Name:
Michael Caine
Birth Date:
March 14, 1933
Birth Place:
Rotherhithe, London, England, UK
Height:
6'2''
Nationality:
British
Famous for:
His role in 'Alfie' (1966)
Profession:
Actor, Producer
BIOGRAPHY
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Billion Dollar Brain

Background:

"My career is going better now than when I was younger. It used to be that I'd get the girl but not the part. Now I get the part but not the girl." Michael Caine

One of Britainís leading action stars during the late 1960s and early 1970s, Michael Caine first came to the spotlight with his portrayal of sly spy Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File (1965) and its sequels: Funeral in Berlin (1966), Billion Dollar Brain (1967), Bullet to Beijing (1995, Showtime original) and Midnight in St. Petersburg (1996). The talented actor, whose trademarks are his glasses (rare for 1960s leading actors) and cockney accent, was nominated for an Academy Award for his roles in Alfie (1966), Sleuth (1972), Educating Rita (1983) and The Quiet American (2002). He won double Best Supporting Actor Academy Awards for his outstanding performances in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and The Cider House Rules (1999), and won a Golden Globe for Little Voice (1998).

An actor since the 1950s, Caine has made more than 80 films and was awarded the British Variety Club Award for Best Film Actor in 1987 and was listed on Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" (October 1997) as well as the Orange 2001ís ďFilm Survey of Greatest British Actors.Ē He also received honor in his native country when he was awarded the CBE (Commander Of The Most Excellent Order Of The British Empire) in 1993 and Knighthood on the Queen's Birthday Honors List (June 17, 2000), for his contribution to the performing arts.

As for his film projects, Caine recently played Alfred in Batman Begins and Nigel Bigelow in Bewitched. He just completed the soon-to-be-released film The Weather Man and is set to reprise his role of Alfred in an Untitled Batman Begins Sequel (slated for a 2008 release).


Maurice Joseph

Childhood and Family:

ďI had been out of work for so long and I was amazed people wanted me. I had a lot of debts and a family and I went out and I made masses of pictures." Michael Caine

Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr., who would later be famous as Michael Caine, was born on March 14, 1933, in Rotherhithe, London, UK to a fish-porter father (Maurice Micklewhite; died in 1957 of liver cancer) and Ellen Maria Micklewhite (died in 1989). He has two brothers: Stanley Micklewhite (born in 1936) and David Burchell (half-brother; born in 1925; died in March 1992 of pneumonia). He left school at 15 and served two years with the National Service in the Army where he was sent to active duty in Korea.

In 1955, Michael Caine married actress Patricia Haines. Their daughter Dominique Caine was born in 1956, just two years before the couple divorced in 1958. On January 8, 1973, Caine exchanged wedding vows with actress/jewelry designer/model Shakira Baksh Caine (born in 1948; Miss Guyana finalist). Their daughter Natasha was born in July of 1973.


The Ipcress File

Career:

"The cinema is my stage; I love the buzz, the adrenaline. The theatre is as hazardous as ice-skatingÖ why do it if you don't have to? Both activities are high risk and low reward. Anyway, there is more money in making films and more enjoyment." Michael Caine

Having begun an acting apprenticeship while still in grammar school, 16-year-old Michael Caine found himself working on the set of British film Morning Departure, in 1949. Two years later, he joined the National Service and spent each year in West Berlin and the Royal Fusiliers in combat in Korea. Returning to England, Caine took night drama classes and changed his name from Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr. to Michael Caine, after seeing The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (1954). He also got first theater job as an assistant stage manager at Westminster Repertory Theatre and later with Lowestoft Repertory Theater.

In the mid 1950s (1954-1956), Caine performed in such repertories as the Theatre Workshop in Stratford East, London, Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop, Sam Wanamaker's company in Liverpool and began appearing regularly on television. He later landed on his early big screen appearance with small parts in 1956's Sailor Beware (a.k.a. Panic in the Parlor), A Hill in Korea (a.k.a. Hell in Korea), 1957's How to Murder a Rich Uncle (a.k.a. Uncle George) and The Steel Bayonet. From the end of the 1950s to the early 1960s, Caine continued to play roles in films like A Woman of Mystery, The Two-Headed Spy, Passport to Shame, Blind Spot, The Key, Carve Her Name with Pride, Danger Within (a.k.a. Breakout), The Bulldog Breed, Foxhole in Cairo, The Day the Earth Caught Fire, Solo for Sparrow and The Wrong Arm of the Law. During this time, Caine was also spotted as a guest in TV shows and appeared in several made-for-TV movies.

