Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness announced on Sept. 15, 2023, that they’re calling it quits after 27 years of marriage.
The now-estranged couple got married in 1996 and share two children.
“Our journey now is shifting, and we have decided to separate to pursue our individual growth,” they said in a joint statement.
Here is a look back at their love story and where it all fell apart.
The two actors first crossed paths in 1995 while co-starring on the Australian show “Correlli.”
Jackman admitted that it was love at first sight, despite Furness being 13 years his senior.
“I knew two weeks into meeting Deb that we were going to be together for the rest of our lives,” he said on the “Today” show in 2018.
While he knew right away that he wanted to be with Furness, he didn’t initially act on his feelings because they worked together.
“Deb and I were already best friends, and I realized I’ve got a crush on my leading lady,” he told People in 2018. “This is the thing you do not do. It’s unprofessional and embarrassing.”
He finally worked up the courage to invite her to a dinner party where they had a flirty exchange and swiftly started seeing each other.
Wedding Bells Ring
The pair tied the knot on April 11, 1996 — less than a year after they met.
Their wedding was held at a church outside of Melbourne, Australia. The bride wore an off-the-shoulder gown and a pearl choker necklace while the groom rocked a traditional tuxedo.
At the time, Jackman was 27 and Furness was 40.
Starting a Family
After getting married, the pair immediately wanted to start a family due to Furness’ age.
Furness suffered multiple miscarriages during her fertility journey, which involved IVF, and the pair eventually decided to adopt.
“Because of her age, we started [trying] straightaway when we were together,” Jackman told People in 2017. “We struggled, a couple miscarriages, [in vitro fertilization] — it was not easy. It was difficult, obviously particularly on Deb.”
He added, “I remember saying to her, ‘We were always going to adopt — let’s just adopt now,’” he recalled.
In 2000, the couple adopted their son Oscar and in 2005 they adopted daughter Ava.
Award Show Sweetheart
Throughout their marriage, Furness was there for Jackman along as his career progressed.
In 2012, the “Legend of the Guardians” actress surprised her husband by presenting him with a Tony Award after the couple had been doing long-distance due to his filming commitments.
“Why any of this means anything, that is because my incredible wife and my kids support me,” an emotional Jackman told the audience during his acceptance speech.
He then gave a special shoutout to Furness, telling her, “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.”
The next year, Furness was by his side again to support Jackman when he was nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Actor” for his role in “Les Misérables.” They looked loved-up as they walked the red carpet together at the 2013 Oscars.
The “Greatest” Woman
Jackman gushed about Furness during an interview on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in February 2016.
“She’s the greatest thing that ever happened to me,” he said. “I’m kind of really grateful that I met her before anything kind of happened.”
He added how lucky he was that they met before his career took off.
“Everything that’s happened in my career and onscreen, offscreen, we’ve always done it together,” he said.
Two Decades of Love
Jackman took to social media to celebrate their 20-year wedding anniversary on April 11, 2016.
The “X-Men” star shared a black-and-white photo from their wedding on Instagram, captioning the photo, “20 years ago on this day … “
Just like Furness supported his acting career, Jackman also celebrated her talents.
In August 2017, Jackman shared a photo with Furness while attending the Melbourne Film Festival to celebrate her role in “Shame.”
“So proud to stand beside this amazingly (gorgeous) talented actress!” he captioned the photo.
Furness surprised Jackman on his 50th birthday with a thoughtful gift to help commemorate all of his wonderful memories throughout the years.
“I actually made him a beautiful photo book all about his whole life right from when he was a kid and I reached out to all these directors and these kids he grew up with,” she told People in 2018.
Furness added, “He’s not a materialistic guy. That and a travel backgammon. We love to play backgammon.”
They celebrated his big day with a family gathering followed by a big party with friends.
Jackman publicly crooned his love for his then-wife by serenading her on stage during his show, “The Man. The Music. The Show,” at Madison Square Garden in 2019.
“He was gushing about his wife Deb before a montage of photos of her and them together started playing on the screens,” a concertgoer said.,
Jackman then belted out Frank Sinatra’s “All The Way,” which the couple “first waltzed” to at their 1996 wedding.
Still Going Strong
Jackman celebrated 25 years of marriage to Furness by posting more photos from their wedding day with a sweet love note in April 2021.
“Being married to you Deb is as natural as breathing, “he captioned the slideshow of images. “From nearly the moment we met … I knew our destiny was to be together.”
He added, “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!”
Marriage Works, it’s Not a Job
Jackman claimed that marriage to Furness was easy thanks to his then-wife’s breezy demeanor.
“People often say, ‘Oh my god, marriage is so much work.’ There are some things you gotta live by, but it doesn’t feel like that,” Jackman said on the “Today” show in August 2021. “It’s been one of the best things in my life.”
He added that Furness is “the lightest, most optimistic person I’ve ever met in my life.”
Jackman gave Furness a touching shoutout on her 66th birthday in November 2021.
“It’s my incredible wife’s birthday,” he captioned a photo with Furness at the time.
“Not sure if I can declare a public holiday!!! But feels like we should. Because there’s no one on this planet I know who celebrates every moment of every day like her. Deb, you are everything to me. I love you. Happy birthday!”
The last anniversary celebration
The pair celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary in New York City in April 2023.
“love you Deb. Today is our 27th wedding anniversary. 27 YEARS!!” Jackman captioned a cozy photo with Furness.
“I love you so much. Together we have created a beautiful family. And life. Your laughter, your spirit, generosity, humor, cheekiness, courage and loyalty is an incredible gift to me.”
Jackman added that he loves her with “all [his] heart.”
Met Gala Mayhem
The seemingly happy couple attended the 2023 Met Gala together.
Furness stunned in a form-fitting Tom Ford black mosaic gown while Jackman coordinated in a black tuxedo with a white bow tie for the “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” theme.
Jackman and Furness announced that they were separating on Sept. 15, 2023.
“We have been blessed to share almost 3 decades together as husband and wife in a wonderful, loving marriage,” they told People in a statement. “Our journey now is shifting and we have decided to separate to pursue our individual growth.”
The exes agreed that their two kids are their “highest priority” as they navigate their breakup.
“We undertake this next chapter with gratitude, love, and kindness,” they said before asking for privacy.
“This is the sole statement either of us will make,” they concluded, not giving any further details into what caused their marriage to crumble.
Just days before the news of their breakup broke, Furness stepped out without her wedding ring on.
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