Who was Christopher John Jackman? Hugh Jackman confirms death of 'extraordinary' dad
Hugh Jackman says father, 84, 'peacefully passed away' on Australian father's day
Australian actor Hugh Jackman has lost his father on September 5, the star confirmed. Jackman took to social media to mourn the passing of Christopher John Jackman, who died "peacefully in his sleep" as Australia celebrated Father's Day. "And whilst there is deep sadness, I am filled with such gratitude," Jackman added in his emotional posts, but did not detail what happened to Christopher, who was 84 at the time of his death.
The news of Christopher's death comes just hours after 'The Wire' star Michael K Williams was found dead at his apartment in New York City. The same day, French cinema icon Jean-Paul Belmondo died at 88. A day before, British singer and model Sarah Harding died after succumbing to cancer, a diagnosis she revealed in August 2020. The exact cause of Christopher's death has not been revealed, Jackman's short statements on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram simply revealed his dad passed away in his sleep.
Once described by the 'Greatest Showman' star as his "rock", Jackman senior has played a pivotal role in the actor's life. Jackman has been very open about his complex childhood and the challenges of being raised alone by Christopher after his mother left them. In Jackman's own words, Christopher was an "extraordinary" man prior to his death.
In the early hours of Father’s Day (AU), my Dad peacefully passed away. And whilst there is deep sadness, I’m filled with such gratitude and love. My Dad was, in a word, extraordinary. He devoted his life to his family, his work and his faith. I pray he’s now at peace with God. pic.twitter.com/owdQuXnv6N— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) September 6, 2021
Who was Christopher John Jackman?
British-born Australian, Christopher emigrated down under with his then-wife Grace McNeil and daughters in 1967. A year later, the Tony-award-winning actor was born. Reportedly, he worked as an accountant and was educated at Cambridge University. Beyond that, little else is known about Christopher, who maintained a low profile while his son became one of the most recognized actors in the world.
In an emotional '60 Minutes' interview in 2012, Jackman opened up about the shocking divorce of his parents. When he was just eight, his mother moved back to the UK with his sisters and divorced his father soon after. "Dad used to pray every night that mum would come back," he said, but it appears those prayers were never answered. Since then, the actor has been singlehandedly raised by Christopher, who he hasn't been shy about praising, and even called his "rock" in the interview.
Each year, Father's Day brings new lessons Jackman learned from Christopher over the many decades. In a June 2020 Instagram post, Jackman said, "My Father taught me to always keep my promises ... Even if it turns out that there’s a better option or something that will benefit me more." In 2019, he posted, "Growing up, my father taught me many lessons. For example: before eating any snacks, you have to pass them around to everyone else FIRST. People thought I was so well-mannered. But, honestly, I was just hungry." In 2018, he shared, "Happy Father’s Day to the man who taught me to show respect for others, for education, for being led by your passions. Who taught me to never stop growing and learning. To work hard and realize that preparation is the bedrock for success. And, above all, to find purpose beyond oneself."
Jackaman's posts were met with an outpouring of love and support, with even longtime frenemy Ryan Renolds chipping in, "I was lucky to have met him." Other friends, family members, and even fans have also paid tribute to Jackman's father, with their own messages across his social media platforms.