Caine eventually received his breakthrough performance after director Cy Endfield cast him to play the lead role of Lt. Gonville Bromhead, an effete and aristocratic officer, in the star-studded adventure epic Zulu (1964, alongside Jack Hawkins, Stanley Baker, James Booth and Ulla Jacobsson). The film is a retell of a historic 19th-century battle in South Africa between British soldiers and Zulu natives, narrated by Richard Burton. He followed it up with the next yearís role of reluctant British spy Harry Palmer in Sidney J Furie's adaptation of Len Deightonís novel, The Ipcress File. The role instantly launched his name toward stardom and Caine later reprised his role in its sequels: Funeral in Berlin (1966), Billion Dollar Brain (1967), Bullet to Beijing (1995, Showtime original) and Midnight in St. Petersburg (1996).

The title role of a womanizing London lothario, in producer-director Lewis Gilbert's film version of Bill Naughton's novel Alfie (1966, with Shelley Winters, Julia Foster, Jane Asher and Shirley Ann Field) tossed Caine toward international recognition. The role earned Caine his first Best Actor Academy Award nomination and won a Golden Globe Award. That same year, Caine made his first Hollywood film in Ronald Neame's crime comedy Gambit, playing a bumbling but debonair English cat burglar, opposite Shirley MacLaine. In the rest of the 1960s, Caine played roles in Hurry Sundown, Play Dirty, Deadfall, The Magus and Battle of Britain. He also portrayed the lead role of mastermind thief Charlie Croker in the British cult favorite, Peter Collinson's The Italian Job (1969).

Caine added to his acting resume such films as Too Late the Hero, The Last Valley, Get Carter, Pulp, and Zee and Co. He also received his second Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his turn as a nice young British hairdresser, who is having an affair with the neglected wife of Laurence Olivierís character, in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Sleuth (1972), adopted from the play by British playwright Anthony Shaffer. In the subsequent years, Caine costarred with Sean Connery in John Huston's Academy Award-nominated epic adventure The Man Who Would Be King (1975, inspired by the 1889 short story by Rudyard Kipling) and joined costars Alan Alda, Bill Cosby, Jane Fonda and Walter Matthau in Neil Simon's bittersweet comedy, adopted from the Broadway hit, Herbert Ross-directed California Suite (1978), playing Maggie Smith's gay husband. He then starred as psychiatrist Doctor Robert Elliott in writer-director Brian De Palma's Dressed to Kill (1980, alongside Angie Dickinson).

Reuniting with Alfie (1966) director Lewis Gilbert, Caine nabbed the next Best Actor Academy Award nomination, thanks to the portrayal of Dr. Frank Bryant, an alcoholic university professor who mentors Julie Walters' character, in the drama comedy Educating Rita (1983). Afterward, he could be seen in The Honorary Consul, Blame It on Rio, Water and The Holcroft Covenant. In 1986, Caine took home a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his turn as the cheating husband of Mia Farrowís character in actor-writer-director Woody Allen's masterwork Hannah and Her Sisters (also with Dianne Wiest and Barbara Hershey). In the next year, Caine made his debut as executive producer in The Fourth Protocol (he also acted).
"I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific." Michael Caine (about starring in Jaws: The Revenge).

The rest of the 1980s saw Caine in Joseph Sargent's disappointing Jaws: the Revenge (1987, with Lorraine Gary and Lance Guest, Caine was nominated for Worst Supporting Actor at the Razzie awards) and starred in the 1988 features Without A Clue and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (costarred with Steve Martin as scheming con artists). During the 1990s, Caine was no less prolific and his career began to stagger with a series of dreary films. He turned up on the small screen, debuting in the US in the CBSí Jack the Ripper (1988) and followed it up with the 1993 HBO spy drama Blue Ice (also co-produced). He also appeared in the 1994 NBC miniseries World War II: When Lions Roared (as Joseph Stalin).

