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Australian actress and producer (born 1955)

Deborra-Lee Furness

AO

Furness in 2018
Born (1955-11-30) 30 November 1955 (age 66)

Annandale, New South Wales, Australia
Years active 1975–present
Spouse
Hugh Jackman

(m 1996)

Children 2

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

Early life

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

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 fp and The Flying Doctors In 1993, Furness appeared as Chrissy in the television mini-series Stark starring Ben Elton and Jacqueline McKenzie In 1995 she featured in the film Angel Baby directed by Michael Rymer and starring Jacqueline McKenzie and John Lynch The film followed the story of two schizophrenic people who met during therapy and fell passionately in love

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

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 She has addressed the National Press Club of Australia on the subject of adoption laws in Australia Furness is a patron of the Lighthouse Foundation for displaced children and International Adoption Families for Queensland She is also a World Vision ambassador and serves on the Advisory Committee for Film Aid International, working with refugees throughout the world

Personal life

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

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

Honour

In 2014, Deborra-Lee Furness was named as the New South Wales Australian of the Year for her work in adoption campaigning

Filmography

Film

Film
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

Television

Television
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 GP Kate Morrison Episode: “All of Me”
1995 Halifax fp 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

Awards

  • 1988 SIFF Award for the best actress in Seattle International Film Festival
  • 1988 Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for the best actress
  • 1991 Silver Shell for the best actress in San Sebastián International Film Festival

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