IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

What to know about Deborra-Lee Jackman, Hugh Jackman's wife of 27 years

The couple announced their split on Sept. 15 after 27 years of marriage.
/ Source: TODAY

Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Jackman, formerly known as Deborra-lee Furness, announced they are separating after 27 years of marriage on Sept. 15.

“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," the couple said in a statement to People.

“Our family has been and always will be our highest priority. We undertake this next chapter with gratitude, love, and kindness," the statement added. "We greatly appreciate your understanding in respecting our privacy as our family navigates this transition in all of our lives.”

The couple's split comes as something of a shock to fans.

For decades, the two have walked red carpets hand and hand, and Hugh Jackman, 54, has long gushed about Deborra-lee Jackman, 67, who he once called "the greatest thing that ever happened to me."

The pair fell for each other in 1995 after meeting on the set of he Australian TV series "Corelli." They tied the knot the following year.

While Deborra-lee Jackman was the "big star" at home when the two first began their romance, Hugh Jackman later found global fame playing Wolverine in the "The X-Men" franchise and was nominated in 2013 for a best actor Oscar for his role in "Les Misérables."

Furness has supported her husband throughout his whirlwind career and has also been a devoted mom to the couple's two children, son Max, 23, and daughter Ava, 18.

Read on to learn more about Deborra-lee Jackman.

Both Deborra-lee and Hugh Jackman were stars on Australian TV

"X2: X-Men United" Premiere Los Angeles - Blue Carpet Arrivals
Hugh and Deborra-lee Jackman at the 2003 "X2: X-Men United" premiere Los Angeles.Christopher Polk / FilmMagic

Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Jackman fell for each other when they met in 1995 on the set of the Australian TV series "Corelli."

While Hugh Jackman was fresh out of drama school, Deborra-lee Jackman was "a big star" at the time, Hugh Jackman told People in 2017.

After six weeks of working together, Hugh Jackman asked his co-star out. “Deb and I were already best friends, and I realized, I’ve got a crush on my leading lady. This is the thing you do not do. It’s unprofessional and embarrassing," he told People.

Their first date was a large dinner party at Hugh Jackman's house, where he made crêpes suzette.

He recalled those early years working with Deborra-lee Jackman again during a 2016 visit to "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

“She was the star. I had this major crush on her,” said the Oscar nominee. “Everyone did. The whole crew had a crush on her. And I was so embarrassed by it, I didn’t talk to her for a week.”

Deborra-lee Jackman is 13 years older than Hugh Jackman

Though Deborra-lee Jackman is 13 years older than her husband, she apparently acts a lot younger.

“I’m literally the adult in the relationship," Hugh Jackman told People in 2017. "She’s just like a little kid. I’m the (one saying), ‘Babe, this is not a legal parking spot.’ ‘Oh, come on, Mr. Goody- Goody.'"

Hugh Jackman celebrated his "extraordinary wife" 67th birthday on Instagram in December 2022.

"You’ve taught me many things, including how to celebrate," he wrote. "Celebrate life, family, friendship and love. Your light and joy lights up all around you! The kids are I bask in that glow every day and today we pray you feel all the love reflected back at you."

Deborra-lee Jackman co-founded the nonprofit Hopeland

Image: Hugh Jackman, Deborra Lee Furness, Ava Jackman, Oscar Jackman
The couple with their kids Max and Ava in 2012. Dan Steinberg / AP

Deborra-lee Jackman co-founded the nonprofit Hopeland, which aims to support children separated from their families and advocates for adopting kids in need. And adoption, for the family, is a topic that hits close to home.

Hugh Jackman told People in 2017 that the couple tried to start a family immediately but their pregnancy journey was a rocky one.

“We struggled, a couple miscarriages, IVF — it’s not easy, particularly on Deb,” Jackman told People in 2017.

They later adopted two children, son Max, 23, and daughter, Ava, 18.

“To be clear, Deb and I always wanted to adopt. So that was always in our plan,” Hugh Jackman told Katie Couric during a 2012 episode of her talk show "Katie."

"We didn’t know where in the process that would happen but biologically, obviously we tried and it was not happening for us and it is a difficult time. We did IVF and Deb had a couple of miscarriages. I’ll never forget it, the miscarriage thing — it happens to one in three pregnancies, but it’s very, very rarely talked about.”

Hugh Jackman added that once their son, Max, was born in 1990, the couple's heartache "just melted away."

Hugh Jackman said meeting Deborra-lee Jackman was "the greatest thing'

In 2016, Hugh Jackman called his wife the "greatest thing that ever happened to me" during a visit to "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in

 "It gets better and better. And I’m kind of really grateful that I met [her] before anything kind of happened, because everything that’s ever happened in my career — on screen, off screen — we’ve always done it together.”

Deborra-lee Jackman is the 'most optimistic' person Hugh Jackman knows

Hugh Jackman gushed about his wife's sunny disposition while speaking to TODAY co-host Hoda Kotb in 2021.

“Deb is the lightest, most optimistic person I’ve ever met in my life. If you ever want to play the game, ‘Who’s the happiest person in the room?’ Deb wins,’” said Hugh Jackman.

He added that Deborra-lee Jackman wakes up every day in a happy mood. “She just makes the most of everything,” he said

She attended the 2023 Met Gala with Hugh Jackman in May

Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness
Deborra-lee Jackman attended the 2023 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Hugh Jackman in May.Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images

Deborra-lee Jackman looked stunning when she walked the red carpet with Jackman at the 2023 Met Gala together in May.

They went to a Wimbeldon match together in July

Celebrity Sightings At Wimbledon 2023 - Day 14
The couple at Wimbledon in July 2023.Karwai Tang / WireImage

Deborra-lee Jackman was by her husband's side again when the couple attended at a match between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon 2023 men’s final in London on July 16.