In 1998, Caine revived and gathered critical praise for his portrayal of the disastrous dead-end talent scout Ray Say in Mark Herman adaptation of the Olivier Award-winning London play, Little Voice (starring Jane Horrocks). He then won a second Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the role of orphanage director Dr. Wilbur Larch in Lasse Hallstrom's romantic drama, inspired by the best-selling novel by John Irving, The Cider House Rules (1999, with Tobey Maguire and Charlize Theron).

Roles continued to roll in during the new millennium. Caine costarred in Evy Quaid's comedy The Debtors, teamed with Jeffrey Rush and Kate Winslet in the critically acclaimed Quills and appeared in the Sandra Bullock vehicle, Miss Congeniality. He also starred as a dead butcher whose last orders are to cast his ashes off the Margate Pier, in Fred Schepisi's adaptation of Graham Swift's novel, Last Orders (2001, with Ray Winstone, Bob Hoskins and Tom Courtenay). Director Jay Roach then gave Caine the role Nigel Powers, Austin's beloved father and England's most renowned spy, in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002, with Beyonce Knowles and Mike Myers).

ďWhen I was offered the part of Nigel, I already had a feeling that Austin Powers was based on my character Harry Palmer from The Ipcress File from í65 and Funeral In Berlin from í66. Then Mike (Myers) wrote me a letter saying it was. As I was a creative father of Austin Powers, I thought Iíd better be the real one." Michael Caine

Also in 2002, Caine starred as an opium-addicted British reporter who falls in love with a young Vietnamese woman (played by Do Thi Hai Yen) in Phillip Noyce's screen version of Graham Greene's novel, The Quiet American. His outstanding performance earned leading role nominations at the Golden Globes, BAFTA and Academy Awards. The following year, Caine could be seen as Pierre Brossard, a former Nazi executioner, in Norman Jewison's adaptation of Brian Moore's novel, the drama thriller The Statement (alongside Tilda Swinton). He then portrayed Henry Lair, Josh Lucas' ailing grandfather and a former archaeologist close to death, in writer-director Jordan Roberts' Around the Bend (also with Christopher Walken, Jonah Bobo and Glenne Headly).

Recently, in 2005, director Christopher Nolan handed Caine the role of Alfred in Batman Begins, which stars Christian Bale. He also played supporting roles in writer-director Nora Ephron's big screen version of the '60s classic TV comedy Bewitched (starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell) and Gore Verbinski's soon-to-be-released drama comedy The Weather Man (as Nicolas Cage's father). Caine will also reportedly reprise his role in the upcoming Batman Begins Sequel, which is slated for 2008 release.

Off screen, Caine, who released the autobiography ďWhat's It All AboutĒ in 1992, is an astute businessman. He owns a Film Production company, seven restaurants (six in London, one in Miami) and co-owns the top London restaurant Langan's Brasserie. He also reportedly opened his first Indian restaurant, Deya, in Central London.
ďI only do what I want, work-wise. Itís the fun of it. Iím too old to get up and be with people who I donít want to be with just for the money.Ē Michael Caine


Awards:

  • Bangkok International Film Festival: Best Actor, The Quiet American, 2003
  • London Critics Circle Film: Actor of the Year, The Quiet American, 2003
  • Golden Satellite: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama, The Quiet American, 2003
  • San Francisco Film Critics Circle: Best Actor, The Quiet American, 2002
  • San SebastiŠn International Film Festival: Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award, 2000
  • London Critics Circle Film: British Supporting Actor of the Year, Little Voice, 2000
  • Empire: Lifetime Achievement Award, 2000
  • Screen Actors Guild: Male Actor in a Supporting Role (Theatrical Motion Picture), The Cider House Rules, 1999
  • Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor, The Cider House Rules, 1999
  • National Board of Review Career Achievement, 1998
  • Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), Little Voice, 1998
  • San Sebastian Film Festival: Best Actor, Blood and Wine, 1996
  • Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Miniseries or Made-for-Television Movie, Jack the Ripper; tied with Stacy Keach, 1989
  • New York Film and Television Festival Gold: Best Special-Feature Show, The Trouble with Michael Caine, 1989
  • Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor, Hannah and Her Sisters, 1986
  • Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), Educating Rita, 1983
  • BAFTA: Best Actor, Educating Rita, 1983
  • National Society of Film Critics: Best Actor, Alfie, 1966
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