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Derek Jacobi

Derek Jacobi

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Also Known As: Sir Derek Jacobi, Derek George Jacobi Died:
Born: October 22, 1938 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Leytonstone, England, GB Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One of the United Kingdom's most revered classical stage actors, Sir Derek Jacobi also enjoyed an astoundingly prolific career as a versatile character performer in both film and television. Handpicked to cofound Britain's National Theatre Company by Sir Laurence Olivier in 1963, he gained notice in Shakespearean classics such as "Hamlet" and "Othello" before segueing to feature films like "Day of the Jackal" (1973) and "The Odessa File" (1974). Jacobi's profile rose considerably with his career-making turn as "I, Claudius" (PBS, 1977), soon followed by his chilling embodiment of history's most reviled dictator in "Inside the Third Reich" (ABC, 1982). As an actor and public figure, his honors were numerous, including a Tony Award, Emmys, the Laurence Olivier Award, and a British knighthood in 1994. Other notable efforts on television, film and stage included his run as the 12th-century monk detective "Cadfael" (PBS, 1995-99), performing as a member of the award-winning ensemble cast of "The King's Speech" (2010) and what some called the definitive portrayal of "King Lear" on the London stage in 2011. Whether it was redefining another of Shakespeare's iconic characters, portraying a well-known...

One of the United Kingdom's most revered classical stage actors, Sir Derek Jacobi also enjoyed an astoundingly prolific career as a versatile character performer in both film and television. Handpicked to cofound Britain's National Theatre Company by Sir Laurence Olivier in 1963, he gained notice in Shakespearean classics such as "Hamlet" and "Othello" before segueing to feature films like "Day of the Jackal" (1973) and "The Odessa File" (1974). Jacobi's profile rose considerably with his career-making turn as "I, Claudius" (PBS, 1977), soon followed by his chilling embodiment of history's most reviled dictator in "Inside the Third Reich" (ABC, 1982). As an actor and public figure, his honors were numerous, including a Tony Award, Emmys, the Laurence Olivier Award, and a British knighthood in 1994. Other notable efforts on television, film and stage included his run as the 12th-century monk detective "Cadfael" (PBS, 1995-99), performing as a member of the award-winning ensemble cast of "The King's Speech" (2010) and what some called the definitive portrayal of "King Lear" on the London stage in 2011. Whether it was redefining another of Shakespeare's iconic characters, portraying a well-known historical figure, or creating a completely original performance for a modern work, Jacobi approached each role armed with classic training, fresh ideas and an indefatigable creative energy.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Effie Gray (2014)
2.
 Grace of Monaco (2014)
3.
 StringCaesar (2012)
4.
 Ironclad (2011)
5.
 There Be Dragons (2011)
6.
 Anonymous (2011)
7.
 Hereafter (2010)
8.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Acted as a child in local library productions
1949:
Suffered bout of rheumatic fever at age ten; briefly paralyzed (date approximate)
1957:
Stage debut as "Hamlet" with the English National Youth Theatre at the Edinburgh Festival, Scotland
1959:
Appeared in title role of "Edward II" with the Marlowe Society, Cambridge
1960:
Professional stage debut with Birmingham Repertory in "One Way Pendulum"
1963:
Founding member of the National Theatre Company with whom he made his London debut with as Laertes in "Hamlet" (1963) and starred in "Othello", "The Three Sisters" and "The Idiot"
1965:
Film debut as Cassio in "Othello", starring Laurence Olivier
1973:
Appeared in first TV miniseries, "The Strauss Family"
:
Served as artistic associate, Old Vic Company (formerly Prospect Theatre Company), London
1976:
Played title character in the BBC miniseries "I, Claudius"
1980:
Broadway debut, "The Suicide"
1984:
Appeared on Broadway in repertory with "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "Much Ado About Nothing" opposite Sinead Cusack
1987:
Reprised role as Alan Turing on Broadway in Hugh Whitemore's play "Breaking the Code"
1988:
First screen collaboration with Christine Edzard, "Little Dorrit"
1988:
Directed Kenneth Branagh in "Hamlet" for Branagh's Renaissance Theatre Company
1989:
Played featured role of the Chorus in Branagh's film directorial debut "Henry V"
1990:
Had featured role in Christine Edzard's "The Fool"
1991:
Co-starred with Branagh and Emma Thompson in "Dead Again" (directed by Branagh)
:
Appointed director of the Chichester Festival Theatre in England
1993:
Undertook "Macbeth" with less than successful results
:
Starred in "Cadfael", shown on PBS' "Mystery!"
1996:
Featured as Claudius in Kenneth Branagh's full-length "Hamlet"
1997:
Recreated acclaimed performance as Alan Turing in TV presentation of "Breaking the Code"
1998:
Portrayed painter Francis Bacon in "Love Is the Devil"
2000:
Returned to Broadway in staging of Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya"
2000:
Had supporting role in the Oscar-winning feature "Gladiator"
2000:
Co-starred in the British TV drama "The Wyvern Mystery"
2001:
Won Emmy Award for memorable guest appearance as a hammy Shakespearean actor on "Frasier"
2001:
Reunited with playwright Hugh Whitemore as star of the play "God Only Knows"
2001:
Acted in Robert Altman's ensemble piece "Gosford Park", played the valet to the owner of the titular home
2006:
Starred opposite Kate Beckinsale in Len Wiseman's "Underworld: Evolution"
2006:
Cast in "Nanny McPhee," a comedy written by and co-starring Emma Thompson
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Leyton County High School: -
St John's College, University of Cambridge: -

Notes

Jacobi was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994.

He received the Silver Nymph Award as Best Actor in a Made-for-Television Movie at the 38th Monte Carlo Television Festival in 1998 for 'Breaking the Code".

"The older I get and the more I do, the more nervous I become. It seems such a silly way to earn a living. I keep thinking 'why put yourself through these terrors?" --Sir Derek Jacobi on acting, quoted in Birmingham Post, August 24, 2000

Family close complete family listing

father:
Alfred George Jacobi. Store manager.
mother:
Daisy Gertrude Jacobi. Secretary.

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