English actor Jason Isaacs was born on June 6, 1963 in Liverpool, England. Raised in a closely-knit Jewish community in the city, he followed his traditionally-inclined brothers and studied law at Bristol University. However, he became more inclined with the university’s drama society, eventually appearing in around 30 plays and performing in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He then trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London upon graduation.
Isaacs immediately established himself on British productions both in stage and on television. He initially appeared as a guest on television programs, making his debut in This is David Lander, and later appearing on Capital City, Taggart and Inspector Morse, as well as on several one-off dramas. He also appeared in several films, debuting in the 1990 romantic comedy The Tall Guy. He was more known, however, for his role in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes; he appearing in both parts of the play as gay Jewish lawyer Louis Ironson.
Isaacs made his Hollywood debut in Armageddon, slated to play a much bigger role, but eventually cast in a much smaller capacity because of other commitments. He then appeared in other major Hollywood releases, such as The End of the Affair, The Patriot, Black Hawk Down and Sweet November. He continued to appear in other British projects, most notably as the villainous Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and in the other Harry Potter films that followed.
In 2006, Isaacs landed the lead role in the British miniseries The State Within. He played Mark Brydon, the beleaguered British ambassador to the United States who finds himself defusing a wide conspiracy to fell Western governments while dealing with his own issues. The series, which was shown around the world, earned him a Golden Globe nomination. That same year, he took the lead role in the American series Brotherhood, playing criminal Michael Caffee, who is returning after a self-imposed exile.