Derek's first role was at the age of six in The Prince and the Swineherd in which he played both eponymous roles.
Derek has narrated an audio version of I, Claudius, the show that made him a household name in the 1970s.
Derek contributed a Doodle to the National Doodle Campaign, which auctions off celebrity doodles for charity.
In September 2007, Derek added his views to the debate on Shakespeare's plays by stating that further investigation is necessary as the plays are sure to have been written by more than one person.
Derek was fortunate enough to tour with Breaking the Code playing Alan Turing in both London (for a year), New York (for 6 months) and eventually on film.
Derek has played The Master twice in Doctor Who: once in the revived TV series in 2007 and once in the Big Finish Audio stories in 2003.
Derek Jacobi has received both the Danish and British Knighthood (1994). He had already received the CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 1985.
In the Independent on Sunday's annual Pink List - the Top 100 powerful and influential and openly gay - Derek was a new entry at No. 42.
Derek and cast have have been recognised with the following awards or nominations for Gosford Park:
* 2002, the Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Motion Picture Ensemble at the Satellite Awards (won).
* 2002, the PFCS Award for Best Acting Ensemble (nominated).
* 2002, the OFCS Award for Best Ensemble (won).
* 2002, the FFCC Award for Best Ensemble Cast (won).
* 2002, the BFCA Award for Best Acting Ensemble (won).
* 2002, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Oustanding Performance by a Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture (Nominated).
Sir Ian McKellen admits that he used to be "madly in love" with Derek when they used to work together onstage.
Derek is an Associate Member of RADA.
Derek was on the short list of actors considered for the role of "Hannibal Lector" in The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Derek was the mentor and acting instructor of Kenneth Branagh.
Derek starred as "Martin Bannister" in the Big Finish audio play Doctor Who Unbound - Deadline.
TV Award for Best Actor for I, Claudius (1977) (Won).
TV Award for Best Actor for Philby, Burgess and Maclean (1978) (Nomination).
Film Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Dead Again (1992) (Nomination).
TV Award for Best Actor for Breaking the Code (1998) (Nomination).
Broadcasting Press Guild Awards
Best Actor for I, Claudius (1977) (Won).
Drama Desk Awards
Outstanding Actor in a Play for The Suicide (1981) (Nomination).
Outstanding Actor in a Play for Cyrano de Bergerac (1985) (Nomination).
Outstanding Actor in a Play for Much Ado about Nothing (1985) (Won).
Outstanding Actor in a Play for Breaking the Code (1988) (Nomination).
Outstanding Actor in a Play for Uncle Vanya (2000) (Nomination).
Edinburgh International Film Festival
Best British Performance for i>Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998) (Won).
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Special for Inside the Third Reich (1982) (Nomination).
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries for The Tenth Man (1989) (Won).
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for Frasier (1993) as "Jackson Riley" in the episode The Show Must Go Off. (2001) (Won).
Evening Standard British Film Awards
Best Actor for Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1982) (Won).
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV for The Tenth Man (1989) (Nomination).
Golden Satellite Awards
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama) for Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1999) (Nomination).
Laurence Oliver Theatre Award
Best Actor in a Revival for Cyrano de Bergerac (1984) (Won).
London Critics Circle Theatre Award (Drama) for Best Actor for Cyrano de Bergerac and Much Ado about Nothing (1983) (Won).
Screen Actors' Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture for Gladiator (2001) (Nomination).
Best Actor in a Play for Much Ado about Nothing (1985) (Won).
Best Actor in a Play for Breaking the Code (1988) (Nomination).
Derek: I was very fortunate that my parents also became my friends. We all adored each other. They were incredibly supportive, particularly when I announced I wanted to go into the profession of which they had no knowledge, no inkling. Shakespeare was somebody they'd heard of vaguely. It was a million miles from their experience. One of the great joys of my life was that they became hooked on the theatre. They'd come to see me, but also went to things I wasn't in.
Derek: I think actors, in a sense, have one foot in the cradle, they never grow up. And that's essential because they've got to wear their emotions on their sleeves when called upon to do so; as a child does. Cry when they're unhappy, laugh when they're happy, scream when they're hungry. Just as a child is plugged into its emotions, so an actor should be.
(when asked about his own mortality)
Derek: Anything to do with death and I'm a rag immediately. I get very emotional. And, of course, I'm way past the interval.
(on his love of acting from an early age)
Derek: I had the best parents in the world. I don't know where the acting came from. I loved dressing up in their clothes and playing doctors and nurses down the street. Acting was all I ever wanted to do.
(on Cadfael on PBS)
Derek: I find it rather amusing that when they show it in the States, they give it a slogan underneath the title so that people know instantly what its all about. It reads: "Cadfael - He Serves God - He Solves Crime"!.
(on why he makes films, while preferring the theatre)
Derek: I don't like turning down work. The image of the successful actor wading through a pile of scripts on the doormat every day is vastly exaggerated, unless you're a big movie star like Tom Cruise. Which I'm not. The film world is very feudal and I'm one up from a serf. I'm a villain or something, working my way up.
(on his ideal kind of fame)
Derek: I would hate the kind of fame where you are in a sense prevented from leading a normal life in public, which is why I always say that Olivier had the classiest kind of fame. There he was, the acknowledged greatest actor in the world and he could walk down the street and nobody would know it was him. That's classy fame, I think, that's the best sort of fame. That's the sort of fame, if it did happen, that's what I would like. But really, I just want to keep working. I have the natural instinct of actors who always think that the next job's going to be the last. I've been really fortunate, I really have, I've had a lot of luck.
(on playing Cadfael)
Derek: The only inconvenience of playing Cadfael is that I do have to shave my hair to make a monk's tonsure...I tried getting away with wearing a wig but it looked so fake. All wrinkled and nasty.
(his humility in the face of audience appreciation)
Derek: I just don't like being special. I know they've got to say thank you, and it's rude not to acknowledge it. I just wish they wouldn't.
(on Alan Turing, who he played on stage and screen in "Breaking the Code").
Derek: He was a man of such honesty and blazing integrity and also naiveté. The word everybody used about him was 'boyish.' He never quite made it into the adult world, never became a fully rounded adult.
Derek: Pain and danger and fear were daily fare. They couldn't take pills if they had headaches; they took other things - herbs and medicines and potions - that Cadfael was very knowledgeable about.