[-[[caption-width-right:248:"Now I can say....I was PROVOKED! --damn, wrong script."]]-]
->''"I am an actor and I live in the world of pretend in my working capacity. I live in the world of my imagination."''

Sir Derek George Jacobi (born 22 October 1938) is an English actor, best known to for his extensive theatre work, the title role in ''Series/IClaudius'', ''Series/{{Cadfael}}'', Sen. Gracchus in ''Film/{{Gladiator}}'', Madson in ''Film/DeadAgain'', Stuart Bixby in ''Series/{{Vicious}}'' and Professor Yana/The Master in ''Series/DoctorWho''.

He voiced [[Characters/DoctorWhoMasters the Master]] in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' animated special ''WebAnimation/ScreamOfTheShalka'' before guest-starring as the same character, though in a different incarnation, in the TV series proper in the episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E11Utopia "Utopia"]], a role he has since reprised in ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'' since 2017. He additionally played a version of the Doctor in the ''Big Finish Doctor Who'' audio episode "Deadline", making him (along with Creator/MarkGatiss) one of two actors in this world to have played both characters, and the only actor to have done so in official ''Doctor Who'' media.

He appeared in an episode of ''Series/{{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, [[CastingGag he wasn't as good as they remembered.]] Many of the younger readers will know Derek Jacobi as Nicodemus from ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretOfNIMH'', or from his guest appearance as Daedalus in ''[[Series/{{TheStoryteller}} The [=StoryTeller=]: Greek Myths]]''. More recently, he appeared as the Archbishop of Canterbury in ''Film/TheKingsSpeech'' and Cardinal Orsini in ''Series/TheBorgias'', promising some wonderful acting alongside Creator/JeremyIrons... until he was [[DeadStarWalking poisoned in the very first episode.]] He has starred with Creator/IanMcKellen in a series called ''Series/{{Vicious}}'', a gay DomCom about [[GrowOldWithMe a long-partnered male couple]].[[note]]Somewhat amusingly, Jacobi and [=McKellen=] were a year apart at Cambridge, and as it turned out, each had what they thought was an unrequited crush on the other.[[/note]] He was the narrator for the ChristmasEpisode parody "The Lie" and the VignetteEpisode "The Night" on the Cartoon Network show ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball''.[[note]]which is considered a British show, as it was created by Ben Bocquelet, who works for the UK division of Cartoon Network[[/note]]

He also has a distinguished stage career, having got his big break in Creator/LaurenceOlivier's National Theatre company, including [[ShakespearianActors lots of Shakespeare]]; he has played Theatre/{{Hamlet}} over 400 times on stage, not to mention his performance in the BBC's Complete Television Shakespeare. (He was also in Creator/KennethBranagh's film version of ''Hamlet'', as Hamlet's villainous uncle -- another Claudius -- in addition to his role as Chorus in Branagh's ''Theatre/HenryV''.) He played a very similar role as Chorus in ''Film/{{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 Creator/KennethBranagh's Shakespeare films, though curiously the two never appeared together.

He was knighted for Services to Drama in 1994.