Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness: A look back at their relationship

The couple was married for 27 years.

September 15, 2023, 7:07 PM

After 27 years of marriage, Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness announced that they are separating.

The "Greatest Showman" actor, 54, issued a joint statement with Furness, 67, on Friday to People about the end of their relationship and said that their "journey is now shifting."

"We have been blessed to share almost 3 decades together as husband and wife in a wonderful, loving marriage. Our journey now is shifting and we have decided to separate to pursue our individual growth," they said.

Deborra-Lee Furness and Hugh Jackman attend the premiere of "Ghosted" at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on April 18, 2023, in New York.
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic via Getty Images, FILE

Here's a look back at their marriage.

Jackman and Furness meet

Jackman and Furness met on the set of the Australian TV series " Correlli" in 1995. " Correlli" was Jackman's first acting gig out of drama school and Furness was already a big star.

In an interview with People in 2017, Jackman recalled meeting Furness for the first time.

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"I get picked up, and Deb is in the front seat of the car. I'll never forget," Jackman said. "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.' And I remember thinking, 'I like this girl.'"

Actor Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness attend the Variety Club Heart Awards July 18, 1997 in Sydney, Australia.
Patrick Riviere/Getty Images, FILE

Their first date

Jackman asked his co-star out after six weeks of working together.

"I knew pretty soon," Jackman said in a 2013 joint interview with Furness for "60 Minutes Australia" about when he first started to develop romantic feelings for Furness. "Right fromt he beginning we were great friends."

Furness added that she was "reluctant" about diving into a relationship with Jackman at the time.

"My New Year's resolution was I'm not dating any actors and definitely none under 30," she said.

Despite Furness' apprehension, her first date with Jackman was over dinner with a group of friends.

"I said, 'I got a crush on you. I'll never get over it,'" Jackman recalled in his interview with People. "She goes, 'Oh? Because I've got a crush on you too.'"

The actor Hugh Jackman appears with his wife Deborra Lee Furness, on Sept. 2, 2001.
Eric Robert/Sygma via Getty Images, FILE

Jackman and Furness tie the knot

After just four months of dating, Jackman popped the question to Furness. They got married on April 11, 1996, in Melbourne, Australia.

The couple adopt son Oscar

In 2000, Jackman and Furness adopted a son named Oscar Maximilian Jackman.

The couple wanted to have children right away. Jackman talked about their journey to creating a family in his interview with People.

"Because of her age, we started [trying] straightaway when we were together," the "X-Men" actor said. "We struggled, a couple of miscarriages, [in vitro fertilization] -- it was not easy. It was difficult, obviously particularly on Deb."

"I remember saying to her, 'We were always going to adopt -- let's just adopt now,'" he said.

Jackman and Furness adopt daughter Ava

Jackman and Furness became a family of four in July 2005 when they adopted their daughter, Ava Eliot Jackman.

In 2020, Furness opened up in an interview with People about her kids and talked about how they have impacted her.

"It's so interesting being a parent, and they've both made me smarter than I think I ever could have been on my own," she said. "But when you're a parent, you can't lie to them or yourself. They will shine a light on every one of your flaws, your Achilles heel, whatever. You've got to look at yourself."

Actor Hugh Jackman, his wife Deborra-Lee Furness, and their children, Ava and Oscar, attend the Jackman's hand and footprints ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, on April 21, 2009, in Hollywood, Calif.
Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images, FILE

Jackman talks about marriage to Furness

By 2013, Jackman had starred in many films including "Les Misérables," "X-Men" and "Australia." He was also nominated for an Academy Award for best actor.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, the actor said it could be "difficult at times" for Furness.

"I've literally seen her knocked away, people would try to push her aside," he said. "As you know, Deb is much more vivacious, gregarious, outgoing... She holds a room [it's] by nature. So it's difficult."

"I've become infinitely more confident, infinitely I think braver, and more within myself from being with Deb," he added. "I learned a lot from Deb. She trusts herself implicitly. She's fearless about everything she does in life, she doesn't care what people think, it's a compulsion for her to act from her heart."

Jackman also added that Furness has been "amazing" amid his rise to stardom.

Actor Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness pose as Hugh Jackman is honored with a star on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame, on Dec. 13, 2012, in Hollywood, Calif.
Jason Merritt/Getty Images, FILE

Jackman and Furness celebrate 27 years of marriage

The couple marked 27 years of marriage in April.

To commemorate the milestone, Jackman shared a sweet Instagram post about Furness.

"I love you Deb," he said. "Today is our 27th wedding anniversary. 27 YEARS!! 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," he added. "I love you with all my heart."

Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness attend The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023, in New York.
Mike Coppola/Getty Images, FILE

Jackman and Furness announce they are separating

The couple told People in a statement that they were going their separate ways on Sept. 15, and vowed to put their family first.

"Our family has been and always will be our highest priority. We undertake this next chapter with gratitude, love, and kindness," they said. "We greatly appreciate your understanding in respecting our privacy as our family navigates this transition in all of our lives. This is the sole statement either of us will make."

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