Family & Companions
Hefty, balding character actor, sometimes mustachioed, whose explosive manner has been instantly recognizable on many years of TV comedy. Typically cast in ethnic roles as Jews, Italians, or Russians, Jacobi has also kept busy in TV commercials, most notably his Clio Award-winning work in a series of Hertz advertisements. He has also had a very active theater career, with roles in such plays as "Spring Thaw" (1949), "Come Blow Your Horn" (1961), "Don't Drink the Water" (1966), "The Sunshine Boys" (1974) and "Cheaters" (1978). Although his most memorable early film role was as Mr. Van Daan, opposite Shelley Winters as one of the attic-confined Dutch Jews in "The Diary of Anne Frank" (1959), Jacobi has most often played alternately overbearing or put-upon men in such comedies as "Arthur" (1981) and "My Favorite Year" (1982), and such family sagas as "Avalon" (1990).
Cast (Feature Film)
Early theatrical appearance, in "The Rabbi and the Priest"
Worked as drama director of the Toronto YMHA
Performed in clubs and on stage in England
Discovery by Garson Kanin led to first Broadway role in "The Diary of Anne Frank"
British film debut, "A Kid For Two Farthings"
Made US film debut when he recreated the role of Mr. Van Daan for George Stevens' film version of "The Diary of Anne Frank"
Played the title role of Ivan the headwaiter at the Hotel Metropole in Moscow on the summer sitcom, "Ivan the Terrible"
Played the role of Jack on the short-lived TV sitcom, "Melba", starring Melba Moore
Played the leading role of the Mayor on the ABC Afterschool Special, "The Day the Kids Took Over"
Appeared on the Showtime comedy spoof, "Deep Dish TV"