Deborra-Lee Furness

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Deborra-Lee Furness

Deborra-lee Furness
Furness in 2018
Born (1955-11-30) 30 November 1955 (age 66)
Years active1975–present
(m. 1996)

Deborra-Lee Furness AO (born 30 November 1955)[1][2] is an Australian actress and producer. She is married to actor Hugh Jackman.

Early life[edit]

Furness was born in Annandale, a suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, and raised in Melbourne, Victoria.[3] She studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, where she graduated in either 1981[4] or 1982.[3] She performed on the stage in New York and played Kathleen,[5] the Australian wife of Cole Gioberti (Billy Moses) on the television series Falcon Crest before returning to Australia to continue her acting career.[3]

Furness rose to fame in 1988 when she starred in the movie Shame, for which she won Best Actor awards from the Film Critics Circle of Australia and Golden Space Needle. Other roles included an episode of Halifax f.p. and The Flying Doctors.[6] In 1993, Furness appeared as Chrissy in the television mini-series Stark starring Ben Elton and Jacqueline McKenzie.[7] In 1995 she featured in the film Angel Baby directed by Michael Rymer and starring Jacqueline McKenzie and John Lynch.[8] The film followed the story of two schizophrenic people who met during therapy and fell passionately in love.[8]

In 1995, she starred in the title role in the television series Correlli, where she met her future husband, Hugh Jackman.

From 1995 to 1996, Furness starred in television series Fire alongside Andy Anderson and Wayne Pygram. Furness played the role of Dolores Kennedy.[9]

An adoptive mother of two, Furness is known for her work assisting orphans globally and streamlining international adoptions, especially in her native Australia where she is a patron, and one of the creators, of National Adoption Awareness Week.[6][10][11] She has addressed the National Press Club of Australia on the subject of adoption laws in Australia.[12][13] Furness is a patron of the Lighthouse Foundation for displaced children and International Adoption Families for Queensland.[14][15] She is also a World Vision ambassador and serves on the Advisory Committee for Film Aid International, working with refugees throughout the world.[16][17]

Personal life[edit]

Furness is married to actor Hugh Jackman. They met on the set of Australian TV show Correlli in 1995.[18] The ceremony took place on 11 April 1996 at St. John's in Toorak, Victoria, a suburb of Melbourne.[19] After suffering two miscarriages,[18] she adopted two children with Jackman: a son born in 2000[20] and a daughter born in 2005.[21]

A portrait of Furness and Jackman by Paul Newton was a finalist in the 2022 Archibald Prize.[22]


In 2014, Deborra-Lee Furness was named as the New South Wales Australian of the Year for her work in adoption campaigning.[23][24][25]



Year Film Role Notes
1985 Crossover Dreams Statue of Liberty
1986 Jenny Kissed Me Carol Grey
1986 Cool Change Lee
1986 The Humpty Dumpty Man Carmel DeVries
1987 The Bit Part Acting Teacher
1988 Shame Asta Cadell
1988 Evil Angels Magazine Reporter
1988 Two Brothers Running Silver's Secretary
1988 Celia Miss Greenaway
1990 The Last of the Finest Linda Daly
1991 Voyager Ivy Also known as Homo Faber
1991 Waiting Diane
1992 Newsies Esther Jacobs
1995 Angel Baby Louise Goodman
1998 The Real Macaw Beth Girdis
2006 Jindabyne Jude
2008 Sleepwalking Danni
2009 Beautiful Mrs. Thomson
2009 Blessed Tanya
2010 Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Barran Voice role
2014 Dukale's Dream Herself Documentary


Year Film Role Notes
1975 Division 4 Junior 1 Episode: "The Human Factor"
1979 Prisoner Connie 3 episodes; one uncredited role
1983 Kings Unknown role
1985 Neighbours Linda Fielding 5 episodes
1985 The Flying Doctors Fran TV miniseries
1985 Glass Babies Joan Simpson Television film
1987 Falcon Crest Kathleen Episode: "The New Faces"
1987 The Flying Doctors Sapphire Episode: "Sapphire"
1987 A Matter of Convenience Valma Television film
1988 Act of Betrayal Kathy Television film
1993 Stark Chrissie 3 episodes
1993 Singapore Sling Annie Television film
1994 G.P. Kate Morrison Episode: "All of Me"
1995 Halifax f.p. Brigit Grant Episode: "The Feeding"
1995 Correlli Louisa Correlli 5 episodes
1995–1996 Fire Dolores Kennedy 17 episodes
1997 Roar Agrona Episode: "The Cage"
2000 SeaChange Vicki Drury Episode: "Hungi Jury"
2010 This Is Your Life Herself
2011 Kimchi Chronicles Herself
2013 Phineas and Ferb Additional Voices Episode: "Primal Perry"
2016 Hyde & Seek Claudia Rossini Main Cast



