Michael Caine at his Forecourt ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California, July 11, 2008.
 
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Michael Caine
Forecourt Ceremony held on Friday, July 11, 2008
 
Born: Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, March 14, 1933, in Rotherhithe, London, England
Age at the time of the ceremony: 75
 
Michael Caine is one of the world's most recognized and beloved actors. Handsome and tall and possessing a charming cockney accent, Caine brought a powerhouse acting technique to every film he made; this despite never having taken an acting class in his life (!).

Caine's father and mother were both working class; his father was a porter at the local fish market; his mother was a charwoman. Raised a Protestant, Caine grew up in Southwark, London, with his older half-brother and his younger brother. Relocated to the country during World War II, after the Armistice, the entire family occupied a pre-fab house in London, which replaced the housing bombed out during the war.

A good student, Caine won a scholarship to secondary school and grammar school. At 16, he passed all of his tests, earning a School Certificate, bringing his educational career to an end. He worked odd jobs in the London film business, including working for producer Jay Lewis.

Called to national service in 1952, Caine served in the Royal Fusiliers (Army infantry) in Germany and in the Korean War. After mustering out, Caine took a job as a stage manager and bit player at a small theatre in Horsham, in Sussex. He changed his name to Michael Scott and spent some "brutal" times in small theatres around the country. When his first agent told him that there already was an actor named Michael Scott, he looked up, saw that The Caine Mutiny was playing at a theatre across the street, and took the name Michael Caine.

Caine moved in with another actor with cockney ways — Terrence Stamp — and began recieving bit parts in films and television shows. For example, he did a bit part as a sailor in the comedy Panic in the Parlor (released in September 1956) with Peggy Mount, he was in the ensemble of How to Murder a Rich Uncle (released in June 1957) with Charles Coburn. While hanging about with Peter O'Toole, Caine was still playing bit parts in stuff like The Two-Headed Spy (released in November 1958) with Jack Hawkins.

He guested on Dixon of Dock Green, aired over the BBC in 1959, and guested on William Tell, aired over ITV in April 1959; he played a German soldier in Foxhole in Cairo (released in October 1960) with James Robertson Justice, (and got his name on the poster!). He took over from Peter O'Toole in the play The Long and the Short and the Tall, both on the West End, and touring the country. O'Toole went off to shoot, you know, Lawrence of Arabia. . .

Perhaps this turn of events inspired Caine to appear (with posh accent) as Lt. Gonville Bromhead in the historical epic Zulu (released in January 1964) with Stanley Baker. Zulu didn't win Best Picture, but the film performed very well all over the globe. Caine was now a star. He headlined as agent Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File (which played the Chinese in September 1965) with Nigel Green.

Buddy Terrence Stamp had made a success in it onstage, but refused to do the film version of Alfie (released in March 1966) with Shelly Winters; Caine took the role and was a smash in it. He got prominent billing in the comedy The Wrong Box (released in July 1966) with John Mills.

The Ipcress File was followed with Caine returning as Harry Palmer in Funeral in Berlin (released in February 1966) with Oskar Homolka. Then, he appeared in director Otto Preminger's Hurry Sundown (which played the Chinese in February 1967) with Jane Fonda, and took a role in one of the stories in the omnibus film Woman Times Seven (released in June 1967) with Shirley MacLaine.

Working with enfant terrible director Ken Russell, he played agent Harry Palmer in Billion Dollar Brain (released in January 1968) with Karl Malden, then worked with director Guy Green on The Magus (released in December 1968) with Anthony Quinn; it bombed.

Starring in the wild caper film The Italian Job (released in June 1969) with Noël Coward brought a big success, but Battle of Britain (released in September 1969) with Trevor Howard, was an upward slog in the anti Vietnam War era.

Caine starred as a mobster in Get Carter (released in February 1971) with Ian Hendry, then played Alan Breck in Kidnapped (released in December 1971) with Trevor Howard. Working for director Joseph L. Mankiewicz, he played Milo Tindle opposite Laurence Olivier's Andrew Wyke in Sleuth (released in December 1972).

For director Don Siegal, Caine starred in The Black Windmill (which played the Chinese in May 1974) with Donald Pleasence. Back when they still allowed Joseph Losey to direct films, Caine starred with Glenda Jackson in The Romantic Englishwoman (premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1975).

Director John Huston finally realized his dream; Caine took the role intended for Humphrey Bogart, and Sean Connery taking Clark Gable's role in his adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King (released in December 1975), this remains one great adventure movie.

