Michael Caine
Overview
Sir Michael Caine, CBE (born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite; 14 March 1933) is an English actor. He won Academy Awards for best supporting actor in both Hannah and Her Sisters
Hannah and Her Sisters
Hannah and Her Sisters is a 1986 American comedy-drama film which tells the intertwined stories of an extended family over two years that begin and end with a family Thanksgiving dinner...

(1986) and The Cider House Rules
The Cider House Rules (film)
The Cider House Rules is a 1999 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström, based on John Irving's novel of the same name. The film won two Academy Awards, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, along with four other nominations at the 72nd Academy Awards...

(1999).

Caine is one of only two actors nominated for an Academy Award for acting in every decade from the 1960s to 2000s (the other one being Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
John Joseph "Jack" Nicholson is an American actor, film director, producer and writer. He is renowned for his often dark portrayals of neurotic characters. Nicholson has been nominated for an Academy Award twelve times, and has won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice: for One Flew Over the...

). In 2000, Caine was knight
Knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

ed by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his contribution to cinema.
Caine was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite in St Olave's Hospital
St Olave's Hospital
St Olave's Hospital was a general hospital serving the Rotherhithe area of London until its closure in 1985.-History:Built originally as the Rotherhithe Infirmary in Deptford Lower Road , Rotherhithe, London in the early 1870s on land adjoining Rotherhithe Workhouse, the buildings became the...

, Rotherhithe
Rotherhithe
Rotherhithe is a residential district in inner southeast London, England and part of the London Borough of Southwark. It is located on a peninsula on the south bank of the Thames, facing Wapping and the Isle of Dogs on the north bank, and is a part of the Docklands area...

, Southwark
Southwark
Southwark is a district of south London, England, and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Southwark. Situated east of Charing Cross, it forms one of the oldest parts of London and fronts the River Thames to the north...

 in South East London, the son of Ellen Frances Marie (née Burchell)(1900-1989), a cook and charlady
Charlady
A charlady, char or charwoman was an English house cleaner. The term has the same roots as "chore woman," one hired to do odd chores around the house. A char or chare was a turn in the sixteenth century, and which gave rise to prefix being used to denote people that worked in domestic situations...

, and Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, a fish market porter.
Encyclopedia
Sir Michael Caine, CBE (born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite; 14 March 1933) is an English actor. He won Academy Awards for best supporting actor in both Hannah and Her Sisters
Hannah and Her Sisters
Hannah and Her Sisters is a 1986 American comedy-drama film which tells the intertwined stories of an extended family over two years that begin and end with a family Thanksgiving dinner...

(1986) and The Cider House Rules
The Cider House Rules (film)
The Cider House Rules is a 1999 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström, based on John Irving's novel of the same name. The film won two Academy Awards, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, along with four other nominations at the 72nd Academy Awards...

(1999).

Caine is one of only two actors nominated for an Academy Award for acting in every decade from the 1960s to 2000s (the other one being Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
John Joseph "Jack" Nicholson is an American actor, film director, producer and writer. He is renowned for his often dark portrayals of neurotic characters. Nicholson has been nominated for an Academy Award twelve times, and has won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice: for One Flew Over the...

). In 2000, Caine was knight
Knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

ed by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his contribution to cinema.

Early life

Caine was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite in St Olave's Hospital
St Olave's Hospital
St Olave's Hospital was a general hospital serving the Rotherhithe area of London until its closure in 1985.-History:Built originally as the Rotherhithe Infirmary in Deptford Lower Road , Rotherhithe, London in the early 1870s on land adjoining Rotherhithe Workhouse, the buildings became the...

, Rotherhithe
Rotherhithe
Rotherhithe is a residential district in inner southeast London, England and part of the London Borough of Southwark. It is located on a peninsula on the south bank of the Thames, facing Wapping and the Isle of Dogs on the north bank, and is a part of the Docklands area...

, Southwark
Southwark
Southwark is a district of south London, England, and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Southwark. Situated east of Charing Cross, it forms one of the oldest parts of London and fronts the River Thames to the north...

 in South East London, the son of Ellen Frances Marie (née Burchell)(1900-1989), a cook and charlady
Charlady
A charlady, char or charwoman was an English house cleaner. The term has the same roots as "chore woman," one hired to do odd chores around the house. A char or chare was a turn in the sixteenth century, and which gave rise to prefix being used to denote people that worked in domestic situations...

, and Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, a fish market porter. His father was of part Irish
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 and Irish Traveller
Irish Traveller
Irish Travellers are a traditionally nomadic people of ethnic Irish origin, who maintain a separate language and set of traditions. They live predominantly in the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States.-Etymology:...

 ancestry and a Catholic, though Caine was brought up in his Protestant mother's religion.

Caine grew up in Camberwell
Camberwell
Camberwell is a district of south London, England, and forms part of the London Borough of Southwark. It is a built-up inner city district located southeast of Charing Cross. To the west it has a boundary with the London Borough of Lambeth.-Toponymy:...

, South London, and during the Second World War he was evacuated
Evacuations of civilians in Britain during World War II
Evacuation of civilians in Britain during the Second World War was designed to save the population of urban or military areas in the United Kingdom from aerial bombing of cities and military targets such as docks. Civilians, particularly children, were moved to areas thought to be less at risk....

 to North Runcton
North Runcton
North Runcton is a village and a civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. The village is west of Norwich, south-south-west of King's Lynn and north of London. The village is located a small distance south-west of the A47 between King's Lynn and Swaffham. The nearest railway station is at...

 near King's Lynn
King's Lynn
King's Lynn is a sea port and market town in the ceremonial county of Norfolk in the East of England. It is situated north of London and west of Norwich. The population of the town is 42,800....

 in Norfolk
Norfolk
Norfolk is a low-lying county in the East of England. It has borders with Lincolnshire to the west, Cambridgeshire to the west and southwest and Suffolk to the south. Its northern and eastern boundaries are the North Sea coast and to the north-west the county is bordered by The Wash. The county...

. After the war, when his father was demobilised, the family was rehoused by the council in Marshall Gardens at the Elephant and Castle
Elephant and Castle
The Elephant and Castle is a major road intersection in south London, England, located in the London Borough of Southwark. It is also used as a name for the surrounding area....

 in a pre-fabricated house made in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, as much of London's housing stock had been damaged during the Blitz
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...

 in 1940-41.

