- Began performing on the stage while attending an all-boys school, playing female parts until his voice changed.
- Continued in school productions while studying history at the University of Cambridge. A leading performance in Edward II earned him professional jobs after graduation.
- Portrayal of Henry VIII impressed Laurence Olivier, who invited him to become one of the founding members of the newly formed National Theatre.
- After numerous stage and screen appearances, breakthrough role came as the stammering emperor in the 1976 television series I, Claudius.
- Gained international attention in Kenneth Branagh's film productions of Shakespeare's Henry V (1989) and Hamlet (1996) as well as his thriller Dead Again (1991).
- His Doctor Who work includes performing on an audio drama and a webcast, and playing Professor Yana in the episode of the TV series titled "Utopia."
- Shortly after civil unions were granted in England in 2005, legalized his 27-year relationship with actor Richard Clifford.
- Has the rare distinction of attaining both Danish and British knighthood.
- 2002, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Acting Ensemble: Winner
- 1985, Tony — Actor (Play): Winner
- 1988, Tony — Actor (Play): Nominee
- 1982, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Special: Nominee
- 1989, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
- 2011, Olivier Awards — Best Actor: Nominee
- 2010, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Winner
- 2001, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Winner
- 2000, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 1992, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- 2001, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Winner
- 1989, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special: Winner
- Daisy Gertrude Jacobi — Mother
- Richard Clifford — Significant Other
- Alfred George Jacobi — Father
- University of Cambridge, St. John's College, Cambridge, England (1960)
- Birth Name: Derek George Jacobi
- Birth Place: Leytonstone, East London, England
- Birthday: October 22, 1938, Libra
- Profession: Actor
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