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Hugh Jackman to host Academy Awards

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has confirmed that Hugh Jackman will host the 81st annual Academy Awards.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

By Tom Wilkinson

Hugh Jackman whose claim to fame includes 'The Sexiest Man Alive' title of 2008, will no longer star as Roman general Mark Antony in Steven Soderbergh's 3-D live action musical, 'Cleo' which will also star Catherine Zeta-Jones as Cleopatra.

The Tony Award-winning actor has removed himself from discussions to star in the musical slated for a 2001 release, pointing out scheduling conflicts.

Previous hosts have usually been TV or film comedians including Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin, John Stewart, Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres and others.

Born in Sydney of English parentage, and the youngest of 5 children, Jackman 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 compère. An accomplished singer, Jackman 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. Jackman 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, Hugh plays piano, golf and guitar and likes to windsurf.


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