The prefabs, as they were known, were intended to be temporary homes while London was rebuilt, but we ended up living there for eighteen years and for us, after a cramped flat with an outside toilet, it was luxury.


In 1944 he passed his eleven plus exam, winning a scholarship to Hackney Downs Grocers' School
Hackney Downs School
Hackney Downs School was a comprehensive secondary school, located near Hackney Downs off the A104 north of Hackney town centre, in the London Borough of Hackney.-Grocers' Company's School:...

. After a year there he moved to Wilson's Grammar School in Camberwell (now Wilson's School
Wilson's School
Wilson's School is a boys' grammar school in Wallington, in the London Borough of Sutton, UK. Admission is based on performance in an entrance test with around 1,000 pupils being taught there....

 in Wallington, South London), which he left at sixteen after gaining a School Certificate
School Certificate (UK)
The School Certificate was a United Kingdom educational attainment standard qualification, established in 1918. The School Certificate Examination was usually taken at age 16 and it was necessary to pass Mathematics, English and other subjects in order to gain the certificate...

 in six subjects. He then worked briefly as a filing clerk and messenger for a film company in Victoria Street
Victoria, London
Victoria is a commercial and residential area of inner city London, lying wholly within the City of Westminster, and named after Queen Victoria....

 and the film producer Jay Lewis
Jay Lewis
Jay Lewis was a film director, a film producer and writer born in Warwickshire, England.-Director:*A Home of Your Own starring Ronnie Barker *Live Now - Pay Later *Invasion Quartet...

 in Wardour Street
Wardour Street
Wardour Street is a street in Soho, London. It is a one-way street south to north from Leicester Square, up through Chinatown, across Shaftesbury Avenue to Oxford Street.-History:...

. From 1952, when he was called up
Conscription in the United Kingdom
Conscription in the United Kingdom has existed for two periods in modern times. The first was from 1916 to 1919, the second was from 1939 to 1960, with the last conscripted soldiers leaving the service in 1963...

 to do his national service
National service
National service is a common name for mandatory government service programmes . The term became common British usage during and for some years following the Second World War. Many young people spent one or more years in such programmes...

, until 1954, he served in the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

's Royal Fusiliers, first at the BAOR
British Army of the Rhine
There have been two formations named British Army of the Rhine . Both were originally occupation forces in Germany, one after the First World War, and the other after the Second World War.-1919–1929:...

 HQ in Iserlohn
Iserlohn
Iserlohn is a city in the Märkischer Kreis district, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is the largest city by population and area within the district and the Sauerland region.-Geography:...

, Germany and then on active service during the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

. Caine has said he would like to see the return of national service to help combat youth violence, stating: "I'm just saying, put them in the Army for six months. You're there to learn how to defend your country. You belong to the country. Then when you come out, you have a sense of belonging rather than a sense of violence."

Career

When Micklewhite became an actor, he adopted the stage name "Michael Scott". His agent soon informed him, however, that Michael Scott was already using the same name, and that he had to come up with a new name immediately. Speaking to his agent from a telephone box in Leicester Square
Leicester Square
Leicester Square is a pedestrianised square in the West End of London, England. The Square lies within an area bound by Lisle Street, to the north; Charing Cross Road, to the east; Orange Street, to the south; and Whitcomb Street, to the west...

, London, he looked around for inspiration, noted that The Caine Mutiny
The Caine Mutiny (film)
The Caine Mutiny is a 1954 American drama film set during World War II, directed by Edward Dmytryk and produced by Stanley Kramer. It stars Humphrey Bogart, José Ferrer, Van Johnson and Fred MacMurray, and is based on the 1951 Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Herman Wouk The Caine Mutiny. The film...

was being shown at the Odeon Cinema, and decided to change his name to "Michael Caine". He has joked in interviews that had he looked the other way, he would have ended up as "Michael One Hundred and One Dalmatians
One Hundred and One Dalmatians
One Hundred and One Dalmatians, often abbreviated as 101 Dalmatians, is a 1961 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and based on the novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith...

".

1960s

Caine's acting career began in Horsham
Horsham
Horsham is a market town with a population of 55,657 on the upper reaches of the River Arun in the centre of the Weald, West Sussex, in the historic County of Sussex, England. The town is south south-west of London, north-west of Brighton and north-east of the county town of Chichester...

, Sussex. He responded to an advertisement for an assistant stage manager for the Horsham-based Westminster Repertory Company. This led to walk-on roles at the Carfax Theatre. After dozens of minor TV roles, Caine entered the public eye as the upper class British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 officer Gonville Bromhead
Gonville Bromhead
Major Gonville Bromhead VC was a British Army officer and recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces....

 in the 1964 film Zulu
Zulu (film)
Zulu is a 1964 historical war film depicting the Battle of Rorke's Drift between the British Army and the Zulus in January 1879, during the Anglo-Zulu War....

. This proved paradoxical, as Caine was to become notable for using a regional accent, rather than the Received Pronunciation
Received Pronunciation
Received Pronunciation , also called the Queen's English, Oxford English or BBC English, is the accent of Standard English in England, with a relationship to regional accents similar to the relationship in other European languages between their standard varieties and their regional forms...

 hitherto considered proper for film actors. At the time, Caine's working class Cockney
Cockney
The term Cockney has both geographical and linguistic associations. Geographically and culturally, it often refers to working class Londoners, particularly those in the East End...

, just as with The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

' Liverpudlian accents, stood out to American and British audiences alike. Zulu was closely followed by two of his best-known roles: the spy Harry Palmer
Harry Palmer
Harry Palmer is the name of the protagonist of a number of films based on the main character from the spy novels written by Len Deighton. Michael Caine played Harry Palmer in the films based on three of the first four of the published novels featuring this character, and also later in two films not...

 in The Ipcress File
The Ipcress File (film)
The Ipcress File is a 1965 British espionage film directed by Sidney J. Furie and starring Michael Caine, Guy Doleman, and Nigel Green. The screenplay by Bill Canaway and James Doran was based on Len Deighton's 1962 novel, The IPCRESS File. It has won critical acclaim and a BAFTA award for best...

(1965), and the womanising title character in Alfie (1966). He went on to play Palmer in a further four films, Funeral in Berlin
Funeral in Berlin (film)
Funeral in Berlin is a 1966 British spy film based on the novel Funeral in Berlin by Len Deighton. It is the second of three 1960s films starring Michael Caine that followed the characters from the initial film, The Ipcress File ...

