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Sunday, 20 October 2013

Michael Caine

Michael Caine was born on March 14, 1933 in St Olave's Hospital, Rotherhithe, London, the son of Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, a fish market porter, and Ellen Frances Marie (née Burchell), a cook and charwoman.

Micael Caine in 2012. By Manfred Werner / Tsui - Own work, Wikipedia Commons

Born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, he took his stage name from the film The Caine Mutiny (1954).

While he uses "Michael Caine" professionally, he uses his given name in his personal life.

Caine was called up for national service 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. 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

Some time after his mother died, Caine and his younger brother, Stanley, learned they had an elder half-brother, named David. He suffered from severe epilepsy and had been kept in Cane Hill Mental Hospital 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.

In 1957, at Brighton University, Caine appeared in a one-act play written by a fellow actor who went by the name of David Baron. It was Baron's very first play. He later changed his name back to Harold Pinter, the name under which he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005.

Caine lodged with composer John Barry in the early 1960s for a few months, after being forced to leave his own flat, penniless.

Caine shared a London flat with actor Terence Stamp early in his career.

The role of Alfie was turned down by Anthony Newley and Terence Stamp before it was offered to him.

His first American accent was in the film Hurry Sundown (1967). He was taught the Southern drawl by Vivien Leigh, who told him to say "four door Ford" all day long for weeks.

When he starred in 1969 heist film The Italian Job, Caine didn’t have a driving licence.

Throughout the 1960s he was by his own estimation drinking two bottles of vodka and smoking at least eighty cigarettes a day. He quit smoking cigarettes following a stern lecture from Tony Curtis at a party in 1971, and finally quit smoking cigars shortly before his 70th birthday in 2003.

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

Most Caine impressions include the catchphrase "Not a lot of people know that." Peter Sellers initiated this when he appeared on BBC1's Parkinson 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 production offices of Mona Lisa (1986) were located in the disused St Olave's hospital, the very hospital in which Caine was born.

Has been nominated for an Oscar at least once in five consecutive decades (1960s-2000s).

Caine wasn't present at the Academy Awards ceremony when he won best supporting actor for Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) because he was filming Jaws: The Revenge (1987), for which he was nominated for worst supporting actor at the Razzie awards the following year.

"Michael Caine", a top 10 song in Britain in the mid-'80s by the group Madness, had his "My Name Is Michael Caine" quote sampled into the song.

He was awarded the CBE (Commander Of The Order Of The British Empire) in the 1993 Queen's Honours List for his services to drama and formally knighted in the 2000 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his contribution to the performing arts.

He officially changed his name from Maurice Micklewhite to Michael Caine in July 2016 at the age of 83. He said: "An airport security guard would say, ‘Hi, Michael Caine,’ and suddenly I’d give him a passport with a different name on it. I could stand there for an hour. So I changed my name.”

Educating Rita (1983) is his favourite film of his own, and the performance he's the most proud of.

Sources Imdb, Wikipedia

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