Australian actor Hugh Jackman will host the Oscars ceremony at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on 22 February.
The announcement was made by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on Friday.
Jackman, 40, has already hosted the Tony awards for theatre in New York three times. He starred in the three X-Men movies and is currently in the romantic epic Australia.
He won the 2004 Tony Award for best actor in a musical for his performance in The Boy from Oz.
Audience ratings for the annual three hour Oscar event have been falling in recent years. Comedian Jon Stewart, of the satirical news show The Daily Show, hosted the event in 2008, for the second time.
The 81st Oscars will be broadcast by ABC TV and screened live in more than 200 countries.