(1966), Billion Dollar Brain
Billion Dollar Brain
Billion Dollar Brain is a 1967 British espionage film directed by Ken Russell and based on the novel Billion-Dollar Brain by Len Deighton. The film features Michael Caine as secret agent Harry Palmer, the anti-hero protagonist of the film versions of The IPCRESS File and Funeral in Berlin...

(1967), Bullet to Beijing
Bullet to Beijing
Bullet to Beijing is a 1995 made-for-television film that continues the adventures of the fictional spy Harry Palmer, who appeared in the 1960s films The Ipcress File, Funeral in Berlin, and Billion Dollar Brain, based on books by author Len Deighton...

(1995) and Midnight in Saint Petersburg
Midnight in Saint Petersburg
Midnight in Saint Petersburg is a 1996 thriller film starring Michael Caine for the fifth time as British secret agent Harry Palmer.It served as semi-sequel to Bullet to Beijing which had been released the year before, the two films having been shot back-to-back...

(1995). Caine made his first film in the United States in 1966, after an invitation from Shirley MacLaine
Shirley MacLaine
Shirley MacLaine is an American film and theater actress, singer, dancer, activist and author, well-known for her beliefs in new age spirituality and reincarnation. She has written a large number of autobiographical works, many dealing with her spiritual beliefs as well as her Hollywood career...

 to play opposite her in Gambit
Gambit (1966 film)
Gambit is a 1966 film starring Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine as two criminals involved in an elaborate plot centered on a priceless antiquity from millionaire Mr. Shahbandar, played by Herbert Lom...

.
During the first two weeks, whilst staying at The Beverly Hills Hotel, he met long term friends John Wayne
John Wayne
Marion Mitchell Morrison , better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American film actor, director and producer. He epitomized rugged masculinity and became an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height...

 and agent "Swifty" Lazar
Irving Paul Lazar
Irving Paul "Swifty" Lazar was a talent agent and deal-maker, representing both movie stars and authors.Born as Samuel Lazar in Brooklyn, New York, he graduated from Brooklyn Law School in 1931...

.

1970s

After working on The Italian Job
The Italian Job
The Italian Job is a 1969 British caper film, written by Troy Kennedy Martin, produced by Michael Deeley and directed by Peter Collinson. Subsequent television showings and releases on video have established it as an institution in the United Kingdom....

with Noël Coward
Noël Coward
Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy...

, and a solid role as RAF fighter pilot Squadron Leader
Squadron Leader
Squadron Leader is a commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence. It is also sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure. In these...

 Canfield in the all-star cast of Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain (film)
Battle of Britain is a 1969 Technicolor film directed by Guy Hamilton, and produced by Harry Saltzman and S. Benjamin Fisz. The film broadly relates the events of the Battle of Britain...

(both 1969), Caine played the lead in Get Carter
Get Carter
Get Carter is a 1971 British crime film directed by Mike Hodges and starring Michael Caine as Jack Carter, a gangster who sets out to avenge the death of his brother in a series of unrelenting and brutal killings played out against the grim background of derelict urban housing in the city of...

(1971), a British gangster film. Caine was busy with successes including Sleuth (1972) opposite Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

, and The Man Who Would Be King
The Man Who Would Be King (film)
The Man Who Would Be King is a 1975 film adapted from the Rudyard Kipling short story of the same title. It was adapted and directed by John Huston and starred Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Saeed Jaffrey, and Christopher Plummer as Kipling .The film follows two rogue ex-non-commissioned officers of...

(1975) co-starring Sean Connery
Sean Connery
Sir Thomas Sean Connery , better known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globes Sir Thomas Sean Connery (born 25 August 1930), better known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy...

 and directed by John Huston
John Huston
John Marcellus Huston was an American film director, screenwriter and actor. He wrote most of the 37 feature films he directed, many of which are today considered classics: The Maltese Falcon , The Treasure of the Sierra Madre , Key Largo , The Asphalt Jungle , The African Queen , Moulin Rouge...

 (which he has stated will be the film he wishes to be remembered for after his death). In 1976 he appeared in the screen adaptation by Tom Mankiewicz
Tom Mankiewicz
Thomas Frank Mankiewicz was a screenwriter/director/producer of motion pictures and television, perhaps best known for his work on the James Bond films and his contributions to Superman: The Movie and the television series, Hart to Hart.-Early life and career:Mankiewicz was born in Los Angeles on...

 of the Jack Higgins
Jack Higgins
Jack Higgins is the principal pseudonym of UK novelist Harry Patterson. Patterson is the author of more than 60 novels. As Higgins, most have been thrillers of various types and, since his breakthrough novel The Eagle Has Landed in 1975, nearly all have been bestsellers...

 novel The Eagle Has Landed
The Eagle Has Landed
The Eagle Has Landed is a book by Jack Higgins set during World War II. It first published in 1975. It was made into a film of the same name in 1976 starring Michael Caine...

as Oberst
Oberst
Oberst is a military rank in several German-speaking and Scandinavian countries, equivalent to Colonel. It is currently used by both the ground and air forces of Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Norway. The Swedish rank överste is a direct translation, as are the Finnish rank eversti...

(Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

) Kurt Steiner, the commander of a Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 paratroop brigade disguised as Polish
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 paratrooper
Paratrooper
Paratroopers are soldiers trained in parachuting and generally operate as part of an airborne force.Paratroopers are used for tactical advantage as they can be inserted into the battlefield from the air, thereby allowing them to be positioned in areas not accessible by land...

s, whose mission was to kidnap or kill the then-British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

, alongside co-stars Donald Sutherland
Donald Sutherland
Donald McNichol Sutherland, OC is a Canadian actor with a film career spanning nearly 50 years. Some of Sutherland's more notable movie roles included offbeat warriors in such war movies as The Dirty Dozen, , MASH , and Kelly's Heroes , as well as in such popular films as Klute, Invasion of the...

, Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
Robert Selden Duvall is an American actor and director. He has won an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and a BAFTA over the course of his career....

, Jenny Agutter
Jenny Agutter
Jennifer Ann "Jenny" Agutter is an English film and television actress. She began her career as a child actress in the mid 1960s, starring in the BBC television series The Railway Children and the film adaptation of the same book, before moving on to adult roles and relocating to Hollywood.She...

