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!
Sir Michael Caine CBE (born 1933) is a British actor with over a hundred films ranging from Zulu to the The Dark Knight. Willing to do parts for the money, or for art. He's an elder statesman of acting being nominated for an Academy Award every decade since the 1960s, sharing the honor only with Jack Nicholson. He won twice for Best Supporting Actor for Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and The Cider House Rules (1999), and has been nominated for leading roles several times over. Often the source of imitation by many comedians because of his distinct Cockney accent.
The films of Michael Caine include:
- Zulu (1964)
- Harry Palmer series (1965-1996, including Funeral in Berlin)
- Alfie (1966)
- Battle of Britain (1969)
- The Italian Job (1969)
- Get Carter (1971)
- Sleuth (1972)
- The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
- A Bridge Too Far (1977)
- Educating Rita (1983)
- Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
- Jaws the Revenge (1987)
- The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
- Get Carter (2000) (remake of the 1971 film)
- Miss Congeniality (2000)
- Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
- The Quiet American (2002)
- Secondhand Lions (2003)
- Batman Begins (2005)
- Children of Men (2006)
- The Prestige (2006)
- Sleuth (2007) (remake of the 1972 film)
- The Dark Knight (2008)
- Harry Brown (2009)
- Inception (2010)
- Cars 2 (2011)
- Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)
- The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
- Badass Grandpa:
- In Harry Brown.
- It's also the reason he did Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, saying that he wants to be in a film where his grandkids can brag about having a grandpa who rode a giant bee.
- British Accents: Has one of the most recognizable and most imitated Cockney accents in the world.
- Catch Phrase: "Not many people know that."...which is actually a bizarre case of Beam Me Up, Scotty, as it was actually Peter Sellers doing a Caine impersonation.
- Cool Old Guy: His roles in recent films.
- Fake American: In The Cider House Rules and Secondhand Lions.
- Line-of-Sight Name
- Love At First Sight: Fell in love with his wife Shakira when he saw her one night on TV in a coffee commercial. Found out who she was, called her up and started dating her. They've been married since 1973.
- Long-Lost Relative: In the early Nineties, a few years after his mother died Michael discovered that he had an older brother he knew nothing about living in an institution in London. His mother had him out of wedlock before she met Caine's father and he was suffering from epilepsy and brain damage from an injury and had to be put in a hospital. His mother visited him every week but kept him a secret until the day she died because she thought it would hurt her other son's career.
- Money, Dear Boy: The reason he accepted parts in many terrible films like Jaws the Revenge and On Deadly Ground.
- Nerd Glasses.
- One Degree of Separation: Michael Caine claims that everyone he knew as a struggling actor in London during Sixties ended up becoming famous like him:
I was friends with Stan Getz, and Lionel Bart, who wrote Oliver! The painter Francis Bacon lived next door. He always tried to get me into his studio to paint me, but he was very gay and I thought, “I’m not going up there.” An actor called David Baron said he was going to write a play, and I said I’d act in it. He called it The Room and he did it under his real name, Harold Pinter. In the sixties, everyone you knew became famous. My flatmate was Terence Stamp. My barber was Vidal Sassoon. David Hockney did the menu in a restaurant I went to. I didn’t know anyone unknown who didn’t become famous.
- Rags to Riches. Grew up in poverty during The Great Depression in the same London area he would film Harry Brown sixty years later.
- Rule of Sean Connery: Especially later in his career, he tends to have a memorable scene or character worth watching. He even gets a billing in Inception despite having only three minutes of screen time in a 140-minute film. For his review of that film, Roger Ebert noted how quickly Caine can show up in any movie and immediately look and feel like the wisest character in the movie just from the way he carries himself.
- Stage Names: Michael Caine was born Maurice Micklewhite. It got laughs in the audience when his first credit appeared on a film so he took the stage name "Michael Scott". His agent told him over the phone he had to change it again because it was already taken. (Steve Carell hadn't even been born yet.) Looking around the public pay phone in Leicester Square he saw a marquee of a theater playing The Caine Mutiny, and decided to be called Michael Caine. He would joke later that if he looked the other way his name would now be "Michael 101 Dalmatians"!
- Star-Making Role: The title role of Alfie made him well known internationally.