How Hugh Jackman and His Wife Didn’t Let Their 13-Year Age Difference Stop Their Love Story
The challenging search for love usually takes everyone a good few years — at least for most people. Others are struck by luck and find their special someone in a seemingly orchestrated way, as if planned by destiny.
This happened to the famous actor, Hugh Jackman, who met the right woman one ordinary day. And, although she was born 13 years before him, that difference in years could not have mattered less. This is their inspiring love story.
It was 1995, and Hugh Jackman was starring in an ABC series, Correlli, his first break in the entertainment industry after graduating from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. For him, this production was just the ticket to start his journey to stardom.
But the truth is, he was about to face the exact moment in which his life would change forever.
It was on set that Jackman met Deborra-Lee Furness, an actress, director, and producer who already had 2 decades of experience over him.
The actor remembers that day like it was yesterday: “I get picked up, and Deb is in the front seat of the car. I’ll never forget. She took off her seatbelt, turned around and put out her hand and took off her sunglasses, and said, ’Hi, I’m Deborra-Lee Furness; nice to meet you.’ I remember thinking, ’I like this girl.’”
Although Jackman was very aware of his attraction to her, he was also unsure about asking her out or confessing his feelings because they were working together. That memory is also vivid in his mind.
“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 commented. Because of that, he decided to stop talking to her.
As the days passed, Jackman realized that ignoring her was not a good plan, so he chose to change his strategy. He invited her to dinner at his house along with 20 other people. What happened that night was something the actor never expected.
“She said, ’I noticed you haven’t talked to me in a week; what’s going on?’ I said, ’I got a crush on you. I’ll get over it; I’m sorry.’ She goes, ’Oh? Because I’ve got a crush on you too.’ I never in a million years thought she reciprocated,” the actor recalled.
But she did. Turning down Mick Jagger to attend that dinner should’ve been enough proof!
In the following weeks, the couple tried to keep their relationship a secret, but all their efforts were in vain. The chemistry between the 2 was so explosive that the entire work team realized something was happening between them.
However, Furness had some doubts because of how much older than him she was, and the fact that they were both actors. She even walked away from him, but his charm made her reconsider. In the end, they stayed together.
4 months into dating, Jackman had so little doubt about his love for Furness that he proposed to her with a ring he designed.
About this sweet gesture, the actress remarked, “He was very nervous because he had no idea about jewelry or diamonds, so he just walked in and said, ’I don’t know what I’m doing, so I’ll tell you a little bit about Deb.’ Poor jeweler sat there for an hour and a half, and he endlessly bored him, giving him every nuance of my personality.”
Within just 11 months of meeting, Furness and Jackman joined their lives in marriage in Victoria, Australia. Jackman was also in charge of designing the rings they would exchange in the ceremony. Each bears an inscription in Sanskrit, “Om paramar mainamar,” which means “We dedicate our union to a greater source.”
With a story like this, we might think that their life would only be full of happy moments. However, this wasn’t the case.
When they married, Furness was in her forties, so the couple began trying to conceive almost immediately. Their attempts always failed, as the actress lost several natural and in vitro fertilization pregnancies.
Jackman opened his heart, sharing, “We tried, and it was not happening for us, and it was a difficult time. I’ll never forget it, the miscarriage... It’s a good thing to talk about it. It’s more common, and it is tough. There’s a grieving that you have to go through.”
After multiple attempts and no results, Jackman and Furness chose another path to achieve their long-awaited parenthood. They decided to adopt a child in 2000. The new member of their family was named Oscar Maximilian.
According to the actress herself, they were both in the room where Oscar’s biological mother gave birth to him. Jackman even cut the umbilical cord, and the baby was placed directly into her arms.
5 years later, the family fulfilled their dream team with an adopted daughter they called Ava Eliot.
The actor has declared that he does not consider them adopted, but his own, and he makes sure that they feel that way too. Eventually, despite the setbacks, Jackman and Furness assembled the family they had always dreamed of.
The 2 always try to show each other, with actions, how much they love one another. For example, in 2016, they dropped everything and escaped for a week to the Caribbean to relive their honeymoon. 2 years later, they chose to do the same thing, but this time they went to Capri, Italy. In 2021, the lovebirds celebrated their silver wedding anniversary, and Jackman took the time to dedicate some beautiful words to his wife through a post on Instagram.
“Being married to you, Deb, is as natural as breathing. From nearly the moment we met ... I knew our destiny was to be together. 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!”
This year, Jackman and Furness celebrated 26 years of marriage, and they only seem to grow stronger and love each other more as time goes on.
Throughout these decades together, respect for one another, admiration, and mutual trust have weighed much more than the 13-year age gap. Sure, it will always be there, but it only proves that for true love, age is nothing more than a number on an ID.
What love story do you know where an age gap did not stop a couple from achieving a happy ending? What do you think of couples with a significant age difference?