Does it take superpowers to have a long-lasting relationship in Hollywood? Hugh Jackman would know. The legendary X-Men cast member has been married to wife Deborra-Lee Furness for a whopping 25 years.
Here’s a look at one of the most beloved celebrity couples, including how they met, where they are now, and what it takes to maintain more than two decades of love.
Hugh, Meet Deb
Hugh first met his future wife Deborra-Lee in 1995 when both actors were appearing on an Australian TV show called Correlli. Deb was 13 years older and already a star, while Jackman was just starting out. Nevertheless, Jackman says it was nearly love at first sight. As he told Sunday TODAY in 2018, “I knew two weeks into meeting Deb that we were going to be together for the rest of our lives.”
Despite instant mutual attraction, there were a few hurdles in the way. While Deborra-Lee had concerns over the duo’s age gap, Hugh had to worry about Mick Jagger showing up in the middle of a dinner party to steal Deb away. No worries, though — Deb stayed with Hugh, and just four months after they started dating, Hugh proposed using a ring he helped design.
Becoming the Furness-Jackson Family
Hugh, then 27, and Deborra-Lee, aged 40, were married on April 11, 1996, at a church on the outskirts of Melbourne. Their wedding rings hid a special inscription written in Sanskrit, “Om paramar to the mainamar,” roughly translated as “we dedicate our union to a greater source.”
Though the couple longed for a family, they faced infertility issues that they graciously shared with the public as a way to support others going through similar challenges. IVF failed, and after a couple miscarriages, biological children seemed out of reach. “Obviously we tried,” Hugh told Katie Couric on her self-titled talk show, “and it was not happening for us, and it is a difficult time.”
But in May 2000, the Furness-Jackmans finally became a family of three when they adopted son Oscar Maximilian. Five years later, the family grew again when they adopted another child, this time a little girl named Ava Eliot.
Their Secret? They Still Adore Each Other
After more than 25 years of marriage — a lifetime by celebrity standards — Hugh and Deb are often asked what has kept them together. The answer seems simple enough: they really like each other. Of his spouse, Hugh said, “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.”
Has it been a long 25+ years? Not according to Hugh. “People often say, ‘marriage is so much work,’ and there are some things you’ve got to live by, but it hasn’t felt like that,” says the Les Misérables lead. “It’s been one of the best things, by far.”