IT was meant to be the grand entrance of all entrances - but Hugh Jackman's flying fox swoop into the Oprah Show took a tragic turn. Jackman was nearing the stage of the Opera House when he struck a chainsaw, severing his legs.
Oprah rushed to Jackman’s aid, making light of his injury. "Bono was meant to do this but they couldn’t afford the insurance," she told the 6000- strong audience. Jackman remained calm and asked for a last cigarette as he lay on the stage bleeding "That was too much fun. It was okay until the end". with his children watching in the audience and visibly upset, Oprah told the audience: "Oh we’re going to see that on the news, over and over again".
He was pronounced dead soon after paramedics arrived on the scene, the massive bloodloss combined with the slow medical response was too much for his body to handle. Undeterred by the actor's death and protests from the audience, Oprah insisted on finishing her show. One distressed fan had to be pulled back by police after making a lunge for the TV star as she waved to fans from her departing motorcade. Several fans chased her car around Circular Quay, throwing bottles and rocks at her. Oprah is staying under police guard at the American embassy.
Oprah has come under fire from the Australian government for lax safety precautions at he site of the live Australian taping of her show. The placement of props such as chainsaws around the flying fox path was described as "an accident waiting to happen" by Prime Minister Julia Gillard who expressed her shock and sadness following the fatal freak accident. This isn't the first time safety standards Oprah's show has been criticized; in 2001 Gary Coleman suffered a broken leg after sustaining a savage beating at the hands of Oprah. Fans had been hounding her during her Australian visit since a trip to Sydney's Taronga Zoo where she accidently sat on a baby koala which later died.
News of Jackman's death quickly spread through the use of social networking websites Facebook and Twitter, with many fans thinking the news was a hoax or April fools joke. Tributes flowed onto the internet as his dead was confirmed. Friend and rapper Snoop Dogg tweeted "All dogs go to heaven homie. Jackman you will be missed, one of the greats. R.I.P".
Hugh Jackman will be remembered as one of the greatest Australian actors of all time and one of the elite few who made it in Hollywood. He was known for his role as Wolverine in the X-Men series of movies, as well as for his leads in Kate & Leopold, Van Helsing, The Prestige, and Australia. Jackman was a singer, dancer, and actor in stage musicals, winning a Tony Award for his role in The Boy from Oz.
In November 2008, Open Salon and People magazine both named Jackman one of the sexiest men alive.
Jackman was involved with several high profile charity causes including the Global Poverty Project. He was a vocal supporter of Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus.