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Hugh Jackman raises $1.85M with birthday benefit concert
By SANDY COHEN , AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Hugh Jackman threw himself a birthday party with 4,500 guests, but they had to pay to attend.

The actor spent his 45th birthday Saturday at Hollywood's Dolby Theatre, where he sang, danced and told stories for "One Night Only," a benefit concert that raised $1.85 million for the Motion Picture & Television Fund.

"This is probably the most narcissistic way to spend your birthday," he said after the show. "I chose my favorite songs and told stories about my life."

Backed by a 17-member orchestra, Jackman performed a variation of his recent Broadway show, with personal stories, a few film clips and selections from classic Hollywood musicals — including a tap-dancing routine during "Singin' in the Rain." He talked about his family, sang a tribute to his wife and shared music and images of his native Australia.

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"A lot of guys would say to their wife, 'Do you mind if I go play golf with my buddies?' That's how I am about the show," he said. "I love it. If there's a song I don't like, I cut it and bring in a new song. Everything is something I want to do. So to be here tonight, supporting this cause -- and it couldn't have been a more generous crowd if it tried -- in every way it was great."

Jackman said he donated his birthday performance to the Motion Picture & Television Fund because it offers "that unconditional helping hand you get in a family." The organization provides health care and other services to entertainment-industry workers and retirees.

Cybill Shepherd, Bryan Singer, Darren Criss and songwriter Carole Bayer Sager were among the famous faces in the industry-heavy audience for the two-and-a-half-hour show, which ended with Jackman auctioning off an electric Fiat, a pair of Wolverine claws and two sweaty undershirts he wore during the night's performance. The shirts went for $11,000 each.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Oct 14, 2013 6:36AM
Nice that he did that I just wish the money went to a cause other than the Motion picture and Television fund both of which provide him his career.  Would have been nice to see the cash go to the poor or research for a disease but I do understand each to his own and when it comes to charity we all have certain things we hold close to our hearts.
Oct 14, 2013 6:29AM
This is in response to dkendrafran message to me: I do understand about the people who make less than $10K because my ex was and still is in the business but he always kept a day job being realistic about the business.  Even myself have a degree in Radio-TV concentration in Film but never went to L.A. or wanted to live out of a car.  But the rare people that make it.  That had that something that the general public likes to see.  Its the public that put Hugh Jackman up in the spotlight along with the Blonde chick I can't think of her name at the moment.  This is a free country where you can do what you want with the money you do make.  But I'm sure Hugh Jackman hopefully will think better next time after the bashing he received from this article.  And then again most actors are arrogant and think about themselves and the money helps show us how weird or eccentric a person can be with money in the bank.
Oct 14, 2013 5:57AM

Love to see Hollywood types giving back. Way to go. We should all read quote below and each one try to help our country when we can:

Protect freedom
Take responsibility at all times
Express gratitude for every gift and opportunity
Become a source of love.

Oct 14, 2013 5:23AM

If any of you naysayers had bothered to research the organization before flapping your uninformed gums, you would have learned that it reaches out to all people who have worked in the industry and may now need help.  It's not just for retired movie stars and specific criteria determines if you really are in need, so as not to give to someone who is to speak.  He has helped other charities along the way also, and the man deserves to be thanked for his generosity and concern for others. 


 As someone once said, "Tis better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt."  A lot of you should remember that the next time you want to put your uneducated thoughts down for someone else to read.

Oct 14, 2013 4:18AM
What?  He's only taking care of an industry he feels grateful to.  It's the altermate kill a-- 'gift'.  And it keeps on giving.   He hit pay dirt in a country that puts entertainment and celebrities above all else. 

The rich really do get a whole lot richer and the poor get poorer in the U.S.  But oh!  How about that new X-Men movie of his.  That's what's really important.  Buy a high priced movie ticket, keep lining his pockets and get our  'instant gratification' fix.

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