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Hugh Jackman Will Host 81st Academy Awards

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

The Academy announced Friday that the 40-year-old Australian actor will host the Oscars.

Hollywood insider site Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily reported earlier today that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences had gone "way outside the box" in finding a host for the 81st Oscars on February 22, 2009. Finke reported that the gig has been offered to none other than Hugh Jackman, who was said to be in negotiations for the gig on "exactly what would be expected of him," including the broadcast's signature opening.

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.

Hugh Jackman was recently voted People's Sexiest Man of 2008. In 2000, he was cast as Wolverine in Bryan Singer's X-Men. Jackman later reprised his role in 2003's X2: X-Men United, and 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand. Jackman starred as Leopold in the 2001 romantic comedy film Kate & Leopold, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Jackman also starred in 2001 action/drama Swordfish, along with John Travolta, and Halle Berry.

Jackman sang the role of Billy Bigelow in Carousel in a special concert performance at Carnegie Hall in Manhattan, New York City in 2002. In 2004 he played the title role of vampire hunter Gabriel Van Helsing in Van Helsing. In 2004, Jackman won a Tony Award for his Broadway portrayal of Australian songwriter and performer Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz. He hosted the Tony Awards in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

In 2005 after his award-winning role in The Boy from Oz, he jumped into Darren Aronofsky's sci-fi experience The Fountain. Then Jackman filmed The Prestige directed by Christopher Nolan and also starring Christian Bale.

In 2007, Jackman produced and guest starred in the unsuccessful television drama Viva Laughlin. Jackman is also preparing a number of movies which he will both produce and star in, including Wolverine, estimated to begin filming in early 2008, and a remake of Carousel in which he will play Billy Bigelow.

Photo by Linda Lenzi


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