, and Donald Pleasence
Donald Pleasence
Sir Donald Henry Pleasence, OBE, was a British actor who gained more than 200 screen credits during a career which spanned over four decades...

. Subsequently in 1978, he starred in The Silver Bears
Silver Bears (film)
Silver Bears is a 1978 comedy thriller film directed by Ivan Passer and starring Michael Caine, Cybill Shepherd, Louis Jourdan and Joss Ackland...

, an adaptation of Paul Erdman's (1974) novel of the same name. Caine also was part of an all-star cast in A Bridge Too Far (1977).

1980s

By the end of the decade, he had moved to the United States, but his choice of roles was often criticisedhe admitted to and has since made many self-deprecating comments about taking parts, strictly for the money, in numerous films he knew to be bad, despite working with Hollywood's highly regarded directors such as Irwin Allen
Irwin Allen
Irwin Allen was a television and film director and producer nicknamed "The Master of Disaster" for his work in the disaster film genre. He was also notable for creating a number of television series.- Biography :...

, Richard Fleischer
Richard Fleischer
-Early life:Fleischer was born in Brooklyn, the son of Essie and animator/producer Max Fleischer. He started in motion pictures as director of animated shorts produced by his father including entries in the Betty Boop, Popeye and Superman series.His live-action film career began in 1942 at the RKO...

, Michael Ritchie
Michael Ritchie (film director)
Michael Brunswick Ritchie was an American film director.Ritchie was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, the son of Patricia and Benbow Ferguson Ritchie...

 and Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
William Oliver Stone is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Stone became well known in the late 1980s and the early 1990s for directing a series of films about the Vietnam War, for which he had previously participated as an infantry soldier. His work frequently focuses on...

. Caine was averaging two films a year, but these included such failures as the BAFTA Award-nominated The Magus
The Magus (film)
The Magus is a 1968 film British mystery film directed by Guy Green. The screenplay was written by John Fowles, based on his novel of the same name. It starred Michael Caine, Anthony Quinn, Candice Bergen and Anna Karina...

(1968), the Academy Award-nominated The Swarm (1978), Ashanti (1979) (which he claimed were the worst three films of all the other worst films he ever made), Beyond the Poseidon Adventure
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure is a 1979 American disaster film, a sequel to the 1972 film The Poseidon Adventure. It was directed by Irwin Allen and starred Michael Caine and Sally Field...

(1979), The Island
The Island (1980 film)
The Island is a 1980 American thriller film, directed by Michael Ritchie and starring Michael Caine and David Warner. The film was based on a novel of the same name by Peter Benchley who also wrote the screenplay...

(1980), The Hand
The Hand (film)
The Hand is a 1981 psychological horror film written and directed by Oliver Stone, based on the novel The Lizard's Tail by Marc Brandell and a remake of the 1946 film The Beast with Five Fingers. The film stars Michael Caine and Andrea Marcovicci. Caine plays Jon Lansdale, a comic book artist who...

(1981) and a reunion with his Sleuth co-star Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

 in The Jigsaw Man
The Jigsaw Man (film)
The Jigsaw Man British espionage film starring Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier and Robert Powell. Directed by Terence Young, it was based on a novel by Dorothea Bennett and the screenplay was by Jo Eisinger.-Plot:...

(1982). Although Caine also took better roles, including a BAFTA-winning turn in Educating Rita
Educating Rita (film)
Educating Rita is a 1983 film of Willy Russell's play of the same title directed by Lewis Gilbert and stars Julie Walters, Michael Caine, and Maureen Lipman with a screenplay by Russell.-Premise:...

(1983), and an Oscar-winning one in Hannah and Her Sisters
Hannah and Her Sisters
Hannah and Her Sisters is a 1986 American comedy-drama film which tells the intertwined stories of an extended family over two years that begin and end with a family Thanksgiving dinner...

(1986) and a Golden Globe-nominated one in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (film)
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a 1988 American comedy film directed by Frank Oz. The screenplay by Dale Launer, Stanley Shapiro, and Paul Henning focuses on two con artists who ply their trade on the French Riviera...

(1988), he continued to appear in notorious duds like the thinly veiled skin flick Blame It on Rio
Blame it on Rio
Blame it on Rio is a 1984 romantic comedy film, written by Charlie Peters and Larry Gelbart and directed by Stanley Donen. The script is based on the 1977 French film, Un moment d'égarement. The original music score was composed by Kenneth Wannberg...

, the Dick Clement
Dick Clement
Dick Clement, OBE is an English writer.Born in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England, Clement was educated at Bishop's Stortford College and is best known for his writing partnership with Ian La Frenais. Generally, Clement and La Frenais write comedies, or dramas with a comic tone...

 and Ian Le Frenais comedy Water
Water (1985 film)
Water is a 1985 comedy film scripted by Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais, directed by Clement, and starring Michael Caine. This HandMade Films production was released in U.S. theatres in April 1986 by Atlantic Releasing.-Plot summary:...

and the critical-commercial flop Jaws: The Revenge
Jaws: The Revenge
Jaws: The Revenge, Also known as, 'Jaws 4: The Revenge', is a 1987 thriller film directed by Joseph Sargent. It is the third sequel to Steven Spielberg's Jaws and the final installment of the series....

(1987) (in which he had mixed feelings about the production and the final cut) and Bullseye!
Bullseye!
Bullseye! is a 1990 comedy motion picture starring Michael Caine and Roger Moore. It was directed by Michael Winner.-Plot:Moore and Caine play dual roles—a pair of small time con-men and a pair of inept nuclear physicists who believe they have invented a limitless supply of energy...

(1990); his appearing in so many films that did not meet with critical or box office acclaim made him the butt of numerous jokes on the subject. Of the former, Caine famously said (primarily about Jaws: The Revenge) "I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible. However I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific." All these film failures later became cult film
Cult film
A cult film, also commonly referred to as a cult classic, is a film that has acquired a highly devoted but specific group of fans. Often, cult movies have failed to achieve fame outside the small fanbases; however, there have been exceptions that have managed to gain fame among mainstream audiences...

s among his fans today. His other successful films (either critically and/or financially) were the 1978 Academy Award-winning California Suite
California Suite (film)
California Suite is a 1978 American comedy film directed by Herbert Ross. The screenplay by Neil Simon is based on his play of the same title...

