Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored actor Hugh Jackman with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on today, Dec. 13, 2012. His star was unveiled at 6931 Hollywood Boulevard in front of Madame Tussauds Hollywood where his wax figure depicting him as Wolverine is on display. “Fans from around the world have been consistently asking when his star will be dedicated,” said Walk of Fame producer Ana Martinez. “We are happy to say that now is the time! Hugh is on the world’s most popular actors and we are exciting that he is joining our Walk of Fame family.”
Joining Hugh Jackman during his celebration was his wife actress Deborra-Lee Furness, talk show host Jay Leno, director Tom Hooper and Hugh’s co-stars from “Les Miserables” Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried.
During the ceremony, Hugh Jackman commented “None of this would have been possible and certainly none of this would be rewarding or meaningful to me if not for my family. I don’t drag them along to many things. But I wanted them to be here today, because I wanted to publicly say to them. I understand that you guys do make sacrifices for me to do what I do. And I want you to know that I appreciate it and I want you to know that I love you with all my heart. And kids, you don’t really understand it now, but you are going to save a fortune in therapy by just coming here and spitting on it, jumping on it. All those I things that I annoyd you, you can take it out on here.”
Australian native, Hugh Jackman made his first major U.S. film appearances as Wolverine in the first installment of the “X-Men” franchise, a role he reprised in the enormously successful “X2” and “X-Men: The Last Stand” in 2006. Most recently in the franchise, he played Wolverine in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” which serves as a prequel to the popular series and grossed an outstanding $85 million domestically in its first weekend of release in May 2009. Audiences will again see Jackman in the popular role in the next “X-Men” chapter titled “The Wolverine,” which just wrapped in Australia. Jackman will next star in the much-anticipated film adaption of the hit musical, “Les Miserables,” directed by Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”), co-starring Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe. The Universal Pictures film is slated for a wide release on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2012.
Most recently, Jackman lent his vocal talents to the DreamWorks family holiday adventure “Rise of the Guardians.” He also starred in director Shawn Levy’s successful robot boxing drama “Real Steel” in Oct. 2011.
Jackman made his return to the Great White Way in his one-man show “Hugh Jackman – Back on Broadway” in the fall of 2011. Backed by an 18-piece orchestra, the revue, which previously opened to rave reviews during its limited engagements in San Francisco and Toronto earlier that year, was comprised of both Broadway hits and a selection of some of his personal favorite standards. Although the show ran only until the end of the year, Jackman’s continued dedication to the Broadway community was feted at the 2012 Tony Awards, where he received a special award from the Tony Awards Administration Committee, recognizing his accomplishments both as a performer as well as a humanitarian.
In the fall of 2009, Jackman appeared on Broadway in the Keith Huff penned “A Steady Rain.” Co-starring Daniel Craig, the play tells the story of two Chicago cops who are lifelong friends and whose differing accounts of a few traumatic days change their lives forever.
On Feb. 22, 2009, Jackman took on the prestigious role of hosting the 81st Annual Academy Awards. Live from Hollywood, he wowed those in attendance and helped ABC score a 13% increase in viewership from the previous year. This wasn’t, however, Jackman’s first foray into Awards show hosting. Previously, Jackman served as host of the Tony Awards three years in a row from 2003 – 2005, earning an Emmy Award for his 2004 duties at the 58th Annual ceremony, and an Emmy nomination for his 2005 appearance at the 59th Annual ceremony.
In late 2008, Jackman headlined the 20th Century Fox’s romantic action-adventure epic “Australia,” directed by Baz Luhrmann. The film, set in pre-WWII northern Australia, sees Jackman as a rugged cattle driver who assists and English aristocrat (played by Nicole Kidman) in driving a herd of 2000 cattle across hundreds of miles of rough terrain where they must also face the Japanese bombing of Darwin, Australia. Additional film credits include: Darren Aronofsky’s “The Fountain,” Christopher Nolan’s “The Prestige,” Woody Allen’s “Scoop,” “Happy Feet,” “Flushed Away,” “Deception,” “Someone Like You,” “Swordfish,” Van Helsing,” and “Kate and Leopold,” for which he received a 2002 Golden Globe nomination.
For his portrayal of the 1970s siner-songwriter, Peter Allen in “The Boy From Oz,” Jackman received the 2004 Tony Award for Best Actor in a musical as well as Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World awards.
Previous theater credits include: “Carousel” at Carnegie Hall, “Oklahoma!” at the National Theater in Londong (Olivier Award nomination), “Sunset Boulevard” (MO Award – Australia’s Tony Award) and Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” (MO Award nomination.)
Jackman’s career began in Australia in the independent films “Paperback Hero” and “Erskineville Kings” (Australian Film Critics’ Circle Best Actor award and The Australian Film Institute Best Actor nomination). In 1999, he was named Australian Star of the Year at the Australian Movie Convention.
Jackman is involved in various aspects of philanthropy and works with Laughing Man Worldwide, Harlem Village Academies and World Vision to name a few.
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Whatever your movie choice this week, please remember your movie theater etiquette: silence your cell phones & no texting, please don’t talk during the film and remove your children if they become a distraction to other audience members. Don’t forget that laughing, crying and cheering are always approved behavior and even encouraged.
-Kay Shackleton is a film historian with special focus on Silent Films, see her work at SilentHollywood.com