"Now I can say....I was PROVOKED! —damn, wrong script."
Sir Derek Jacobi is an English actor, best known to TV audiences for the title role in I, Claudius
. Other notable screen roles include the title role in Cadfael
, Sen. Gracchus in Gladiator
, Alan Turing in Breaking The Code
, Madson in Dead Again
, and the narrator of In the Night Garden
He voiced the Master
in the Doctor Who
animated special Scream of the Shalka
before guest-starring as the same character in the TV series proper in the episode "Utopia"
. He additionally played a version of the Doctor in the Big Finish Doctor Who
audio episode "Deadline", making him (along with Mark Gatiss
) one of two actors in this world to have played both characters, and the only actor to have done so in official Doctor Who
He appeared in an episode of Frasier
as a thespian who, when Niles and Frasier were children, introduced them to the wonder of the theatre. When they met him again as adults and helped him get his own one-man show, he wasn't as good as they remembered.
Many of the younger readers will know Derek Jacobi as Nicodemus from The Secret Of NIMH
. More recently, he appeared as the Archbishop of Canterbury in The King's Speech
and Cardinal Orsini in The Borgias
, promising some wonderful acting alongside Jeremy Irons
... until he was poisoned in the very first episode.
He has starred with Ian McKellen
in a series called Vicious
, a gay Dom Com
about a long-partnered male couple
. He was the narrator for the Christmas Episode
parody "The Lie" on the Cartoon Network show The Amazing World of Gumball
He also has a distinguished stage career, having got his big break in Laurence Olivier
's National Theatre company, including lots of Shakespeare
; he has played Hamlet
over 400 times on stage, not to mention his performance in the BBC's Complete Television Shakespeare. (He was also in Kenneth Branagh
's film version of Hamlet
, as Hamlet's villainous uncle — another Claudius — in addition to his role as Chorus in Branagh's Henry V
.) He played a very similar role as Chorus in Anonymous
, appearing in modern times in a modern theater to introduce the film. While it may seem odd for so prominent a Shakespearean to appear in an anti-Shakespearean film, Jacobi is actually a prominent anti-Stratfordian.
He is married to fellow actor Richard Clifford, who is another to appear in many of Kenneth Branagh
's Shakespeare films, though curiously the two never appeared together.
He was knighted for Services to Drama in 1994.