Born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr. in Bermondsey, England, movie star Sir Michael Caine (1933-) left school at fifteen and fought in the Korean War before turning to the theater.
Of his choice of roles, he said, "First of all, I choose the great (roles), and if none of these come, I choose the mediocre ones, and if they don't come, I choose the ones that pay the rent."
A marquee for The Caine Mutiny (1954, which starred his idol Humphrey Bogart) inspired his name change.
"Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath," said the seemingly unflappable Caine.
Star of theater, film, and television, he gained international attention as the rakish bachelor in Alfie (1966), one of many roles played in a stellar forty-plus-year career, which include such unforgettable films as Sleuth (1972, w/Laurence Olivier), The Man Who Would Be King (1975, w/Sean Connery), and Dressed to Kill (1980, w/Brian De Palma).
"When you reach the top, that’s when the climb begins," observed Caine who won Oscars as best supporting actor for Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and The Cider House Rules (1999). "A rogue hero," praised Time magazine.
“I tried to keep a sense of fun in my acting,” he said and took on the role of Alfred the Butler in the Batman series to please his grown-up daughter.
"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," he said. "I'm not expected to carry a movie. I just have to be a strong character actor."
More Film-Making Quotations
A loving heart is the truest wisdom.