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Sir Derek Jacobi
“Where did this Shakespeare come from? Where did all that knowledge and eloquence and truth come from? … I believe Edward de Vere and not William Shakespeare [of Stratford] wrote Richard II and, in fact, all the plays attributed to the man from Stratford.”
Sir Derek Jacobi Biography
Sir Derek Jacobi, born on October 22, 1938, in Leytonstone, London, is a highly esteemed British actor known for his extraordinary talent and versatility across stage, film, and television. With a career spanning over six decades, Jacobi has become one of the most respected and celebrated actors of his generation.
Jacobi’s passion for acting developed at an early age. He attended the University of Cambridge, where he immersed himself in the vibrant theater scene. After graduating, he joined the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, where he gained valuable experience and honed his craft. His exceptional talent and undeniable presence on stage quickly earned him recognition as a rising star.
In 1963, Jacobi made his breakthrough in the theater world with his iconic portrayal of Edward II in Christopher Marlowe’s play of the same name. His powerful performance earned him critical acclaim and established him as a force to be reckoned with in classical theater. Jacobi’s ability to effortlessly embody complex characters and convey a wide range of emotions became his trademark.
Over the years, Jacobi has graced the stages of renowned theaters such as the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. He has tackled iconic Shakespearean roles including Hamlet, Macbeth, and Prospero, leaving audiences in awe of his command of language and his ability to bring characters to life.
In addition to his extensive stage work, Jacobi has made notable contributions to film and television. He gained international recognition for his portrayal of the Roman Emperor Claudius in the BBC miniseries “I, Claudius” (1976), a performance that garnered him a BAFTA Award. His captivating presence and nuanced performances have made him a sought-after actor, and he has appeared in numerous acclaimed films such as “The Day of the Jackal” (1973), “Gosford Park” (2001), and “The King’s Speech” (2010).
Jacobi’s talent and versatility extend beyond the realms of drama and classical works. He has proven his comedic skills in films like “Love Is the Devil” (1998) and “Vicious” (2013-2016), a popular television sitcom where he starred alongside Sir Ian McKellen. Jacobi’s ability to seamlessly transition between genres and captivate audiences in both dramatic and comedic roles is a testament to his exceptional acting prowess.
Throughout his career, Jacobi has been recognized with numerous prestigious awards, including a Tony Award for his Broadway performance in “Much Ado About Nothing” (1984) and a Laurence Olivier Award for his stage work. In 1994, he was knighted for his services to drama, further cementing his status as one of the most esteemed actors of his generation.
Beyond his artistic achievements, Jacobi is known for his dedication to promoting the arts and championing charitable causes. He has used his platform to raise awareness and support organizations such as Amnesty International and the Terrence Higgins Trust.
Sir Derek Jacobi’s impact on the world of acting is immeasurable. His exceptional talent, unwavering dedication, and remarkable versatility have made him a true icon of the stage and screen. With a legacy that spans decades of captivating performances, Jacobi continues to inspire aspiring actors and bring joy to audiences worldwide with his extraordinary craft.