  1. ^ Jackman, Hugh (29 November 2018). Hugh Jackman Announces World Arena Tour on TODAY. Today. Event occurs at 03:50. Retrieved 4 December 2018. By the way, it's her birthday tomorrow
  2. ^ Jackman, Hugh [@RealHughJackman] (30 November 2018). "Happy birthday to my smart, sassy, sexy bride" (Tweet). Retrieved 4 December 2018 – via Twitter.
  3. ^ a b c Dunning, Jennifer (29 July 1988). "New Face: Deborra-Lee Furness; Bringing 'Shame' to the City". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Alumni Spotlight - 1980s" (PDF). The Journal of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Fall–Winter 2008. p. 15 (unnumbered). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 April 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Falcon Crest" (PDF).
  6. ^ a b Lee, Sandra (10 November 2012). "Deborra-Lee Furness spills on life with Hugh Jackman". (NewsLifeMedia, News Corporation). Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  7. ^ Stark, Colin Friels, Ben Elton, Derrick O'Connor, retrieved 12 February 2018{{citation}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ a b Rymer, Michael (24 January 1997), Angel Baby, John Lynch, Jacqueline McKenzie, Colin Friels, retrieved 12 February 2018
  9. ^ Fire, Andy Anderson, Wayne Pygram, Tayler Kane, retrieved 12 February 2018{{citation}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  10. ^ National Adoption Awareness Week: Key People. Accessed 2 January 2013 Archived 16 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Silverman, Stephen (5 September 2013). "Hugh Jackman's Wife Reveals Just How She Likes Him". People Magazine. Retrieved 13 September 2013. Furness serves as a board member of the Worldwide Orphan Foundation to help create a National Adoption Awareness Week, "to shine a light on the fact that there are 153 million orphans in the world," she says: "If that were a country, it would be the ninth-largest in the world, just ahead of Russia."
  12. ^ Vasek, Lanai (9 November 2011). "Deborra-Lee Furness calls for uniform laws, stronger voice on adoption". The Australian. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  13. ^ "Deborra-Lee Furness". National Press Club. 9 November 2011. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2013. Deborra-Lee Furness is an internationally acclaimed actress as well as a passionate supporter of children and defender of their human rights across the globe.
  14. ^ "Lighthouse Patrons". Lighthouse Foundation. Archived from the original on 16 May 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  15. ^ "Bone Marrow Donor Institute". Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  16. ^ "Advisory Board". Film Aid International. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  17. ^ "Deborra-Lee Furness spills on life with Hugh Jackman". (NewsLifeMedia, News Corporation). 10 November 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Deborra-Lee Furness". Enough Rope with Andrew Denton / Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 29 March 2004. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  19. ^ "The Wedding of the Year 1996". Trumpet Events. Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  20. ^ Schafer, Jenny (16 May 2010). "Hugh Jackman & His Birthday Boy". Archived from the original on 18 November 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2011. ...Oscar's 10th birthday, which was yesterday.
  21. ^ "Hugh Jackman & His Wife Adopt a Daughter". People. 27 July 2005. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  22. ^ "Archibald Prize Archibald 2022 work: Portrait of Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness by Paul Newton". Art Gallery of New South Wales. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
  23. ^ "Deborra-Lee Furness named NSW Australian of the Year". Sydney Morning Herald. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  24. ^ "Deborra-Lee Furness Honoured as NSW Australian of the Year". ABC Online. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  25. ^ "NSW government congratulates Furness". 11 November 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  26. ^ Internet, Unidad Editorial. "Hugh Jackman: 'Es un oficio arriesgado, pero hay que hacer cosas nuevas cada vez'".

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