, the 1980 Golden Globe-nominated slasher film
Slasher film
A slasher film is a type of horror film typically involving a psychopathic killer stalking and killing a sequence of victims in a graphically violent manner, often with a cutting tool such as a knife or axe...

 Dressed to Kill, the 1981 war film
War film
War films are a film genre concerned with warfare, usually about naval, air or land battles, sometimes focusing instead on prisoners of war, covert operations, military training or other related subjects. At times war films focus on daily military or civilian life in wartime without depicting battles...

 Escape to Victory
Escape to Victory
Escape to Victory, known simply as Victory in North America, is a 1981 film about Allied prisoners of war who are interned in a German prison camp during World War II...

, the 1982 film Deathtrap
Deathtrap (film)
Deathtrap is a 1982 thriller film based on Ira Levin's play of the same name.The cast includes Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, Dyan Cannon, Irene Worth and Henry Jones...

, and the 1986 Academy Award-nominated Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa (film)
Mona Lisa is a 1986 British film about a petty criminal who becomes entangled in the dangerous life of a high-class call girl. The movie was written by Neil Jordan and David Leland, and directed by Jordan. It was produced by George Harrison's HandMade Films...

. He also starred in Without a Clue
Without a Clue
Without a Clue is a 1988 British comedy film directed by Thom Eberhardt and starring Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley and Lysette Anthony.-Plot:...

, portraying Sherlock Holmes.

1990s

The 1990s were a lean time for Caine, as he found good parts harder to come by. A high point came when he played Ebenezer Scrooge
Ebenezer Scrooge
Ebenezer Scrooge is the principal character in Charles Dickens's 1843 novel, A Christmas Carol. At the beginning of the novel, Scrooge is a cold-hearted, tight-fisted and greedy man, who despises Christmas and all things which give people happiness...

 in the critically acclaimed The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Muppet Christmas Carol is a 1992 musical comedy film adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, starring Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge, directed by Brian Henson, produced by The Jim Henson Company, and released by Walt Disney Pictures...

(1992), which he considers to be one of his most memorable roles. He played the beleaguered stage director Lloyd Dallas in the film adaptation of Noises Off (1992). He also played a villain in the Steven Seagal
Steven Seagal
Steven Frederic Seagal is an American action film star, producer, writer, martial artist, guitarist and reserve deputy sheriff. A 7th-dan black belt in Aikido, Seagal began his adult life as an Aikido instructor in Japan...

 film On Deadly Ground
On Deadly Ground
On Deadly Ground is a 1994 environmental action-adventure film, co-produced, directed by and starring Steven Seagal, and co-starring in an all-star cast, Michael Caine, Joan Chen, John C. McGinley, R. Lee Ermey, Kenji Nakano, and Billy Bob Thornton in one of his early appearances. The film held a...

(1994). He was in two straight to video Harry Palmer sequels and a few television films. However, Caine's reputation as a pop icon was still intact, thanks to his roles in films such as The Italian Job and Get Carter. His performance in 1998's Little Voice
Little Voice (film)
Little Voice is a 1998 British drama film with music written and directed by Mark Herman. The screenplay is based on the play The Rise and Fall of Little Voice by Jim Cartwright.- Plot :...

was seen as something of a return to form, and won him a Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
The Golden Globe Award is an accolade bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign...

. Better parts followed, including The Cider House Rules
The Cider House Rules (film)
The Cider House Rules is a 1999 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström, based on John Irving's novel of the same name. The film won two Academy Awards, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, along with four other nominations at the 72nd Academy Awards...

(1999), for which he won his second Oscar.

2000s

In the 2000s, Caine appeared in Miss Congeniality (2000), Last Orders
Last Orders (film)
Last Orders is a 2001 British/German drama film written and directed by Fred Schepisi. The screenplay is based on the 1996 Booker Prize-winning novel of the same title by Graham Swift.-Synopsis:...

(2001), The Quiet American
The Quiet American (2002 film)
The Quiet American is a 2002 film adaptation of Graham Greene's bestselling novel of the same name. It was directed by Phillip Noyce and starred Michael Caine, George Henry Hsu, Brendan Fraser, and Do Thi Hai Yen....

(2002), for which he was Oscar-nominated, and others that helped rehabilitate his reputation. Several of Caine's classic films have been remade, including The Italian Job
The Italian Job
The Italian Job is a 1969 British caper film, written by Troy Kennedy Martin, produced by Michael Deeley and directed by Peter Collinson. Subsequent television showings and releases on video have established it as an institution in the United Kingdom....

, Get Carter
Get Carter
Get Carter is a 1971 British crime film directed by Mike Hodges and starring Michael Caine as Jack Carter, a gangster who sets out to avenge the death of his brother in a series of unrelenting and brutal killings played out against the grim background of derelict urban housing in the city of...

, Alfie and Sleuth. In the 2007 remake
Sleuth (2007 film)
Sleuth is a 2007 thriller film directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Jude Law and Michael Caine. The screenplay by Harold Pinter is an adaption of Anthony Shaffer's Tony Award-winning play Sleuth...

 of Sleuth, Caine took over the role Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

 played in the 1972 version and Jude Law
Jude Law
David Jude Heyworth Law , known professionally as Jude Law, is an English actor, film producer and director.He began acting with the National Youth Music Theatre in 1987, and had his first television role in 1989...

 played Caine's original role. Caine also starred in Austin Powers in Goldmember
Austin Powers in Goldmember
Austin Powers in Goldmember is a 2002 American spy comedy film and the third installment of the Austin Powers series starring Mike Myers in the title role. The movie was directed by Jay Roach, and co-written by Mike Myers and Michael McCullers. Myers also plays the roles of Dr. Evil, Goldmember,...

(2002) as Austin's father and in 2003 he co-starred with Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
Robert Selden Duvall is an American actor and director. He has won an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and a BAFTA over the course of his career....

 in Secondhand Lions
Secondhand Lions
Secondhand Lions is a 2003 American dramedy film written and directed by Tim McCanlies. It tells the story of an introverted young boy who is sent to live with his eccentric uncles on a farm in the U.S...

