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Hugh Jackman reunites with mother who abandoned him at eight

Hugh Jackman and Grace McNeil in 2017. Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic


Hugh Jackman reunites with mother who abandoned him at eight


Hugh Jackman posted a touching photo of himself and his mother on Instagram on Monday, and it went viral.

The Logan actor, 52, shared a selfie with his estranged mother on Instagram. Jackman smiled as he placed his arm around McNeil and they looked into one other’s eyes.

The actor simply captioned the poignant moment with “Mum.”


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The Australian actor has been candid about his tumultuous relationship with his mother, Grace McNeil, who abandoned him when he was eight years old.

And an interview from 2012 has now resurfaced in which he discussed his own path to reconciliation with his mother.


“I can remember the morning she left, it’s weird the things you pick up. I remember her being in a towel around her head and saying goodbye, must have been the way she said goodbye,” Jackman recalled during an interview with Australia’s “60 Minutes” in 2012 (via Newsweek). “As I went off to school, when I came back, there was no one there in the house. The next day there was a telegram from England. Mum was there. And then that was it. I don’t think she thought for a second it would be forever.”

“I think she thought it was, ‘I just need to get away, and I’ll come back.’ Dad used to pray every night that Mom would come back.”

Grace never returned to Australia, where she and her husband, Christopher, had emigrated from England in 1967 with their four young children. Hugh was born in their new house a year later.

‘It was traumatic. I thought she was probably going to come back. And then it sort of dragged on and on,’ he told Who Magazine in 2018.

In 2015, Jackman told Parade that his mother abandoned him when he was just eight years old.

‘At the time, it was difficult,’ he said. ‘One of the main things I remember is that horrible feeling that people were talking about you and looking at you because it was odd for the mother to leave.

“My anger didn’t really surface until I was 12 or 13. It was triggered because my parents were going to get reconciled and didn’t,” he explained, per People. “All those years I’d been holding out hope that they would.”

He told The Sun in 2011 that he was taken from his mother because she was suffering from “undiagnosed postnatal depression.” While he was “furious” with his mother at the time, he eventually “gained an understanding of why Mum did leave… [We] have definitely made our peace, which is important,” he said in the interview. Jackson also stated that he had a “good relationship” with his mum.

“The thing I never felt and I know this might sound strange, I never felt that my mum didn’t love me. I’ve spoken about it at length with her since and I know she was struggling,” he said in a 2012 interview with Women’s Weekly.

“She was in hospital after I was born suffering from post-natal depression. There wasn’t a support network for her here,” he added.

Grace and Christopher, on the other hand, ended up divorcing, causing even more family strife. Hugh and his two brothers, Ian and Ralph, stayed in Australia with their father, while Zoe and Sonya returned to England with their mother.

Jackman, who has a son Oscar, 21, and a daughter Ava, 16, with wife Deborra-Lee Furness, also discussed the influence of his mother’s connection on his own parenting.

According to Today, he told the Australian publication at the time, “I think having kids of your own just adds another level of empathy and understanding.  And there comes a certain point in life when you have to stop blaming other people for how you feel or the misfortunes in your life.”

Hugh’s emotional photo of the two – simply labeled ‘Mum’ – made headlines on Tuesday, and fans in the hundreds commended him for having the fortitude to forgive his mother for abandoning him.

“Such a lovely photo! Long may you both remain smiling!” one Instagram user commented, while another added, “Aww what a gorgeous photo. Hoping you’re both keeping well and I’m glad you got to see her and spend time together.” Another social media user added to the plethora of positive comments about Jackman and his mom, writing, “Oh I’m so happy that you got to see your mum. It’s been a long time to wait. Grace is looking well [heart].”

Another wrote: ‘It’s amazing that you have come to accept and forgive your mother. You’re such a great person, because you not only lost your mother at such a tender age but your two sisters as well. Thank God you had such a lovely father.’

Hugh has maintained a close relationship with his father, describing Chris as his “rock” on 60 Minutes.

“My father is a rock. My father is my rock. It’s where I learned everything about loyalty, dependability, being there day in, day out, no matter what … It’s always about the family,” he said.

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