He was eight years old at the time but he clearly remembers the towel his mother Grace had wrapped around her head when she said an unusual goodbye. Jackman didn't know what was happening, just that something was off.
When he returned from school later, it was to an empty house.
"The next day there was a telegram from England, Mum was there. And then that was it. Dad used to pray every night that Mum would come back," Jackman recalled in a December 2012 interview with 60 Minutes.
Sidenote: Here's all the times Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness were couple goals. Post continues below video.
Jackman's parents Grace and Christopher migrated to Australia from England in 1967 and he was born a year later in 1968, the youngest of five siblings.
Grace didn't come back, and when his parents divorced the family was split up even further. Jackman and his two brothers remained in Australia with their dad, while his two sisters moved back to England with their mum.
"A lot of children grow up under difficult family circumstances and I don't feel sorry for myself for the fact that mine was exactly that," Jackman, now 52, told Great British Life in 2014.
"I stayed in Australia with my father and two brothers, and had a tough time for a while. But, you know, I had a very good father who was always there for us and I could never even imagine what it must have been like to raise kids on his own the way he did for many years. I don't think I could have done that. You need an iron will and I never heard him complain about himself or his lot in life."