Derek Jacobi Books & Biography
Born in Leytonstone, London in 1938, Derek Jacobi always wanted to be an actor. At the age of six, Derek made his acting debut, playing both lead roles in a local library production of The Prince and the Swineherd. He won a scholarship to Cambridge, where he studied and acted alongside other future greats including Ian McKellen. His talent was quickly recognised and in 1963 he was invited to become one of the founder members of Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre. Olivier’s protégé, Derek later, in turn, became mentor to Kenneth Branagh.
Derek Jacobi has worked nonstop throughout his career, starring in roles including the lead in I, Claudius, the monk detective Cadfael, Hitler in Inside The Third Reich and Francis Bacon in the controversial Love Is The Devil. But it is his numerous Shakespearean roles that have gained him worldwide recognition. He is the only actor, apart from Sir Laurence Olivier, to have the honour of holding two knighthoods, Danish and English.