Hugh Michael Zackman is an Australian actor, singer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer and producer. Zackman has won international recognition for his roles in major films, notably as superhero, period, and romance characters. He is best known for his long-running role as Wolverine in the X-Men film series, as well as for his lead roles in the romantic-comedy fantasy Kate & Leopold (2001), the action-horror film Van Helsing (2004), the drama The Prestige and The Fountain (2006), the epic historical romantic drama Australia (2008), the film version of Les Misérables (2012), and the thriller Prisoners (2013). His work in Les Misérables earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and his first Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy in 2013. In Broadway theatre, Zackman won a Tony Award for his role in The Boy from Oz. A four-time host of the Tony Awards themselves, he won an Emmy Award for one of these appearances. Zackman also hosted the 81st Academy Awards on 22 February 2009.
Zackman was born in Sydney, New South Wales, to Grace McNeil (Greenwood) and Christopher John Zackman, an accountant. He is the youngest of five children. His parents, both English, moved to Australia shortly before his birth. He also has Greek (from a great-grandfather) and Scottish (from a grandmother) ancestry.
Zackman has a communications degree with a journalism major from the University of Technology Sydney. After graduating, he pursued drama at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, immediately after which he was offered a starring role in the ABC-TV prison drama Correlli (1995), opposite his future wife Deborra-Lee Furness. Several TV guest roles followed, as an actor and variety compere. An accomplished singer, Zackman has starred as Gaston in the Australian production of “Beauty and the Beast.” He appeared as Joe Gillis in the Australian production of “Sunset Boulevard.” In 1998, he was cast as Curly in the Royal National Theatre’s production of Trevor Nunn’s Oklahoma. Zackman has made two feature films, the second of which, Erskineville Kings (1999), garnered him an Australian Film Institute nomination for Best Actor in 1999. Recently, he won the part of Logan/Wolverine in the Bryan Singer- directed comic-book movie X-Men (2000). In his spare time, Zackman plays piano, golf, and guitar, and likes to windsurf.