Five things you didn't know about Sir Derek Jacobi

By steveharnell, 25 August 2015 - 1:12pm

With an award-winning career that stretches back more than half a century, Sir Derek Jacobi now sits at the top table of British acting royalty. But did you know any of these fun slices of trivia about the legendary thespian?

Derek Jacobi WDYTYA

Sir Derek Jacobi has played everything from the stammering title character in the acclaimed I, Claudius to a terrifying turn as Adolf Hitler.

Now he’s won a whole generation of new fans after providing the narration to the psychedelic children’s favourite In The Night Garden on CBeebies. But what else do we know about the actor who features in the third episode of the latest run of Who Do You Think You Are?
 

1. Sir Derek was an early starter as a performer

He first caught the acting bug at the age of just four years old when he was asked to take part in a production of Cinderella at the London Palladium, no less.
 

2. He has Laurence Olivier to thank for providing his big break

Lord Olivier invited the young star to London to become one of the founding members of the National Theatre in 1963, despite the fact that Sir Derek was virtually unknown at the time.
 

3. He's an avid history buff

After being awarded a scholarship to read history at Cambridge University he’s gone on to win an armful of roles as significant real-life figures including Richard III, Edward II, Octavius Caesar and Thomas Beckett.
 

4. He's been a massive fan of Doctor Who since the 1960s

After appearing in various Who-related spinoffs including a webcast and a series of audio dramas, he finally made it onto the TV show proper when he appeared in the 2007 episode Utopia as Professor Yana.
 

5. He was passed over for villain role

Sir Derek auditioned for the role of Hannibal Lecter in the Oscar-winning movie Silence of the Lambs, eventually losing out to Sir Anthony Hopkins. We’re guessing fava beans and chianti aren’t favourites in the Jacobi household nowadays.

From the office: A tale of two Jewish sisters
previous blog Article
Trace your Polish-Jewish refugee ancestors like Jane Seymour
next blog Article
From the office: A tale of two Jewish sisters
previous blog Article
Trace your Polish-Jewish refugee ancestors like Jane Seymour
next blog Article
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here