Sydney-born Hugh Jackman started his acting career on stage before making it big in Hollywood in films like Kate & Leopold, Van Helsing, The Prestige, Australia and X-Men, in whcih he plays the mutant superhero Wolverine. Through his efforts and success, Jackman has amassed quite a bit of money, some $150 million, by one estimate.
Jackman is a signatory of the Hollywood Pledge, and has put some of his wealth toward philanthropy. Last decade, he and his wife, fellow Aussie Deborra-Lee Furness, established the Jackman Family Foundation. They also launched the Jackman Furness Foundation for the Performing Arts in Australia a few years ago.
Deborra-Lee plays a starring role in the couple's giving as an adoption advocate. The motivations here are personal, as the family reportedly dealt with several miscarriages and eventually adopted children. Deborra-Lee founded National Adoption Awareness Week and Adopt Change, which focuses on adoption programs, procedures and legislation and other causes. Back stateside, the Jackman Family Foundation's grantmaking has similarly supported places like Gladney Center for Adoption, Donaldson Adoption Institute and Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Other grantees have included Baby Buggy, Child Mind Institute, Churchill School and Center, and The UCLA Foundation.
The family also makes grants that support children's welfare on a more global scale. Deborra-Lee again plays a key part as a humanitarian, co-founding the The Rafiki Society in Vancouver, which assists orphanages in Africa. Jackman Family Foundation grantees, meanwhile, have included Cambodian Children’s Fund, and Worldwide Orphans Foundation.
Apart from children's welfare, the couple also supports human services and the arts. Jackman is only in his late 40s and very much still engaged in Hollywood, so greater attention to these causes could happen down the line. As well, the family may have more direct avenues of giving, and some important gifts may be missing from this rundown. For a complete overview of this couple's work, read our profile of Hugh Jackman linked below.
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