'Les Mis' star, Hugh Jackman, "devastated" by father’s illness

Hugh Jackman is reportedly struggling to cope with his father’s Alzheimer’s disease.

The 'Les Misérables' actor is extremely close with his father, accountant Christopher John Jackman. The degenerative brain illness is progressing in Christopher and it’s rumoured that his short-term memory is “pretty much gone".

Hugh Jackman (Credit: Wenn)
Although Hugh has been lauded throughout this year’s awards season for his role as Jean Valjean in the classic musical, even taking home a Golden Globe, he's finding it hard to celebrate his achievements.

“Hugh is devastated,” a source told 'Star' magazine. “His mum abandoned the family, so he’s always relied on his father. Hugh is dealing with his fear by working nonstop.”

Hugh,  who is due to attend the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, is married to Australian actress Deborra-Lee Furness and the couple have adopted two children together. It is said that Deborra is urging Jackman to spend as much time with his father before Christopher’s condition worsens.

“Hugh doesn’t seem to understand that time is slipping away,” the insider said. “If he doesn’t spend time with his dad while he can, he’ll spend his life regretting it.”

Hugh has spoken previously about what a pivotal role his father Christopher plays in his life. “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,” he revealed on US TV news programme '60 Minutes' recently.

“It's always about the family. It's not about work. And I think that's him living with probably some of his regrets. And feelings of maybe he at the wrong time put too much in his career.”