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Derek Jacobi

Actor, Voice Actor, Film director, Theatre Director
© Magamago80
Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]
Sir Derek George Jacobi CBE (born 22 October 1938) is an English actor and stage director. A "forceful, commanding stage presence", Jacobi has enjoyed a highly successful stage career, appearing in such stage productions as Hamlet, Uncle Vanya, and Oedipus the King. 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. His stage work includes playing Octavius Caesar, Edward II, Richard III, and Thomas Becket. In addition to being a founder member of the Royal National Theatre and winning several prestigious theatre awards, Jacobi has also enjoyed a successful television career, starring in the critically praised adaptation of Robert Graves's I, Claudius, for which he won a BAFTA; in the titular role in the acclaimed medieval drama series Cadfael, and as Stanley Baldwin in The Gathering Storm. Though principally a stage actor, Jacobi has appeared in a number of films, such as Henry V (1989), Dead Again (1991), Gladiator (2000), Gosford Park (2001), The Golden Compass (2007), The King's Speech (2010), My Week with Marilyn (2011), and the forthcoming Hippie Hippie Shake. He holds a British knighthood and has been appointed a Knight 1st Class of the Order of the Dannebrog. Early life Jacobi, an only child, was born in Leytonstone, London, England, the son of Daisy Gertrude (née Masters), a secretary who worked in a drapery store in Leyton High Road, and Alfred George Jacobi, who ran a sweet shop and was a tobacconist in Chingford. His great-grandfather on his father's side had emigrated to England from Germany during the 19th century. His family was working class. Jacobi describes his childhood as happy. In his teens he went to the Leyton County High School and became an integral part of the drama club, The Players of Leyton. While in the sixth-form he starred in a production of Hamlet, which was taken to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and very well regarded. At 18 he won a scholarship to the University of Cambridge, where he read history at St John's College and earned his degree. Younger members of the university at the time included Ian McKellen (who had a crush on him – "a passion that was undeclared and unrequited", as McKellen relates it) and Trevor Nunn. During his studies at Cambridge, Jacobi played many parts including Hamlet, which was taken on a tour to Switzerland where he met Richard Burton. As a result of his performance of Edward II at Cambridge he was invited to become a member of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre immediately upon his graduation in 1960. Career Jacobi's talent was recognised by Laurence Olivier, who invited the young actor back to London to become one of the founding members of the new National Theatre, even though at the time Jacobi was relatively unknown. He played Laertes in the National Theatre's inaugural production of Hamlet opposite Peter O'Toole in 1963. Olivier cast him as Cassio in the successful National Theatre stage production of Othello, a role that Jacobi repeated in the 1965 film version. He played Andrei in the NT production and film of Three Sisters (1970), both starring Olivier. On 27 July 1965, Jacobi played Brindsley Miller in the first production of Peter Shaffer's Black Comedy. It was presented by the National Theatre at Chichester and subsequently in London. After eight years at the National Theatre, Jacobi left in 1971 to pursue different roles. In 1972, he starred in the BBC serial Man of Straw and adaptation of Heinrich Mann's book Der Untertan, directed by Herbert Wise. Most of his theatrical work in the 1970s was with the touring classical Prospect Theatre Company, with which he undertook many roles, including Ivanov, Pericles, Prince of Tyre and A Month in the Country opposite Dorothy Tutin (1976). Jacobi was increasingly busy with stage and screen acting, but his big breakthrough came in 1976 when he played the title role in the BBC's series I, Claudius. He cemented his reputation with his performance as the stammering, twitching Emperor Claudius winning him much praise. In 1979, thanks to his international popularity, he took Hamlet on a theatrical world tour through England, Egypt, Greece, Sweden, Australia, Japan and China, playing Prince Hamlet. He was invited to perform the role at Kronborg Castle, Denmark, known as Elsinore Castle, the setting of the play. In 1978 he appeared in the BBC Television Shakespeare production of Richard II, with Sir John Gielgud and Dame Wendy Hiller. Personal life Jacobi is gay. In March 2006, four months after civil partnerships were introduced in the United Kingdom, Jacobi registered his civil partnership with Richard Clifford. They live in Primrose Hill, north London.

Wikipedia ]

Born
Sir Derek George Jacobi
October 22, 1938 (age 85)
Profession
Actor, Voice Actor, Film director, Theatre Director
Spouse
Richard Clifford
Parents
Daisy Gertrude Jacobi, Alfred George Jacobi
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