Preeminent British classical actor of the first post-Olivier generation, Derek Jacobi was knighted in 1994 for his services to the theatre, and, in fact, is only the second to enjoy the honor of holding TWO knighthoods, Danish and English (Olivier was the other). Modest and unassuming in nature, Jacobi’s firm place in theatre history centers around his fearless display of his characters’ more unappealingly aspects, their great flaws, eccentricities and, more often than not, their primal torment.
Jacobi was born in Leytonstone, London, England, the only child of Alfred George Jacobi, a department store manager, and Daisy Gertrude (nee Masters) Jacobi, a secretary, both of Christian German descent. His interest in drama began while quite young. He made his debut at age six in the local library drama group production of “The Prince and the Swineherd” in which he appeared as both the title characters. In his teens he attended Leyton County High School and eventually joined the school’s… read more