While making an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Hugh spilled the beans on the whole incident while sitting with his ladylove. He stated that Deborra-Lee got a phone call halfway through the dinner party with a very unexpected request.
The Happy Feet star said, “Deb’s talking… and goes, ‘Hang on a sec.’ And she says, ‘Mick Jagger’s in a limo with my friend, outside your house and wants to go and party.’ And I’m like, ‘No, no, no, you can’t leave here now!’” Deborra-Lee agreed and said, ‘You can tell Mick that I’m having dinner with Hugh Jackman.’ Things turned out well for the couple. Furness told Jimmy, “I don’t even like rock and roll, so it wasn’t a hard pass!”
1995: Furness starts having second thoughts about her romance with Hugh
Three weeks into dating Jackman, Furness began having second thoughts about her relationship with the Hollywood actor who was 13 years younger than her. During an appearance on the Aussies in Hollywood with Jenny Cooney podcast, the X-Men star went on to say, “She kind of [broke up with me], a little bit.”
Over time, Hugh won Furness over and she decided to stay with them through thick and thin. Hugh further added, “I just knew 100 percent, I even knew when she was trying to work out reasons to break up with me.”
1995: Jackman proposes to Furness
In the same year, The Wolverine star popped the big question to Deborra-Lee after four months in their courtship. On a 2004 podcast, Hugh’s life partner said, “He was very nervous because he didn’t have a clue about jewelry or diamonds, and he just went in there, and he said, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing, so I’ll just tell you a bit about Deb.”
Furness further added, “And this poor jeweler, he sat there for an hour-and-a-half and [Hugh] bored him endlessly, giving [him] every nuance of my personality.”
April 11, 1996: Hugh and Deborra-Lee tie the knot
Hugh and Furness exchanged their vows on April 11, 1996, in Melbourne, Australia. The pair had a beautiful message written in Sanskrit on their wedding rings. After almost a year of dating, the two of them got married.
On the same podcast, Deb revealed that their wedding bands had a phrase that read, “Om paramar to the mainamar,” which means, “we dedicate our union to a greater source.” For the big day, Deborra-Lee opted for satin trousers and a veil with an elongated train. On the other hand, when we talk about Hugh, he looked handsome in a white pantsuit.
1996: Hugh and Furness face troubles in expanding their family
At that time, Deborra-Lee was already 40 years old and the pair started trying to start a family right away. Hugh told People, “We struggled, a couple miscarriages, IVF—it’s not easy, particularly on Deb.”
Later on, the Bad Education star opened up and talked about their experience on ABC’s Katie, and said, “Obviously we tried, and it was not happening for us, and it is a difficult time. I’ll never forget it, the miscarriage thing… It’s a good thing to talk about it. It’s more common, and it is tough. There’s a grieving that you have to go through.”
May 15, 2000: Hugh and Deborra-Lee welcome their first child
Furness and Hugh’s first child was born in the year 2000. The pair welcomed their first child, son Oscar Maximilian on May 15, 2000. In 2004, Deborra-Lee told Enough Rope with Andrew Denton, that Oscar’s birth mom was a young woman from Iowa who wasn’t used to being in the big city of Los Angeles—so she stayed with the couple ahead of their son’s birth.
Deborra-Lee shared, “She stayed with us, with her 14-month-old. So we were like this crazy family… my mother was there, and we were all there. Here is this woman going to give me the greatest gift of my life, and I want to look after her. And so, you know, we were told not to do certain things, but for us, it worked.”
Hugh and his wife Deborra-Lee were present in the room when their son’s biological mom gave birth to him. Furness recalled, “Hugh cut the cord, and [Oscar] was put straight into my arms.”
June 6, 2004: Hugh gives a sweet shoutout to his wife
In June 2004, Jackman won the Tony in the Lead Actor category for his stint in The Boy From Oz—and he made sure to thank his wife Deborra-Lee while accepting the award on the stage.
Hugh raved over his wife Deborra-Lee and said, “I’m gonna start with the most important—my wife. I love you. I couldn’t have done this without you, and even if I could, it certainly wouldn’t be as much fun as it is. You’re the best musical theatre widow a man could ever, ever have, and I love you, darling.”
June 5, 2005: Hugh and Furness attend Tony Awards together
Next year, Jackman and his wife Deborra-Lee attended Tony Awards together and the two of them even shared a kiss on stage. Later on, Hugh won an Emmy for hosting the award show.
July 10, 2005: Jackman and Deborra-Lee add another member to their clan
In July 2005, Hugh and his wife Furness became parents for a second time, with the birth of their adopted daughter, Ava Eliot. In an interview with The Herald Sun, Jackman talked about his family.
The Front Runner star told the media outlet, “I don’t think of them as adopted—they’re our children.” He further added, “Now, as we go through life together, sure there are challenges, but everyone’s in the right place with the right people. It sounds airy-fairy, but it’s something we feel very deeply.”
June 10, 2012: Furness plans a surprise for her husband Hugh
At the 2012 Tony Awards, the couple upped their PDA game. Then, Deborra-Lee surprised her husband by arriving on the stage to present him with a humanitarian award after she had reportedly told him she was headed off to the bathroom.
Hugh said, “There is something I hold [in my heart] that is the reason why I’m here today, why any of this is possible… why any of this means anything, and that is because my incredible wife and kids support me. I love you with all my heart. I know how much you hate public speaking; this is probably the greatest thing you’ve ever done for me.”
