Hugh Jackman pays tribute to man devoted to Kiwi wife

Hugh Jackman. Photo / supplied
Hugh Jackman. Photo / supplied

Australian actor Hugh Jackman has paid tribute to a cancer victim whose loving video to his Kiwi wife touched millions around the world.

Sydney man Kristian Anderson, 36, died on Monday after a two-year battle with bowel and liver cancer.

His love for New Zealand wife Rachel was broadcast all over the world after he convinced Jackman and Prime Minister John Key to take part in a YouTube video for her birthday.

The video was viewed by millions and caught the attention of US chat show queen Oprah Winfrey.

During a visit to Sydney in 2010, Winfrey presented the couple with a cheque for A$250,000 to help pay for Kristian's treatment.

Kristian also kept a blog during his illness which was updated for the final time by his wife.

In a post entitled The Final Call, Mrs Anderson wrote how her devoutly Christian husband considered Christmas "a great time to go".

Jackman yesterday paid tribute to Mr Anderson.

"While I never met Kristian, like everyone else I feel like I know him," he told Sydney's Daily Telegraph.

"He was an inspiration, and a reminder to treasure what really matters in life."

Mr Anderson had planned to spend Christmas in New Zealand with his wife's family and their two sons Cody, 5, and Jakob, 3, but was admitted to a Sydney hospice instead.

Mrs Anderson said she was "absolutely devastated" by her husband's death, which she said had been peaceful.

"His breaths got lighter and quieter and then they just stopped and then he was gone," she told the paper.

"We'd a long time to think about it but now it is here it's quite scary. I want to focus on remembering how he was when he was well - a brave, passionate, amazing man."

Mrs Anderson said that after explaining the death to their two children, Cody said: "That means we don't have a daddy any more."

"Cody asked me why, and I said the angels needed daddy in heaven. I'm sure that there will be other questions coming but that is that all their little brains can manage at the moment."

Mrs Anderson said they were blessed to have had time to say goodbye.

- APNZ

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