Interviews


Michael Caine


Occupation: Acting teacher, Actor
Date of Birth: March 14, 1933
Place of Birth: London, England, U.K.
Sign: Sun in Pisces, Moon in Scorpio
Relations: Wife: Shakira Baksh (Miss Guyana finalist); ex-wife: Patricia Haines; kids: Dominique, Natasha
Education:

 

BORN to a fish-porter father and a charwoman mother in South London, Maurice Micklewhite emerged from dismal poverty to hit it big, in 1966, as a low-class Cockney lothario named Alfie and as bespectacled agent Harry Palmer in a trilogy of spy flicks. Along the way, he ditched his embarrassment of a surname in favor of the more urbane appellation of Caine as a tribute to his favorite movie, The Caine Mutiny.

Back in the early days of his career, Caine was the ultimate scrappy swinger; he's long since curbed his penchant for booze and violence in favor of an aura of suave sophistication. He has plenty going for him as a result  marital stability, dramatic versatility  and he remains driven to the point of workaholism. He is also surprisingly sexy behind a pair of horn-rims. Of Caine's more than seventy pictures, The Man Who Would Be King (1975) is likely his most enterprising and enduring venture, though he managed to swipe a Golden Globe for Educating Rita, and a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Hannah and Her Sisters. (Caine has been acknowledged by the Academy for his lead work in Alfie, Sleuth, and Educating Rita.)

In his 1992 autobiography, Caine revealed that his mother concealed another son in a mental institution for forty years. Despite such fantastic but true tales of his life, Caine failed to make the The New York Times or Publishers Weekly best-seller lists.

The sixty-four-year-old actor's prolific output has tapered off in recent years, as he has devoted more and more time to restaurateuring  he owns five restaurants in London, and one in Miami. He played a sickly ex-con opposite Jack Nicholson in the 1997 drama Blood and Wine, and that same year starred in a handful of TV projects  Len Deighton's Bullet to Beijing (reprising his role as superspy Harry Palmer), Mandela & DeKlerk, and the ABC mini-series 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (as Captain Nemo, no less). 1998 brought a gem of a role as a sleazy talent agent in Little Voice, director Mark Herman's winning adaptation of Jim Cartwright's West End hit The Rise and Fall of Little Voice. The following year, he portrayed Dr. Wilbur Larch to Tobey Maguire's Homer Wells in a big-screen adaptation of the beloved John Irving novel The Cider House Rules; his performance garnered a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. As for his next big-screen appearance, Caine will play a ghost who teaches James Spader the value of committed love in the Peter Yates romantic comedy Curtain Call.

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