Jacobi, Derek

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Jacobi, Derek Gender: M
born on 22 October 1938 at 04:00 (= 04:00 AM )
Place London, England, 51n30, 0w10
Timezone GMT h0e (is standard time)
Data source
From memory
Rodden Rating A
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 28°06' s_mo.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 13°16 Asc.s_vircol.18.gif 29°50'

Derek Jacobi
photo: Magamago80, license gfdl


British actor accomplished in classical theater, film and television series. Invited to join the National Theatre Company by Lawrence Olivier himself, Jacobi has established his place as one of the finest players on the English speaking stage. Keeping a low profile off-stage, the actor is able to project effective characters with much naturalism on stage. Jacobi earned his acting prowess in England in the 1960s and dazzled American audiences later in his TV performance as the stuttering monarch in "I, Claudius," 1977. In June 1985, he won a Tony award for his performance in "Much Ado About Nothing."

Jacobi wanted to be an actor from a very young age. His parents, Alfred and Daisy Jacobi, had no personal knowledge of the stage but encouraged their son to pursue his dreams. His father left school at 14 to work in a department store where he eventually went into management. His mother, Daisy worked as a secretary all her life up until her death in 1980. Jacobi lacked self-confidence as a child and today, marvelous at how his shyness and determination led to the British stage. At 19, he made his stage debut as Hamlet in the English National Youth Theater production. With his performance as the Dane, Jacobi was offered a full scholarship to Cambridge University to further his technical skills. In 1960, Jacobi made his professional stage debut as a member of the Birmingham Repertory Theater. He spent three years with the company before leaving to the National and Lawrence Olivier from 1963 to 1971.

Under the wing of the master, Jacobi was chewed out for being too humble at curtain calls. He needed to take applause with more pizzazz. Jacobi found artistic inspiration from the techniques of Richard Burton with his Welsh voice and strong stature. In 1965, he made his film debut in "Othello" starring Olivier and directed by Stuart Burge. On 11/06/1977, the "I, Claudius" series began on Masterpiece Theater on the American Public Broadcasting Service. In 1979, Jacobi conquered Broadway with his lead performance in "Richard II." He came back to Broadway with Sinead Cusack in 1984 and electrified the audience in "Cyrano de Bergerac" and Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." In 1987, after a successful run in the West End, Jacobi performed Hugh Whitemore's "Breaking the Code." Even though the actor tends to be recognized for his classical theater works, he has played film roles that have delighted movie critics such as in "Little Dorrit," 1988 and Kenneth Branagh's "Henry V" in 1989. Looking back on his successful career, Jacobi prefers to be back in the position of the young, promising actor than the recognized lion who must prove himself to an audience year after year.

Mild-mannered Jacobi goes to great lengths to avoid confrontations and scenes. Unlike the character he plays in "Cyrano de Bergerac," Jacobi rarely rows with others and tries never to raise his voice. In awkward situations, he ignores the perpetrator or prefers to leave the room. Admitting to not being a strong character in person, Jacobi considers himself dull, wishy-washy, indecisive, keeping his emotions under the carpet and "switching off" as a kind of defense from the cold, harsh reality. On stage he feels "in command" of his world. In real life he is more at home in his imagination.

Made a Commander of the British Empire, round-faced Sir Derek Jacobi still owns a youthful, boyish impish appearance and his physique is slight in demeanor. When he was a teen-ager, he had an appalling case of acne which taught him the hard lessons of working in a field where beauty opens doors and leads to many rewards. Jacobi believes luck was and remains instrumental in his career. "It's an example of luck that's dogged my career; this is a profession with 85 % unemployment, so to get to work is luck."

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • role played of/by Turing, Alan (born 23 June 1912). Notes: Jacobi played Turing in the 1996 TV movie 'Breaking the Code'


  • Work : New Career 1960 at 12:00 midnight in Birmingham, England (Stage debut, Birmingham Repertory Theater)
  • Work : New Job 1963 (Joined National Theater Company)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 6 November 1977 (TV series, "I, Claudius")
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1979 at 12:00 midnight in New York, NY (Play, "Richard II")
  • Death of Mother 1980
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1984 at 12:00 midnight in New York, NY (Play, "Much Ado About Nothing")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1984 (Play, "Cyrano de Bergerac")
  • Work : Prize June 1985 (Tony for "Much Ado About Nothing")
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1987 (Play, "Breaking the Code")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1988 (Film, "Little Dorrit")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1989 (Film, "Henry V")

Source Notes

Joan Abel quotes him by letter, MH, 1/1979


  • Traits : Personality : Changeable (Indecisive)
  • Traits : Personality : Personality vulnerable (Lacked self-confidence)
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Skin (Acne as teen-ager)
  • Family : Childhood : Family supportive (Encouraged son to pursue dreams)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Work in team/ Tandem (Theater companies)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Live Stage (Noted as the finest English theater actor)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : TV series/ Soap star (TV Series, "I Claudius")
  • Notable : Awards : Tony (For Much Ado)
  • Notable : Awards : Other Awards (Commander of British Empire)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
  • Notable : Book Collection : American Book