Olu Jacobs: Biography, Family, Education & Career

Oludotun Baiyewu Jacobs is a globally known veteran actor, he hailed from Egba Alake in Abeokuta. Born on the 11th of July, 1942, he is a filmmaker and a businessman. Jacobs’s stage name is Olu Jacobs, he has been praised by many as one of the greatest and most widely respected African actors of his generation. He has so far starred in several international films and also the majority of British television series.

Olu jacobs

Olu Jacobs is seen worldwide as a bridge between the old and the modern movies, his acting is witnessed as of the best for the expression which makes his characters look real in his jobs. He is widely regarded as a cultural icon and without doubt and sentiment, he is rated high in the Nollywood industry. He is considered by several media, film commentators, critics, and other actors to be one of the most influential African actors.

With his more than 40 years of experience in acting, Olu Jacobs is seen as a bridge and an icon. The impact of Olu Jacobs cannot be underrated in any corner of his profession.

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Biography of Olu Jacobs

Oludotun Baiyewu Jacobs was born in Egba Alake, Abeokuta, Ogun State on 11th, July 1942. He is a Nigerian by nationality. His height is measured to be 1,61m. He got married to a popular actress, Joke Silva in 1989. Olu Jacobs’ children are Olusoji Jacobs, Olugbenga Jacobs and Dayo Jacobs.

Education & Career

Olu Jacobs was inspired to take a chance with acting when he attended one of Hubert Ogunde’s annual concert parties at Colonial Hotel in Kano. Afterwards, he secured a visa and travelled to England for further study in acting. He trained at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, England. He then appeared in various British television shows and series in the 1970s (including The Goodies, Till Death Us Do Part, Barlow at Large, The Venturers, Angels, 1990, The Tomorrow People and The Professionals). In 1978, he played the role of President Mageeba in Michael Codron’s presentation of Sir Tom Stoppard’s play Night and Day.

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Olu Jacobs’ family is founded on his marriage to a veteran Nollywood actress, Joke Silva in 1989. They are blessed with three children, namely Olusoji Jacobs, Olugbenga Jacobs, and Dayo Jacobs. Part of his life is the inquisitiveness of why his wife still bears her maiden name. Olu Jacobs believed that that was hers to answer.

In one of his interviews, he said: “She has been acting before our meeting and she’s been known for her name 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. Many have claimed that we are separated and all sorts of stuff but it is all lies. When she is working, she is Joke Silva while she is Mrs Joke Jacobs at home. We’re still together as husband and wife.”

Has Olu Jacobs Died?

Contrary to what is rumoured, Olu Jacobs hasn’t died. Funnily, there was a wide search for his funeral and burial in 2021. So, he attended Afriff in November 2021, where he won the Lifetime Achievement Award. His wife Joke Silva later revealed his health condition in an interview with Chude Jideonwo that he is battling Dementia. That’s his present life challenge but he’s still living fine.

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Awards Won

In 2007, Olu Jacobs won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

For his dedication to his acting career spanning over five decades, he was honoured with the Industry Merit Award for outstanding achievements in acting at the 2013 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.’ Also, AMAA conferred its Lifetime Achievement Awards on him.

Movies & Years Produced

Below is a list of the different movies, TV shows and stage plays the veteran actor, Olu Jacobs has featured in.

1. Films and the Year

  • The Royal Hibiscus Hotel (2017)
  • Oloibiri (2015)
  • Dry (2014)
  • Potomanto (2013)
  • Adesuwa (2012)
  • Pirates (1986)
  • Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (1985)
  • The Dogs of War (1980)
  • Ashanti (1979)

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2. Television Shows and the Year

  • The Third Eye (1990)
  • Play for Today (1984)
  • The Witches and the Grinnygog (1983)
  • Rumpole of the Bailey (1983)
  • Squadron (1982)
  • The Professionals (1979)
  • 1990 (1978)
  • Angels (1976)
  • The Venturers (1975)
  • The Tomorrow People (1975)
  • Barlow at Large (1975)
  • Till Death Us Do Part (1974)
  • The Goodies (1971)

3. Stage Plays and the Year

  • Night and Day (1978)
  • Julius Caesar (1977)
  • Bar Beach Prelude and Transistor Radio (1976)
  • A Kind of Marriage (1976)
  • Black Mans Country (1974)
  • Richard’s Cork Leg (1972)
  • Murderous Angels (1971)

Wrapping Up

Olu Jacobs is undisputably an elder in the Nigerian film industry. What is Nigerian Nollywood without the likes of him? On the screen, he is so professional and entertaining that you can stay glued to your TV screen watching him perform. Olu Jacobs is indeed a role model to the actors and most especially the upcoming actors, not only in Nigeria but across Africa and beyond.

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