Derek Jacobi – Bio, Net Worth, Partner, Facts, Family, Career, Movies

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Derek Jacobi is a well-respected English actor who has made a significant contribution to both stage and screen. He has appeared in numerous productions and received numerous accolades for his work, including a BAFTA Award, two Olivier Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Tony Award. He is particularly well-known for his Shakespearean roles, having performed in many of the playwright’s most famous plays, such as “Hamlet”, “Macbeth”, and “Romeo and Juliet”. He has also played a variety of other roles, including Edward VIII in “The Crown” and Malvolio in “Twelfth Night”, among others. Derek is currently married to his partner, Richard Clifford

In addition to his work on stage, Jacobi has made numerous appearances on television and in film. He has won critical acclaim for his performances in a range of projects, including “I, Claudius”, “Cadfael”, and “The King’s Speech”. He has also appeared in several well-known films, including “Gladiator”, “Cinderella”, and “Murder on the Orient Express”. His talent and versatility have made him one of the most respected actors of his generation, and he continues to be a major figure in the entertainment industry today.

When was Derek Jacobi born?

Derek Jacobi, a celebrated British actor, was born on October 22, 1938, in Leytonstone, Essex, England. Derek George Jacobi is his birth name. His parents, Alfred George Jacobi and Daisy Gertrude worked as a tobacconist and secretary respectively. Derek’s great-grandfather had immigrated to England from Germany in the 19th century, and he also has a distant Huguenot ancestor. Despite coming from a working-class family, Derek describes his childhood as happy. He holds British nationality and has a mixed ethnic background. Currently, Derek is 84 years old as of 2022 and identifies as an atheist. During his teenage years, he attended Leyton County High School for Boys (now known as Leyton Sixth Form College) and actively participated in the drama club called The Players of Leyton.

During his time in the sixth form, Derek Jacobi proved himself to be a gifted performer. He starred in a production of “Hamlet” that garnered much critical acclaim when it was taken to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. At the age of 18, he earned a scholarship to the University of Cambridge, where he studied history at St John’s College and graduated with a degree. While at Cambridge, Jacobi played numerous roles and became well known for his portrayal of Hamlet, which was taken on a tour to Switzerland, where he met legendary actor Richard Burton. His performance of Edward II at Cambridge was so impressive that he was invited to join the Birmingham Repertory Theatre as a member immediately upon his graduation in 1960. At Cambridge, he also had the chance to mingle with younger members of the university, including Ian McKellen, who famously had an unrequited crush on him. Trevor Nunn was also part of the group of talented individuals that Jacobi was fortunate enough to work with during his university days.

