Jump to content

Actor Lou Jacobi


Recommended Posts

> [img]

Actress Shelley Winters (left) and Actor Lou Jacobi (right) in the film, 'The Diary of Anne Frank'

When he starred in the short-lived Broadway comedy, "Norman, Is That You?" in 1970, The Times Critic Clive Barnes did not care for the play, but took time to wax rhapsodic about Jacobi and his character. "Jacobi is a very funny actor who hardly needs lines to make his point." Barnes added, "Jacobi has a face of sublime weariness and the manner of a man who has seen everything, done nothing and is now only worried about his heartburn."

The review didn't stop Jacobi who went on to appear in 10 Broadway plays. Jacobi Broadway credits include Paddy Chayefsky's "Tenth Man" in 1959 and Woody Allen's "Don't Drink the Water" in 1966.

Jacobi peformed in Neil Simon's "Come Blow Your Horn" in 1961, in which he portrayed the playboy protagonist's disappointed father. His reading of the line, "Aha!," stuck with The Times Columnist William Safire so vividly that he cited it when writing about the meaning of the word 36 years later.

Jacobi also made two dozen feature films. His supporting roles included the philosophical bartender in the 1963 farce, "Irma la Douce," the young hero's unsophisticated uncle in the 1982 film, "My Favorite Year" and a lucky florist in the 1981 classic comedy, "Arthur," starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minelli.

Other roles and films featuring Jacobi include portraying a middle-aged transvestite who gets caught with his hostess' clothes on in the 1972 ribald romp, "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex." In Barry Levinson's 1990 epic, "Avalon," he played a dramatic role, one of four Russian brothers trying to build a future in Baltimore in the early 20th century.

Louis Harold Jacobovitch was born on December 28, 1913, in Toronto. He began acting as a boy, making his stage debut in 1924 at a Toronto theater, playing a violin prodigy in "The Rabbi and the Priest." He did play the violin, then and for most of his life.

After working as the drama director of a Toronto Y.M.H.A., the social director at a summer resort, a stand-up comic in Canada's equivalent of the Borscht Belt, and the entertainment at various weddings and bachelor parties, Jacobi tried his luck in London. There he appeared in shows including the American musicals, "Guys and Dolls" and "Pal Joey," and was part of a command performance at the London Palladium in 1952.

He made his film debut in "Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary?," a 1953 British comedy with the country's blond sex symbol of the moment, Diana Dors. In the United States, he began making guest appearances on a variety of television series, ranging from "Playhouse 90" to "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." to "That Girl," and appeared on series and in television movies until he was in his late 70s.


Actor Lou Jacobi in the 1976 CBS comedy, 'Ivan the Terrible'

In the summer of 1976, he was the star of a CBS comedy series, "Ivan the Terrible," in which he played a Russian headwaiter living with nine other people in a small Moscow apartment. He was also a regular on "The Dean Martin Show" on NBC for two seasons in the early 1970s.

Jacobi made successful comedy recordings with titles like "Al Tijuana and His Jewish Brass" and "The Yiddish Are Coming! The Yiddish Are Coming!" In his last film, the 1994 comedy, "I.Q.," he played the logician Kurt G

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...