Micklewhite then spent a decade, not only in repertory threatre, but also as a bit-part actor in films like A Hill in Korea (1956); Howto
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Sir Michael Caine
When Sir Michael Caine was in Nottingham in June 2011 to film The Dark Knight Rises at Wollaton Hall, I decided to go along to his hotel to try and meet him.
A memorable experience!
I was in luck! I got to talk to him, he signed a photograph for me of him in Get Carter that I had taken along, and we shook hands!
Michael Caine was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite in 1933 in Rotherhithe, London. His father (also Maurice) was a porter at Billingsgate fish market and his mother, Ellie, was a charwoman. He has a half brother David (d. 1992) younger brother, Stanley (b.1935) who,
Baby Maurice and mother
who, as Stanley Caine, appeared as Coco alongside his more famous brother in The Italian Job (1969).
After leaving Wilson's Grammar School in Camberwell, when he was 16, Maurice worked as an odd-job boy at J Arthur Rank's film studios. He did hisnat
his National Service in 1952, and served in both Germany and Korea.
As Private Lockyer in
A Hill in Korea
How to Murder a Rich Uncle (1957) and The Bulldog Breed (1960). By then, on the advice of his agent, he had adopted the professional name of Michael Caine after seeing the war drama The Caine Mutiny (1954).
How to Murder a Rich Uncle
Michael Caine as Gilrony in
Michael Caine & Penny Morrell in
The Bulldog Breed
With over 100 stage, film and television
television parts to his name by 1963, Caine remained a little-known actor struggling financially, but all that was about to change virtually overnight.
He won the attention of the media and the cinema-going public when he appeared as an aristocratic officer, Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead, in the all-action, star-studded epic Zulu (1963). It was Michael Caine's most substantial role to date, and his powerful performance shot him to international stardom.
Michael Caine & Stanley Baker in Zulu
This was quickly followed by the Cold War drama The Ipcress File (1965) in which Caine was cast as the spectacles-wearing British counter espionage agent Harry Palmer, a role that he would later reprise in the sequels
Michael Caine in The Billion Dollar Brain
Caine as Harry Palmer in
sequels - Funeral in Berlin (1966); Billion Dollar Brain (1967); Bullet to Beijing (1995) and Midnight in St. Petersburg (1996).
The Ipcress File
Then came Alfie (1966) with Caine in the title role as a charming, but selfish, womaniser, who many young women find irresistable. '60s London provides
With Shirley Anne Field in Alfie
With Jane Asher in Alfie
provides the backdrop to this original version of Alfie, which won Michael Caine a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nomination. A remake starring Jude Law, was released in 2004. Caine
Caine was now a millionaire, with an international recognition which would land him more of the iconic roles which have made him so famous.
Michael Caine (centre) with his brother Stanley
and their mother Ellie in 1965
Michael Caine's Hollywood film debut was in Gambit (1966)when he was cast as a cat burglar opposite Shirley MacLaine, whilstinthesame
Caine with Shirley MacLaine in Gambit
John Mills & Michael Caine in The Wrong Box
Caine's next famous role was as mastermind thief Charlie Coker in the British cult favourite The Italian Job (1969). He plans to steal a gold shipment in Turin after causing a traffic jam with 3 Minis, 2 Jaguars and a bus! Caine's brother played the part of Coco in this film.
"You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"
Caine with Michael Standing in The Italian Job
Michael Caine in Battle of Britain
Michael Caine as Jack Carter in Get Carter
Michael Caine, in the role of Peachy Carnehan
Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer & Sean Connery in
The Man Who Would be King
Michael Caine signed this photo from Get Carter to me
By now, Michael Caine was regularly to be seen in around three starring film roles each year. These included hairdresser Milo Tindle in the film version of petersh
Anthony Shaffer's play Sleuth (1972); contract killer John Deray in The Marseille Contract (1974) and engineer Jim Keogh in the apartheid thriller The Wilby Conspiracy (1975).
After appearing as Squadron Leader Canfield in the star-studded
star-studded Battle of Britain (1969), Caine took on the very different role of a totally ruthless London gangster, Jack Carter, who scours the Newcastle underworld to avenge his brother's death, in the violent crime thriller Get Carter (1971).
Michael Caine & Sven-Bertil Taube in The Eagle Has Landed
Carnehan, teamed up with Sean Connery and Christopher Plummer for the epic adventure The Man Who Would be King (1975). Based on a short story by Rudyard Kipling, it tells of two ex-soldiers in India who decide to become Kings in Kafiristan. Michael Caine's wife Shakira appears as Roxanne in this film. The following year, Caine starred as a German parachute unit commander on a secret mission to kidnap Churchill and take him to Berlin, in The Eagle Has Landed (1976). This film was based on the novel by Jack Higgins.