Derek Jacobi’s Acting Career

  • Derek Jacobi is a well-known actor who has played a variety of roles on stage and screen throughout his career. He first gained recognition when Laurence Olivier invited him to join the National Theatre in London as one of its founding members. There, he played notable roles such as Laertes in “Hamlet” (1963), Cassio in “Othello” (1965), and Andrei in “Three Sisters” (1970). After eight years, he left the National Theatre to pursue different roles, including Lord Fawn in “The Pallisers” and several touring productions with the Prospect Theatre Company. However, his big breakthrough came in 1976 when he played the title role in the BBC series “I, Claudius”. His portrayal of the stammering Emperor Claudius won much praise, and he went on to play “Hamlet” in a world tour through several countries.
  • In addition to his stage and screen work, Jacobi has also been involved in several Shakespearean productions. He appeared in the BBC Television Shakespeare production of “Richard II” alongside Sir John Gielgud and Dame Wendy Hiller. Jacobi’s international popularity allowed him to play Hamlet in a world tour that included performances at Kronborg Castle in Denmark, where the play is set. 
  • In 1980, he appeared in the BBC’s “Hamlet” and made his Broadway debut in “The Suicide”, while also joining the Royal Shakespeare Company. His talents were soon recognized, and from 1982 to 1985, he played four demanding roles simultaneously, including Benedick in “Much Ado About Nothing”, for which he won a Tony award. He also played Prospero in “The Tempest”, “Peer Gynt”, and “Cyrano de Bergerac”. Jacobi made his West End debut in 1986 in “Breaking the Code”, playing the role of Alan Turing, which was written specifically for him.
  • In addition to his stage work, Jacobi appeared in several television dramas and films in the 1980s and 1990s. He played Hitler in “Inside the Third Reich” in 1982, lent his voice to the character of Nicodemus in the animated film “The Secret of NIMH” in 1982, and starred in “Little Dorrit” based on Charles Dickens’s novel in 1987. He continued to play Shakespearean roles, appearing in Kenneth Branagh’s film of “Henry V” and directing Branagh’s production of “Hamlet”.
  • Throughout the 1990s, Jacobi continued to perform in repertoire stage work, including Kean at The Old Vic, “Becket” in the West End, and “Macbeth” at the Royal Shakespeare Company. He also starred in several television adaptations, including “Cadfael” and “Breaking the Code”. In film, he appeared in “Love is the Devil” in 1998, “Gladiator” in 2000, and “The Revenger’s Tragedy” in 2002.
  • Jacobi won an Emmy award in 2001 for his role in the television sitcom “Frasier”, in which he played the hammy and untalented Jackson Hedley. 
  • He has also narrated several audiobooks, including “Iliad”, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”, and “Farmer Giles of Ham.” In 2001, he lent his voice to Duke Theseus in “The Children’s Midsummer Night’s Dream” film. Two years later, Jacobi played the role of Senator Gracchus in the movie “Gladiator” and appeared in the miniseries “The Jury” in 2002. He also narrated the BBC children’s series “In the Night Garden”.
  • Jacobi’s interest in “Doctor Who” began in the 1960s, and he realized his dream of appearing on the show in 2003 when he was involved with “Scream of the Shalka”, a webcast based on the series. He played the voice of the Doctor’s nemesis, the Master, and later appeared in the 2007 episode “Utopia” as the kindly Professor Yana, who was later revealed to be the Master. Jacobi admitted that one of his ambitions was to participate in “Doctor Who”, and he had achieved it.
  • Likewise, he played the role of Alexander Corvinus in the 2006 action-horror film “Underworld: Evolution” and appeared in the children’s movie “Mist”. In March 2006, he played the leading role in the docudrama “Pinochet in Suburbia”, which tells the story of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and his attempts to evade extradition from the UK. The production was well-received, and the film was released in the US in September 2007 under the title Pinochet’s Last Stand.
  • In 2007, he appeared in the film “The Riddle”, directed by Brendan Foley, in which he played the dual roles of a present-day tramp in London and the ghost of Charles Dickens. He also narrated the BBC children’s program “In the Night Garden…” and appeared in ITV’s Christmas adaptation of “The Old Curiosity Shop”. Jacobi won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor for his role as Malvolio in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” in 2009, which he played for the Donmar Warehouse at Wyndham’s Theatre in London. He also appeared in five films that year, including “Adam Resurrected” and “Endgame”. In 2010, he returned to the role of Augustus in a radio adaptation of “I, Claudius.” The same year, he gave a critically acclaimed performance as King Lear in Michael Grandage’s production at the Donmar Warehouse, which was later reprised at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2011.
  • Jacobi continued to appear on television, starring in “Titanic: Blood and Steel” in 2012 and the BBC series “Last Tango in Halifax” in 2012 and 2013. He also appeared in the ITV sitcom “Vicious” alongside Ian McKellen as Stuart Bixby. The show ran for two seasons and ended with a Christmas special in 2016. In recent years, Jacobi portrayed The Master in several box set series for Big Finish Productions, collectively entitled “The War Master”. He played the Bishop of Digne in the 2018 BBC miniseries “Les Misérables” and received the World United Creator – Platinum Demiurge Award for his efforts to promote world literature through the introduction of Shakespeare into modern cinema. He also reprised his role as Emperor Claudius in the 2019 film “Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans.”
  • Jacobi continues to act in various productions, with his most recent announcement being his role in the film adaptation of Alan Bennett’s play “Allelujah”. The film, directed by Richard Eyre, also stars Jennifer Saunders, Bally Gill, Russell Tovey, David Bradley, and Judi Dench. Throughout his career, Jacobi has become a beloved and respected figure in the entertainment industry, known for his immense talent and contributions to the world of acting.