. In 2005, he was cast as Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth
Alfred Pennyworth
Alfred Pennyworth is a fictional character that appears throughout the DC Comics franchise. The character first appears in Batman #16 , and was created by writer Bob Kane and artist Jerry Robinson. Alfred serves as Batman’s tireless butler, assistant, confidant, and surrogate father figure...

 in the first production of the new Batman film series
Batman Begins
Batman Begins is a 2005 American superhero action film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman, directed by Christopher Nolan. It stars Christian Bale as Batman, along with Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, Tom Wilkinson,...

. In 2006, he appeared in the films Children of Men
Children of Men
Children of Men is a 2006 science fiction film loosely adapted from P. D. James's 1992 novel The Children of Men, directed by Alfonso Cuarón. In 2027, two decades of human infertility have left society on the brink of collapse. Illegal immigrants seek sanctuary in England, where the last...

and The Prestige
The Prestige (film)
The Prestige is a 2006 mystery thriller film written, directed and co-produced by Christopher Nolan, with a screenplay adapted from Christopher Priest's 1995 novel of the same name. The story follows Robert Angier and Alfred Borden, rival stage magicians in London at the end of the 19th century...

. In 2007 he appeared in Flawless
Flawless (2007 film)
Flawless is a 2007 British fictional crime film directed by Michael Radford, written by Edward Anderson, and starring Michael Caine and Demi Moore....

, while in 2008 he reprised his role as Alfred in Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan
Christopher Jonathan James Nolan is a British-American film director, screenwriter and producer.He received serious notice after his second feature Memento , which he wrote and directed based on a story idea by his brother, Jonathan Nolan. Jonathan went to co-write later scripts with him,...

's critically acclaimed Batman sequel, The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight (film)
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is part of Nolan's Batman film series and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins...

as well as starring in the British drama Is Anybody There?, which explores the final days of life.

It was reported by Empire magazine
Empire (magazine)
Empire is a British film magazine published monthly by Bauer Consumer Media. From the first issue in July 1989, the magazine was edited by Barry McIlheney and published by Emap. Bauer purchased Emap Consumer Media in early 2008...

 that Caine had said that Harry Brown
Harry Brown (film)
Harry Brown is a 2009 British action drama film directed by Daniel Barber and starring Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Jack O'Connell, and Liam Cunningham....

(released on 13 November 2009) would be his last lead role. Caine later declared (in the Daily Mirror) that he had been misquoted by the magazine.

2010s

Caine had a cameo appearance in Christopher Nolan's science fiction thriller, Inception
Inception
Inception: The Subconscious Jams 1994-1995 is a compilation of unreleased tracks by the band Download.-Track listing:# "Primitive Tekno Jam" – 3:23# "Bee Sting Sickness" – 8:04# "Weed Acid Techno" – 8:19...

. He voiced Finn McMissile in Pixar
Pixar
Pixar Animation Studios, pronounced , is an American computer animation film studio based in Emeryville, California. The studio has earned 26 Academy Awards, seven Golden Globes, and three Grammy Awards, among many other awards and acknowledgments. Its films have made over $6.3 billion worldwide...

's 2011 film Cars 2
Cars 2
Cars 2 is a 2011 American computer-animated action film produced by Pixar, and it is the sequel to the 2006 film, Cars. In the film, race car Lightning McQueen and tow truck Mater head to Japan and Europe to compete in the World Grand Prix, but Mater becomes sidetracked with international espionage...

and also voiced a supporting role in the animation, Gnomeo and Juliet
Gnomeo and Juliet
Gnomeo & Juliet is a 2011 computer-animated family comedy film based on William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. The film is directed by Kelly Asbury, and the two main characters are voiced by James McAvoy and Emily Blunt. The film was released on , 2011.-Plot:Mrs. Montague and Mr. Capulet are...

. He is also set to star in the upcoming 2011 film Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is an upcoming American 3D action-adventure film directed by Brad Peyton and the sequel to the 2008 film Journey to the Center of the Earth....

alongside Josh Hutcherson
Josh Hutcherson
Joshua Ryan "Josh" Hutcherson is an American film and television actor. He began working in the early 2000s, appearing in several minor film and television roles...

 and Dwayne Johnson. Caine will reprise his role as Alfred Pennyworth in the Batman sequel, The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises is an upcoming epic superhero film. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film will be the third and final installment in Nolan's Batman film series, and is a sequel to Batman Begins and The Dark Knight...

, due for release in mid 2012.

Awards and honours

Caine has been Oscar-nominated six times, winning his first Academy Award for the 1986 film Hannah and Her Sisters, and his second in 1999 for The Cider House Rules, in both cases as a supporting actor. Caine is one of only two actors to be nominated for an Academy Award for acting (either lead or supporting) in every decade since the 1960s. The other is Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
John Joseph "Jack" Nicholson is an American actor, film director, producer and writer. He is renowned for his often dark portrayals of neurotic characters. Nicholson has been nominated for an Academy Award twelve times, and has won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice: for One Flew Over the...

. The two actors starred together in the 1996 film Blood and Wine
Blood and Wine
Blood and Wine is a neo-noir thriller directed by Bob Rafelson from a screenplay written by Nick Villiers and Alison Cross. It stars Jack Nicholson, Jennifer Lopez, Stephen Dorff, Judy Davis and Michael Caine...

.

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1992 Queen's Birthday Honours
Queen's Birthday Honours
The Queen's Birthday Honours is a part of the British honours system, being a civic occasion on the celebration of the Queen's Official Birthday in which new members of most Commonwealth Realms honours are named. The awards are presented by the reigning monarch or head of state, currently Queen...

, and in the 2000 New Year Honours
New Year Honours
The New Year Honours is a part of the British honours system, being a civic occasion on the New Year annually in which new members of most Commonwealth Realms honours are named. The awards are presented by the reigning monarch or head of state, currently Queen Elizabeth II...

 he was knighted
Knight Bachelor
The rank of Knight Bachelor is a part of the British honours system. It is the most basic rank of a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not as a member of one of the organised Orders of Chivalry...

 as Sir Maurice Micklewhite CBE. On 5 January 2011, he was made a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres is an Order of France, established on 2 May 1957 by the Minister of Culture, and confirmed as part of the Ordre national du Mérite by President Charles de Gaulle in 1963...

 by France's culture minister, Frédéric Mitterrand
Frédéric Mitterrand
Frédéric Mitterrand , a Franco-Tunisian citizen, is the French Minister of Culture and Communication. Throughout his career, he has been an actor, screenwriter, television presenter, writer, producer and director.-Biography:...