December 11, 2012: Hugh returns the favor
In December of that same year, Hugh caught his wife Furness off-guard with an impromptu serenade at the Four Seasons. Before serenading the crowd with The Way You Look Tonight, Hugh said, “I don’t get to do this very often, but a lot of this week has been about just being grateful for all the people who’ve made this possible… so I’m going to sing a song for my wife.”
Furness got a bit emotional and she recalled to Vulture, “He sings to me at every meal! No, he does not. It was a complete surprise. He’s full of them. And in that setting, it was very moving for me, so I shed a little tear.”
February 24, 2013: Hugh and Deborra-Lee step out for the Oscars
In February 2013, Jackman didn’t win the Best Actor Oscar for his role in Les Misérables but he and his ladylove Furness still had a good time at the Oscars. They were considered one of the hottest couples on the 2013 red carpet.
April 2016: Hugh and Furness celebrate 20 years of marital bliss
To mark their 20th wedding anniversary, the pair took a romantic trip to the Caribbean, where they spent an entire week reliving their honeymoon. Before the trip, Hugh told Daily Telegraph, “It’ll be just the two of us. We love the kids, but they can rack off and find something else to do for a week.”
July 18, 2016: Hugh and Furness enjoy a vacation in Italy
After 2 years, Hugh and his wife Deborra-Lee vacationed overseas once more. This time, the two of them paid a visit to Capri, Italy. They even went for a romantic boat ride during their trip.
June 29, 2019: Hugh serenades his wife Deborra-Lee
Hugh wrapped up his 2019 The Man. The Music. The Show. tour at Madison Square Garden with yet another serenade. During the event, the crowd got to see a montage of photos of Hugh and his wife Furness which played in the background as Hugh performed All the Way by Frank Sinatra, the pair’s wedding song. As per Page Six, the musician found his wife in the audience, descending from the stage to sing to her.
In a 2019 interview with Good Morning America, the Kate & Leopold star said, “I think relationships, you gotta be yourself, even the bits you don’t love, the bits you’re embarrassed about or things you did wrong. If you’re in a situation where you can be yourself and really be honest, that’s a good start.”
2020: Hugh and Furness grow closer
Despite being together for nearly two decades, Jackman told Extra, that he had never felt closer to his wife Deborra-Lee than he did in 2020 after quarantining together amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Van Helsing actor said, “We have never spent this much time together. Having this time without either of us working, being with the family, we’ve had the opportunity to be together, and the results are in: Closer.”
April 11, 2021: Hugh and Deborra-Lee celebrate their 25th anniversary
The couple hit a special milestone in their personal life. At that point, Jackman paid a beautiful tribute to his wife Furness on social media. He posted a series of pictures of the pair from their wedding nuptials on the social media platform Instagram.
“Being married to you, Deb is as natural as breathing. From nearly the moment we met… I knew our destiny was to be together. In our 25 years, our love has only grown deeper—the fun, excitement, and adventure more exhilarating; the learning even greater. I’m forever grateful to share our love, our life—and, our family together. We’ve only just begun. Deb, I love you with all my heart!” he wrote alongside the slideshow of photos.
February 2022: Deborra-Lee helps Hugh learn his lines for his Broadway show
In February 2022, the Broadway revival of The Music Man took center stage. Then, Hugh starred as Harold Hill and Sutton Foster as Marian Paroo. For those of you who are unaware, let us share with you, the musical which consists of a book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson narrates the tale of what happens when the con artist played by Hugh Jackman arrives in River City and falls in love with a straight-laced librarian.
Then, Furness revealed that she helped Hugh to learn his lines for the Broadway show. She even stated that she could practically take over his role if needed. She joked around and said, “In a pinch. You’d have to push me onto the stage. It would be terrifying, but in a pinch.”
Deborra-Lee continued, “The feeling backstage is incredible. Everyone’s really excited and emotional. It’s a big deal. Hugh’s been tap-dancing for a long time in preparation. He’s got it now.”
April 2022: Hugh and Furness celebrate 26 years together
Earlier this year, Hugh and Furness celebrated their 26th anniversary. Then, he posted a sweet snap of himself and his ladylove Deborra-Lee on the social media platform Instagram.
Jackman simply captioned the photo, “Today I celebrate 26 years of marriage to my extraordinary wife. Every single day is filled with so much laughter, joy, and jackgammon!!!! Deb you light up my life. I love you with all my heart!”
August 29, 2022: Hugh and Deborra-Lee attend the US Open together
At the end of summer 2022, the pair marked their presence at the US Open together. Then, Hugh posted a snap of the pair on his Instagram page. The photo showed the couple all cozied on the stairs of their luxurious penthouse in New York before heading to the match.
“Off to the @usopen to watch the one and only @serenawilliams. Serena – Deb and I are so excited to watch you play and bear witness to your evolution for many years to come. You are an icon and a true inspiration to boys and girls around the world. #GOAT @ustafoundation” he wrote in the caption of the post.
At that time, Hugh and his wife joined many other celebrity spectators at the US Open in New York to watch Serena Williams face Danka Kovinic. For the sporting event, he opted for a sleek smart casual look. He wore a crisp white shirt, a pair of black trousers, and a blue checked suit jacket. On the other hand, Furness donned an all-white ensemble.
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