Derek Jacobi Awards and Honors

  • Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play – 1985: Jacobi won this award for his performance in a Broadway revival of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
  • Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor – 1983, 2009: Jacobi won this award twice for his performances in revivals of Cyrano de Bergerac in 1983 and Twelfth Night in 2009.
  • British Academy Television Award for Best Actor – 1976: Jacobi won this award for his role in the television series I, Claudius.
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie – 1988: Jacobi won this award for his performance in the television film The Tenth Man.
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series – 2001: Jacobi won this award for his guest appearance in the television series Frasier.
  • Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture – 2001: Jacobi won this award for his performance in the ensemble cast of the film Gosford Park.
  • Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture – 2010: Jacobi won this award for his performance in the ensemble cast of the film The King’s Speech.
  • 1985: Commander of the Order of the British Empire (United Kingdom) 
  • 1989: Knight 1st class of the Order of the Dannebrog (Denmark) 
  • 1994: Knight Bachelor, for services to Drama (United Kingdom) 

How much is Derek Jacobi’s net worth?

Derek Jacobi is a highly successful English actor and stage director with a net worth of $8 million. His wealth comes primarily from his extensive career in the entertainment industry. He has been a part of various stage productions of William Shakespeare, including well-known plays like Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth. In addition, he has acted in Anton Chekov’s Uncle Vanya and Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac. Jacobi’s film career is also impressive, with roles in major productions such as Gladiator, Hamlet, and Murder on the Orient Express. His portrayal of King George VI in The King’s Speech was critically acclaimed, earning him a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Jacobi is living a lavish lifestyle thanks to his career earnings, and he is content with the success he has achieved. 

His net worth is a testament to his talent and dedication to his craft. He has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including a Tony Award, a Laurence Olivier Award, and several Emmy nominations. He has also been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to the arts. Despite his success, Jacobi remains humble and grateful for the opportunities he has had. He is known for his commitment to his craft and his willingness to take on challenging roles. His wealth and success have allowed him to live a comfortable life, but it is his passion for acting that truly defines his legacy.

Who is Derek Jacobi’s partner?

Derek Jacobi, the renowned English actor, has been happily married since March 2006 with his husband/partner, Richard Clifford. Just four months after the introduction of civil partnerships in the United Kingdom, Jacobi registered his civil partnership with Richard Clifford, a theatre director. At the time, Clifford was 27 years old, and the couple has been together ever since. They reside in West Hampstead, a district in northwest London. Jacobi is very open about his sexuality and is proud to identify as a gay man. Along with his co-star Ian McKellen, Jacobi served as a Grand Marshal of the 46th New York City Gay Pride March in 2015, further emphasizing his commitment to LGBTQ+ rights. The duo have no children as of now. 

Derek Jacobi and Richard Clifford at an event for Murder on the Orient Express

Throughout his life and career, Jacobi has been an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. He is an outspoken voice for equality and has fought against discrimination in all forms. Jacobi’s marriage to Clifford is a testament to his dedication to the cause, as he is a prominent figure who has used his platform to promote acceptance and love. Despite being in the public eye, Jacobi and Clifford have maintained a happy and loving relationship, demonstrating that love knows no bounds. Their relationship serves as an inspiration to many and highlights the importance of recognizing and embracing one’s identity.

How tall is Derek Jacobi?

Despite being 84 years old, Derek Jacobi remains a handsome and distinguished actor. Standing at 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) tall with an average body type, he has maintained a healthy weight of 77 kg (169.76 lbs). His hair has turned grey over the years, adding to his distinguished appearance, while his bright blue eyes continue to sparkle with vitality.

His commitment to maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle is evident in his glowing complexion and youthful energy. He has been a vocal advocate for the importance of taking care of one’s mental and physical health, even in old age. His dedication to his craft and his health has undoubtedly played a role in his long and successful career, which has spanned over six decades in the film, television, and stage industries.

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