Les Miserables

Hugh Jackman: My mom abandoned me when I was 8

Oct. 25, 2012 at 7:20 AM ET

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Hugh Jackman.

Unfortunately, Hugh Jackman has felt pain and loss at a very young age. The award-winning actor shared the story of being abandoned by his mother, Grace, when he was only 8 years old and living with his two brothers and two sisters in Sydney.

Jackman tells Australian Women's Weekly his mom decided to move back to the U.K., and broke the news through a telegram the following day. It wasn't until he was around "12-13" years old that the now-Hollywood star realized his mother wasn't coming back.

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"One of the main things I remember is that horrible feeling that people were talking about you and looking at you because it was odd for the mother to leave," he said.

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Aussie actor Hugh Jackman has made his mark in theater and film with a wide array of roles.

"The thing I never felt, and I know this might sound strange, I never felt that my mum didn't love me. I've spoken about it at length with her since and I know she was struggling. She was in hospital after I was born suffering from post-natal depression," he added. "There wasn't a support network for her here."

Happy birthday, Hugh!

Jackman -- who recently celebrated his 44th birthday --  has two beautiful children, Oscar, 12, and Ava, 7, with wife Deborra-Lee Furness, and he shares that becoming a parent helped him understand the type of pressures his mother was under.

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"I think having kids of your own just adds another level of empathy and understanding," he says. "And there comes a certain point in life when you have to stop blaming other people for how you feel or the misfortunes in your life." 

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