Oludotun Jacobs (born 11 July 1942), popularly known as Olu Jacobs, is a Nigerian actor. He has starred in several British television series and international films. In 2007 he won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Oludotun Baiyewu Jacobs was born to parents from Egba Alake. He spent his early childhood in Kano and attended Holy Trinity School where he was a member of the debating and drama societies. He was inspired to take a chance with acting when he attended one of Hubert Ogunde’s annual concert party at Colonial Hotel in Kano. Afterwards, he secured a visa and traveled to England to study acting.
In England, he trained at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He then starred in various British television shows and series in the 1970s (e.g. The Goodies, Till Death Us Do Part, Barlow at Large, The Venturers, Angels, 1990, The Tomorrow People, The Professionals). In 1978, he played the role of President Mageeba in Michael Codron’s presentation of Tom Stoppard’s play Night and Day.
In the 1980s Jacobs starred in several international films some of which include John Irvin’s war film The Dogs of War, Roman Polanski’s adventure-comedy Pirates (1986) and the family-adventure film Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (1985). On television he was a cast in TVS’s The Witches and the Grinnygog (1983 series). Jacobs has starred in over 120 Nollywood films and is considered one of the top Nigerian Nollywood actors.
Jacobs is married to Nollywood actress Joke Silva since 1989. They have children. Asked why his wife still bears her maiden name, Jacobs answered: ”
She is her own individual. When I met her, she was an actress known as Joke Silva so why should marrying me now deny her and her audience her name. She is Miss Joke Silva who is Mrs. Joke Jacobs. It is as simple as that. People now begin to say what they like. They have even written that we are separated and all sort of stuff. When she is working, she is Joke Silva but she is Mrs. Joke Jacobs at home.”
Olu Jacobs was honoured with the Industry Merit Award for outstanding achievements in acting at the 2013 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.
|1971||Murderous Angels: A Political Tragedy and Comedy in Black and White (play)||Written by Conor Cruise O’Brien and performed at the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1971|
|1972||Richard’s Cork Leg||Royal Court Theatre, London|
|1974||Black Mans Country||Father Zachary Azuka||Gate Theatre|
|1977||Julius Caesar||One of the augerers||Royal National Theater 1977 presentation directed by John Schlesinger|
|1976||Bar Beach Prelude and Transistor Radio||Two shorts play adapted from the works of Bode Sowande and Ken Saro Wiwa|
|1976||A Kind of Marriage||Obi||Centre Play|
|1977||Old Movies||Chris Hunter (gendarmes)||National Theatre presentation|
|1978||Night and Day||President Mageeba||Phoenix Theatre (London)|
|1980||The Dogs of War||Customs Officer|
|1985||Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend||Col. Nsogbu|
|2017||The Royal Hibiscus Hotel|
|1971||The Goodies||Season 2, Episode 4 – “Lost Tribe of the Orinoco”|
|1974||Till Death Us Do Part||Television repair man||Season 5, Episode 3 – “Strikes and Blackouts”|
|1975||Barlow at Large||Motamba||Season 4, Episode 8 – “Protection”|
|1975||The Venturers||Mbela||Season 1, Episode 10 – “Dangerous and the Lonely Hearts”|
|1976||Angels||Musa Ladipo||3 episodes|
|1978||1990||Alan Msawi||Season 2, Episode 2 – “The Market Price”|
|1975||The Tomorrow People||General Papa Minn||Season 6, Episode 5 & 6 – “The Thargon Menace: Part 1 & 2”|
|1979||The Professionals||Sylvester||Season 3, Episode 5 – “The Madness of Mickey Hamilton”|
|1982||Squadron||President Gadin||Season 1, Episode 10 – “Cyclone”|
|1983||The Witches and the Grinnygog||Mr Alabaster||Episodes 1–4, 6|
|1983||Rumpole of the Bailey||David Mazenze||Season 3, Episode 2 – “Rumpole and the Golden Thread”|
|1984||Play for Today||David Mazenze||Season 14, Episode 16 – “The Amazing Miss Stella Estelle”|
|1990||The Third Eye||Inspector Best Idafa||Lead role (1990-1993)|