1. Michael Finsbury - The Wrong Box (1966)
2. Harry Palmer - Funeral in Berlin (1966)
3. J O E Vandeleur - A Bridge Too Far (1977)
4. Capt. Mike Turner - Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979)
5. Baxter Thwaites - Water (1985)
6. Lord Sam Bulbeck - Half Moon Street (1986)
7. Elliott James - Sweet Liberty (1986)
8. Haskell - Shadow Run (1998)
Reuniting with Alfie director Lewis Gilbert, Caine received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Dr. Frank Bryant, an alcoholic university professor who mentors Julie Walters' character, in the comedy Educating Rita (1983). Both Caine and Julie Walters (in her film debut as Rita Susan White) won 'Best Actor' and 'Best Actress' awards, whilst the movie itself won the 'Best Film' award at the 1984 BAFTAs.
Julie Walters & Michael Caine in Educating Rita
During the '80s & '90s it was more quantity rather than quality as Caine appeared in a number of less successful films such as The Holcroft Covenant (1985); Jaws: The Revenge (1987) and On Deadly Ground (1994). Although they did little to further Caine's reputation, they nevertheless paid well.
There were some high points at this time however. He won a Golden Globe 'Best Actor' award forhis
Caine as Hoagie Newcombe in
Jaws: The Revenge
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Caine as Lawrence Jamieson in
for his role as Ray Say in Little Voice (1998) and an Oscar as 'Best Supporting Actor' in The Cider House Rules(
Michael Caine as Sherlock Holmes in
Virtually all of Caine's work
work has been for the big screen but he also starred in a small number of TV movies around this time. These included Jack the Ripper (1988) and Jekyll & Hyde (1990)
Without a Clue
(1990) in which he plays both of the title roles.
Caine in Jack the Ripper
Michael Caine with his Oscar
1. Dr Royer-Collard - Quills (2000)
2. Victor Melling - Miss Congeniality (2000)
3. Jack Dodd - Last Orders (2001)
4. Garth - Secondhand Lions (2003)
5. Alfred - Batman Begins (2005)
6. Nigel Bigelow - Bewitched (2005)
7. Alfred Pennyworth - The Dark Knight (2008)
8. Miles - Inception (2010)
Since 2000, Caine has never been short of film roles, in fact there have been 25 of them, half of them starring roles. There was Nigel Powers (father of Austin Powers) in Goldmember (2002); opium-addicted reporter Thomas Fowler in The Quiet American (2002); ex-Nazi executioner Pierre Brossard in The Statement (2003); archaeologist Henry Lair in Around the Bend (2004); aging hippie Jasper in Children of Men (2006); janitor Hobbs in Flawless (2007); writer Andrew Wyke in the remake of Sleuth (2007) and magician Clarence innnAnybody
Caine as Nigel Powers in Goldmember
in Is Anybody There? (2008).
Jude Law & Micheal Caine in Sleuth
As Jasper in Children of Men
In 2005, director Christopher Nolan gave Caine the part of Alfred in Batman Begins (2005), a role which he reprised in a later Batman film The Dark Knight (2008). This was followed by the title role in the successful crime thriller Harry Brown (2009) in which he plays anelderly anel
Caine as Tom Fowler in The Quiet American
As Alfred in The Dark Knight
David Bradley & Michael Caine in Harry Brown
As Hobbs in Flawless
an elderly ex-serviceman who avenges his best friend's murder by taking the law into his own hands. A third Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, with scenes filmed at Wollaton Hall in Nottingham, is due for release in 2012.
Off screen, Michael Caine is an astute businessman. He owns a film production company, eight restaurants (seven in London, one in Miami) and co-owns the top London restaurant Langan's Brasserie.
Langan's Brasserie in London's Mayfair
Michael Caine's autobiography What's It All About was published in 1992, and gives a good insight into his early years as a struggling actor and how it all changed with films like Zulu and Alfie. There are lots of anecdotes such as how Vivien Leigh taught him the American Southern drawl accent for his part in Hurry Sundown
Michael Caine holds the dubious honour of being the first person to be nominated for an acting 'Razzie' award for more than one title. He was nominated for 'Worst Actor of 1980' for his roles in the films Dressed to Kill (1980) and The Island (1980).
Sundown (1967) by making him to say "four door Ford" all day long for weeks! A second autobiog
autobiography The Elephant to Hollywood was published in 2010.
Michael Caine as Dr Elliott
in Dressed to Kill
Caine was awarded the CBE in 1993 for his services to drama, and a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2000. He was knighted at Buckingham Palace as Sir Maurice Mickelwhite but is also allowed to be known professionally as Sir Michael Caine.
In 1955, Michael Caine married the actress Patricia Haines (d. 1977)
Sir Maurice Micklewhite
Caine with daughters Nikki & Natasha, and wife Shakira
1977) but they divorced in 1958. They had one daughter Dominique (known as Nikki). Caine married
married former Miss Guyana Shakira Baksh in 1973 and they have a daughter Natasha.
Michael Caine is famous for the catch-phrase "Not many people know that", although he never actually said it! Its origin was a Peter Sellers impersonation of Caine.
Parkinson - Michael Caine Interview
Sir Michael Caine interviewed on Parkinson in 2007
Sir Maurice Micklewhite
whilst in the same year he appeared as medical student Michael Finsbury inthe
in the British comedy The Wrong Box (1966) with a star-studded cast that included many of the leading actors and comedians of the day.