.

In 2008, he was awarded the prize for Outstanding Contribution to Showbusiness at the Variety Club Awards.

In popular culture

Caine is a popular subject for impressionists and mimics, having a voice and manner of speaking that are distinctive, yet fairly easy to imitate. Most Caine impressions include the catchphrase "Not a lot of people know that." Peter Sellers
Peter Sellers
Richard Henry Sellers, CBE , known as Peter Sellers, was a British comedian and actor. Perhaps best known as Chief Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther film series, he is also notable for playing three different characters in Dr...

 initiated this when he appeared on BBC1's Parkinson
Michael Parkinson
Sir Michael Parkinson, CBE is an English broadcaster, journalist and author. He presented his interview programme, Parkinson, from 1971 to 1982 and from 1998 to 2007.- Early life :...

show on 28 October 1972 and said: "Not many people know that. This is my Michael Caine impression. You see, Mike's always quoting from the Guinness Book of Records. At the drop of a hat he'll trot one out. 'Did you know that it takes a man in a tweed suit five and a half seconds to fall from the top of Big Ben to the ground?' Now there's not many people who know that!". The line had been used earlier in Spike Milligan
Spike Milligan
Terence Alan Patrick Seán "Spike" Milligan Hon. KBE was a comedian, writer, musician, poet, playwright, soldier and actor. His early life was spent in India, where he was born, but the majority of his working life was spent in the United Kingdom. He became an Irish citizen in 1962 after the...

's script for The Last Goon Show of All
The Last Goon Show of All
The Last Goon Show of All, broadcast on 5 October 1972, was a special edition of the famous BBC Radio show, The Goon Show, commissioned as part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the BBC. It was simulcast on radio and television, and later released as an audio recording on long-playing...

, performed on 5 October 1972. In 1983, Caine was given the line to say as an in-joke in the film Educating Rita
Educating Rita (film)
Educating Rita is a 1983 film of Willy Russell's play of the same title directed by Lewis Gilbert and stars Julie Walters, Michael Caine, and Maureen Lipman with a screenplay by Russell.-Premise:...

. The line has also been parodied, along with its impression, in the British sketch comedy show, Harry Enfield's Television Programme
Harry Enfield's Television Programme
Harry Enfield's Television Programme was a British sketch show starring Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse...

, with Paul Whitehouse
Paul Whitehouse
Paul Whitehouse is a Welsh actor, writer and comedian. He became known for his work with Harry Enfield and as one of the stars of the popular BBC sketch show, The Fast Show. In a 2005 poll to find The Comedian's Comedian, he was in the top 50 comedy acts voted for by comedians and comedy insiders...

 as a stalking neighbourhood character called Michael Paine, who introduced himself with the line "My name is Michael Paine, and I am a nosey neighbour." Caine himself parodied the phenomenon in an interview with Michael Parkinson
Michael Parkinson
Sir Michael Parkinson, CBE is an English broadcaster, journalist and author. He presented his interview programme, Parkinson, from 1971 to 1982 and from 1998 to 2007.- Early life :...

, imitating others' impressions of him and including the catchphrase.

Personal life

Caine lives near Leatherhead
Leatherhead
Leatherhead is a town in the County of Surrey, England, on the River Mole, part of Mole Valley district. It is thought to be of Saxon origin...

, Surrey, and is patron to the Leatherhead Drama Festival. He has also lived in North Stoke, Oxfordshire
North Stoke, Oxfordshire
North Stoke is a village beside the River Thames in the Crowmarsh civil parish in South Oxfordshire, south of the market town of Wallingford.-Parish church:...

, Clewer
Clewer
Clewer is an ecclesiastical parish and region of Windsor making up three wards of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in the English county of Berkshire.-History:...

 near Windsor, Berkshire, Lowestoft
Lowestoft
Lowestoft is a town in the English county of Suffolk. The town is on the North Sea coast and is the most easterly point of the United Kingdom. It is north-east of London, north-east of Ipswich and south-east of Norwich...

 in Suffolk and Chelsea Harbour
Chelsea Harbour
Chelsea Harbour is a mixed-use development in Central London, situated on the north bank of the River Thames, in the Sands End area. It lies within the eastern boundary of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and on the southwestern boundary of the Royal Borough of Kensington and...

 in London. In addition, Caine owns a unit at The Apogee in Miami Beach
Miami Beach, Florida
Miami Beach is a coastal resort city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States, incorporated on March 26, 1915. The municipality is located on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, the latter which separates the Beach from Miami city proper...

, Florida. He still keeps a small flat near where he grew up in South East London. Caine published a volume of memoirs, What's It All About? in 1992 and told BBC Radio in 2010 he was preparing another, especially for aspiring actors.

He was married to actress Patricia Haines
Patricia Haines
Patricia Haines was an English actress.Born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, Haines is best known for her television work...

 from 1955 to 1958. They had a daughter, Dominique (who was named after the heroine of the novel The Fountainhead
The Fountainhead
The Fountainhead is a 1943 novel by Ayn Rand. It was Rand's first major literary success and brought her fame and financial success. More than 6.5 million copies of the book have been sold worldwide....

by Ayn Rand). He dated Bianca Jagger
Bianca Jagger
Bianca Jagger is a Nicaraguan-born social and human rights advocate and a former actress and model...

 in 1968. Caine has been married to actress and model Shakira Baksh
Shakira Caine
Shakira Caine , is a Guyanese-British former fashion model and actress of Indian descent....

 since 8 January 1973. They met after Caine saw her appearing in a Maxwell House
Maxwell House
Maxwell House is a brand of coffee manufactured by a like-named division of Kraft Foods. Introduced in 1892, it is named in honor of the Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. For many years until the late 1980s it was the largest-selling coffee in the U.S. and is currently second behind...

 coffee commercial and a friend gave him her telephone number. They have a daughter, Natasha Haleema.

Some time after his mother died, Caine and his younger brother, Stanley
Stanley Caine
Stanley Caine is the younger brother of actor Michael Caine. He is noted for his role as Coco in the popular 1969 film The Italian Job, which starred his brother.-Filmography:* Softly, Softly...

