Derek Jacobi stars in "The Borgias" on Showtime as Cardinal Orsini. He also stars in "There Be Dragons," alongside Charlie Cox, Wes Bentley and Dougray Scott, as Honorio.

Derek Jacobi has enjoyed a highly successful stage career. After graduating from Cambridge he joined the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. A live broadcast of "She Stoops to Conquer" gave him his television debut. While at Birmingham he was invited by Laurence Olivier to join the newly-established National Theatre. He played Laertes in the inaugural production of "Hamlet" opposite Peter O'Toole in 1963 and in 1964 he played Cassius to Olivier's Othello and in 1965 the production was filmed. Over the next 30 years Derek had some very distinguished roles in the theater such as Touchstone in an all-male "As You Like It," opposite Anthony Hopkins as Audrey (1967); the title role in "Oedipus Rex" (1972); "Hamlet" (1977) and again on a world tour (1979); "Kean" (1990); "Macbeth" (1993-94); and "Uncle Vanya" (1996).

From 1972-1978 Derek was with the Prospect Theatre where he enjoyed roles such as Buckingham in "Richard III," Sir Andrew Aguecheek in "Twelfth Night" and leads in "Ivanov," "Pericles" and "A Month In The Country." In 1980 Derek went to America to make his New York stage debut in the short-lived "The Suicide."

In 1982 Derek joined the Royal Shakespeare Company where he played the title role in "Peer Gynt," Prospero in "The Tempest," Benedick in "Much Ado About Nothing" and Cyrano in "Cyrano de Bergerac," both opposite Sinead Cusack. He was also in their 1984-1985 tour of New York and Washington as Benedick, for which he received a Tony Award, and Cyrano. A year later Derek gave a tour-de-force portrayalof Alan Turing, a gay man who cracked the German Enigma code during World War II, in "Breaking The Code." This was one of Derek's favourite roles and he says that the tragedy of Alan Turing was that he was a hero, but he was persecuted for his homosexuality. In 1987 Derek played Byron in the RSC/English Chamber Theatre production of "Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know" with Isla Blair. In 1988 Derek directed Kenneth Branagh in "Hamlet" with the Renaissance Theatre Company.

In April 2000 Derek returned to Broadway, playing Vanya in the Roundabout Theatre's production of "Uncle Vanya" with Roger Rees, Brian Murray and Laura Linney. He returned to the British stage in the autumn of 2000 in the Hugh Whitemore play "God Only Knows." In 2004, Jacobi starred in Friedrich Schiller's "Don Carlos" at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, an acclaimed production which transferred to London in January 2005. He followed with the eponymous role in "A Voyage Round My Father" at the Donmar Warehouse, which then transferred to the West End. He played Malvolio in Michael Grandage's production of "Twelfth Night" for the Donmar Warehouse at Wyndham's Theater for which he won Best Actor at the Olivier Awards 2009.

Jacobi's notable television credits include: "Man of Straw" (BBC 1972), "The Strauss Family" (ITV, 1972) and "The Pallisers" (BBC, 1974). His career-defining television role came in "I, Claudius" (BBC, 1976), a 13-part serial based on Robert Graves' novels. The Imperial Rome saga was a masterpiece of British television drama, held together by Jacobi's majestic portrayal of the deranged, stuttering Emperor Claudius. Jacobi's superb underplaying won him the BAFTA for Best Actor and garnered him the attention of an international audience.

Enhancing his reputation, Jacobi excelled in a variety of serious dramas: as Soviet spy Guy Burgess in "Philby, Burgess and Maclean"; the title roles in two BBC Shakespeare productions, "Richard II" and "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark"; and as Hitler in "Inside the Third." In 1985 he also recreated his favorite stage role "Cyrano de Bergerac" (Channel 4) and appeared in populist programs "Minder," "Tales of the Unexpected" (ITV, 1979-1988) and the last ever "Morecambe and Wise Show" special (ITV, 12/26/1983).

Other notable television credits include "Mr Pye" (Channel 4, 1986); an Emmy for Graham Greene's "The Tenth Man" (1988); "In My Defence" (BBC, 1991), as Emile Zola; and the triumphant transfer from stage to small screen, "Breaking the Code" (BBC, 1997). In 1994 Jacobi received a knighthood and embarked on the acclaimed medieval dramas series "Cadfael" (ITV, 1994-1998), based on the Ellis Peters books. Jacobi's quiet and meticulous performance as the 12th Century crime-solving monk struck a chord with television audiences.

His many other television appearances include the dramatization of Jake Arnott's crime novel "The Long Firm" (BBC, 2004), "The Gathering Storm," "Margot," "Endgame" and "Morris, a Life with Bells On."

In 2001 Jacobi won an Emmy by mocking his Shakespearean background in the US television sitcom "Frasier" episode "The Show Must Go Off" in which he played the world's worst Shakespearean actor: the hammy, loud, untalented Jackson Hedley. He also recently starred in the movie Academy Award winner "The King's Speech" as Archbishop Cosmo Lang.

Jacobi made his feature film debut as Cassio in Laurence Olivier's "Othello" (1965) and during the 1970s appeared in Laurence Olivier's "The Three Sisters" (1970), Fred Zinnemann's "The Day of the Jackal" (1973), "The Odessa File" (1974) and "The Medus Touch" (1978). He received the Evening Standard Best Film Actor award for "Little Dorrit" (1988) and again for his performance as painter Francis Bacon in "Love is the Devil" (1998). Having collaborated with Kenneth Branagh in the theater, Jacobi's long-standing professional relationship with Branagh has produced three films: "Henry V" (1989), "Dead Again" (1991) and "Hamlet" (1996). Other feature credits include Otto Preminger's "The Human Factor." Jacobi's most recent feature credits include Ridley Scott's "Gladiator" (2000), Robert Altman's "Gosford Park" (2001), "Revengers Tragedy" (2002), "The Golden Compass" (2007) and "Nanny McPhee" (2005).

Jacobi has also appeared in Clint Eastwood's "Hereafter" and Roland Emmerich's "Anonymous."

Jacobi bears the distinction of holding two knighthoods, Danish and British.

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How tall is he? How old is he? Find out here.

Age: 78 years old
Birthday: October 22, 1938
Height: 5' 10"
Full Name / Real Name: Derek George Jacobi
Birthplace: Leytonstone, London, England, UK

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