Jacobi, Derek

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Jacobi, Derek Gender: M
Derek George Jacobi
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 theatre, 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. Though principally a stage actor, Jacobi has appeared in a number of successful television series and films. He was knighted in 1994.

Jacobi earned his acting prowess in England in the 1960s and dazzled international audiences later in his TV performance as the stuttering Roman emperor in I, Claudius (1976). He has twice been awarded a Laurence Olivier Award, first for his performance of the eponymous hero in Cyrano de Bergerac in 1983 and the second for his Malvolio in Twelfth Night in 2009. He also received a Tony Award for his performance in Much Ado About Nothing in 1984 and a Primetime Emmy Award in 1988 for The Tenth Man.

Jacobi's starring roles on TV include the titular character in the medieval drama series Cadfael (1994–1998), Stanley Baldwin in The Gathering Storm (2002), Stuart Bixby in the ITV comedy Vicious (2013–2016) and Alan Buttershaw in Last Tango in Halifax (2012–present). Jacobi also portrayed a version of the Master in the long running science fiction series Doctor Who. He later reprised the role for several Doctor Who audio dramas for Big Finish Productions. In 2019, he played Edward VIII, the Duke of Windsor, in the third season of the critically acclaimed Netflix series The Crown.

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, marvels at how his shyness and determination led to the British stage. At 19, he made his stage debut as Hamlet in an 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 Theatre. 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 6 November 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 theatre 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 defence 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 demeanour. When he was a teenager, 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."

In March 2006, four months after civil partnerships were introduced in the United Kingdom, Jacobi registered his civil partnership with theatre director Richard Clifford, his partner of 30 years. They live in West Hampstead, North West London.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • associate relationship with Richardson, Ian (born 7 April 1934). Notes: Co-stars, 2002 tour of "The Hollow Crown"
  • role played of/by Baldwin, Stanley (born 3 August 1867). Notes: 2002 TV movie "The Gathering Storm"
  • role played of/by Cyrano de Bergerac (born 6 March 1619 (greg.)). Notes: 1985 TV film "Cyrano de Bergerac"
  • role played of/by Dickens, Charles (born 7 February 1812). Notes: 2007 film "The Riddle"
  • role played of/by Felipe II, King of Spain (born 21 May 1527 Jul.Cal. (31 May 1527 greg.)). Notes: 2005 play "Don Carlos"
  • role played of/by Hitler, Adolf (born 20 April 1889). Notes: 1982 TV series "Inside the Third Reich"
  • role played of/by Lang, Cosmo Gordon (born 31 October 1864). Notes: 2010 film "The King's Speech"
  • role played of/by Nijinsky, Vaslav (born 11 March 1888). Notes: 2001 film "The Diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky"
  • role played of/by Richard II, King of England (born 6 January 1367 Jul.Cal. (14 Jan 1367 greg.)). Notes: 1978 BBC TV series "Richard II"
  • role played of/by Turing, Alan (born 23 June 1912). Notes: 1996 TV movie "Breaking the Code"


  • Work : New Career 1960 (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 in New York (Play, "Richard II")
  • Death of Mother 1980
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1984 in New York (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 for 4 AM by letter, MH, 1/1979

Sy Scholfield quotes him in an article: "'I’m a triple Libran, you see,’ he says. ‘I have Libra rising everywhere. It means I hate confrontation'" ("Now I've turned Derek into a crooner!" by Jenny Johnston, Mail Online, 18 November 2016).


  • 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)
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Same sex (Richard Clifford)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Work in team/ Tandem (Theater companies)
  • Passions : Sexuality : Gay
  • 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 : Emmy (Best Actor, 1989, 2001)
  • Notable : Awards : Tony (Best Actor, "For Much Ado")
  • Notable : Awards : Other Awards (Commander of British Empire)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
  • Notable : Book Collection : American Book