, learned they had an elder half-brother, named David. He suffered from severe epilepsy
Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a common chronic neurological disorder characterized by seizures. These seizures are transient signs and/or symptoms of abnormal, excessive or hypersynchronous neuronal activity in the brain.About 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, and nearly two out of every three new cases...

 and had been kept in Cane Hill Mental Hospital
Cane Hill
Cane Hill was a psychiatric hospital in Coulsdon in the London Borough of Croydon. Built to care for patients in the eastern part of Surrey, remote from the Springfield and Brookwood Asylums, it opened in 1882 as the Third Surrey County Lunatic Asylum. Following a gradual winding down of...

 his entire life. Although their mother regularly visited her first son in the hospital, even her husband did not know the child existed. David died in 1992.

Trivia books written by Caine include Not Many People Know That!, And Not Many People Know This Either!, Michael Caine's Moving Picture Show and Not A Lot of People Know This is 1988. Proceeds from the books went to the National Playing Fields Association
National Playing Fields Association
The National Playing Fields Association , from 2007 rebranded as Fields in Trust , was founded in 1925 and granted a Royal Charter in 1933...

 (now Fields In Trust) of which Caine was a prominent supporter.

Unlike many actors who adopt their stage name for everyday use, Caine still uses his real name when he is not working.

Caine was called up for national service
National service
National service is a common name for mandatory government service programmes . The term became common British usage during and for some years following the Second World War. Many young people spent one or more years in such programmes...

 in the British Army in 1951 when he was aged 18 and was deployed to South Korea to help in the aftermath of the North Korean invasion
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

. He served as part of the Royal Fusiliers. He said he had gone into it feeling sympathetic to communism, coming as he did from a poor family. But he has said the experience left him permanently repelled.

Politics

Caine has been open about his political views. He left Britain in the 1970s, citing the 82% tax levied on top earners by the Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 government of the time, but returned to Britain several years later when taxes were lowered:

"I decided not to become a tax exile
Tax exile
A tax exile is one who chooses to leave a country with a high tax burden and instead to reside in a foreign nation or jurisdiction which takes a lower portion of earnings. Going into tax exile is a means of tax mitigation or avoidance.-Legal status:...

, so I stayed in Britain, but they kept putting the tax up, so I'd do any old thing every now and then to pay the tax, that was my tax exile money. I realised that's not a socialist country, it's a communist country without a dictator, so I left and I was never going to come back. Maggie Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

 came in and put the taxes back down and in the end, you know, you don't mind paying tax. What am I going to do? Not pay tax and drive around in a Rolls Royce
Rolls-Royce (car)
This a list of Rolls-Royce motor cars and includes vehicles produced by:*Rolls-Royce Limited *Rolls-Royce Motors , which was owned by Vickers between 1980 and 1998, and after that by Volkswagen...

, with cripples begging on the street like you see in some countries?"


"I voted for Maggie Thatcher because I thought we needed a change from that long period of socialism; I voted for Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 because we had a great long period of Conservatism."


In 2009, Caine openly criticised the Labour government's proposed new 50% tax on top earners:

"The Government has taken tax up to 50 per cent and if it goes to 51 I will be back in America. They have reached their limit with me and that's what will happen to a lot of people. You know how much they made out of that high taxation all those years ago? Nothing. But they sent a mass of incredible brains to America. We've got 3.5 million layabouts laying about on benefits
Welfare
Welfare refers to a broad discourse which may hold certain implications regarding the provision of a minimal level of wellbeing and social support for all citizens without the stigma of charity. This is termed "social solidarity"...

, and I'm 76, getting up at 6 am to go to work to keep them. Let's get everybody back to work so we can save a couple of billion and cut tax, not keep sticking it on."


"You're saying to poor people, 'let's tax those rich gits' and I understand that. You slice up the cake, give everyone a chance, but don't destroy the people that are making the bloody cake! I really believe about taking care of people, I don't mind paying tax. It's how the government spends my tax that I detest, really detest, because I see the waste. More money than all our income tax is spent on benefits. Now you tell me there is nothing wrong with that system."


Caine also stated in 2009 that he was likely to vote for the Conservatives
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 again:

"I'll probably vote Conservative. I mean, we're in a terrible state whichever way you look at it, socially, financially and politically, so just give the other guy a chance. I don't know what Cameron
David Cameron
David William Donald Cameron is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service and Leader of the Conservative Party. Cameron represents Witney as its Member of Parliament ....

's going to do, but in the end you vote out of desperation. You just have to have someone new and see what happens."


Following the launch of his film Harry Brown
Harry Brown (film)
Harry Brown is a 2009 British action drama film directed by Daniel Barber and starring Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Jack O'Connell, and Liam Cunningham....

, Caine called for the reintroduction of national service
National service
National service is a common name for mandatory government service programmes . The term became common British usage during and for some years following the Second World War. Many young people spent one or more years in such programmes...

 in the UK to give young people "a sense of belonging rather than a sense of violence".

During the run up to the 2010 General Election, Caine publicly endorsed the Conservative Party, despite claiming to have supported New Labour in 1997. He appeared with David Cameron for the Conservative leader's launch of a civilian non-compulsory 'National Service' for teenagers.

Musical career

Caine is a fan of chill-out music and has compiled a mix CD called Cained, which was released in 2007 by UMTV
UMTV
Universal Music TV is a London-based record label that was formed in 1998.Owned by Universal Music Group, UMTV specialises in producing compilation albums and occasional single releases...

. According to Michael Caine, he met Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

 and was discussing musical tastes, when Caine claimed that he had been creating chillout mix tapes as an amateur for years. Also in music, Caine provided vocal samples for the band Madness
Madness (band)
In 1979, the band recorded the Lee Thompson composition "The Prince". The song, like the band's name, paid homage to their idol, Prince Buster. The song was released through 2 Tone Records, the label of The Specials founder Jerry Dammers. The song was a surprise hit, peaking in the UK music charts...

 for their 1984 hit "Michael Caine"
Michael Caine (song)
"Michael Caine" is a song by British band Madness from their 1984 album Keep Moving, and was released as a single in the same year. "Michael Caine", written by the unique pairing of Carl Smyth and Daniel Woodgate, featured Smyth on lead vocals, which was unlike most Madness songs, which were sung...

 as his daughter was a fan. He has sung in film roles as well, including for the musical film, The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Muppet Christmas Carol is a 1992 musical comedy film adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, starring Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge, directed by Brian Henson, produced by The Jim Henson Company, and released by Walt Disney Pictures...

.

External links

in 2010
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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