Caine joined the all-star cast for director Richard Attenborough's A Bridge Too Far (released in June 1977), then, he did the unthinkable; he headlined in Irwin Allen's killer bee flic The Swarm (released in July 1978) with Katherine Ross.

Finally playing a gay man married to Maggie Smith, California Suite (released in December 1978) became a major success; Caine took another chance with Irwin Allen in Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (released in May 1979) with Sally Field, but it flopped. Caine played a sicko in Dressed to Kill (released in July 1980) with Angie Dickinson. Teaming with director John Huston once more, Caine starred in Victory (released in July 1981) with Sylvester Stallone. He starred for director Sidney Lumet in Deathtrap (released in March 1982) with Christopher Reeve.

Educating Rita (released in October 1983) with Julie Walters, was a small-scale hit, while Stanely Donen's Blame it on Rio (released in February 1984) with Joseph Bologna, was also a hit with audiences.

Switching gears, Caine starred as Mia Farrow's husband in Woody Allen's Hanna and Her Sisters (released in March 1986). Caine won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in this film. He played a mob boss in Mona Lisa (released in June 1986) with Bob Hoskins. After that, Caine again did the impossible: he starred in Jaws: The Revenge (released in July 1987) with Lorraine Gary; one truly terrible film. See it, by all means.

For director Frank Oz, Caine starred in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (released in December 1989) with Steve Martin; for director Peter Bogdanovich, he took the main role in the theatrical comedy Noises Off . . . (released in March 1992) with Carol Burnett, then worked with Frank Oz and the Muppets in the wonderful The Muppet Christmas Carol (released in December 1992) with Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit. 1992 also saw the publication of Caine's autobiography, What's It All About?

Caine payed the villian in On Deadly Ground (which played the Chinese in February 1994) with Steven Seagal, then played the good guy Harry Palmer once more in the television movie Bullet to Beijing, aired over The Movie Channel in August 1995. On the brighter side, Caine won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor playing Wilber Larch in The Cider House Rules (released in December 1999) with Tobey Mcquire.

In June of 2000, Caine was Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckinhan Palace. To honor his father, Caine chose to become Sir Maurice Micklewhite.

Caine played a supporting role in the remake of Get Carter (released in October 2000) with Sylvester Stallone, then played a beauty pageant coach for Miss Congeniality (released in December 2000) with Sandra Bullock. He played father to Mike Myers in Austin Powers in Goldenmember (released in July 2002).

Caine was Oscar nominated for Best Actor in The Quiet American (released in March 2003) with Brendan Fraser, and played a Texas farmer / bank robber in Secondhand Lions (released in September 2003) with Robert Duvall. Joining many other celebs, Caine did various voices for Freedom: A History of Us aired over PBS in February, 2003.

A new chapter opened for Caine working with director Christopher Nolan, who has cast Caine in several of his films, beginning with his Alfred in Batman Begins (which played the Chinese in June 2015) with Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader. He played Nicole Kidman's father in the disastrous Bewitched (released in June 2005). He faired somewhat better in Children of Men (released in December 2006) with Julianne Moore.

For the remake of Sleuth (released in November 2007) with Jude Law playing Caine's former role as Milo Tindle, Caine undertook to play Laurence Olivier's part of Andrew in a completely re-written script by Harold Pinter.

Caine returned to play Alfred in The Dark Knight (released in July 2008) with Christain Bale; just before the picture opened nationally (and not at the Chinese — go figure — Caine was asked to come down to the theatre to make his imprints in July 2008.

After publishing his autobiography, The Elephant to Hollywood, in 2010, he took a role in Nolan's Inception (released in July 2010), playing Leonardo DiCapri'os father-in-law. Toe-tipping into the Disney Empire for once, Caine did the voice for Finn McMissle in Cars 2 (released in June 2011), then returned to Nolan Land as Alfred in The Dark Knight Rises (released in July 2012) with Christian Bale. He played the wise old man of science in Interstellar (which played the Chinese in November 2014) with Matthew McConaughey,

Once more for laughs, Caine appeared as "King Arthur" in Kingsman: The Secret Service (released in February 2015) with Colin Firth, then comically robs a bank in Going in Style (released in April 2017) with Morgan Freeman, Continuing along this line, Caine starred in King of Theives (released in December 2018) with Jim Broadbent.

Caine produced and narrated a documentary about Britain in the swingin' 60s called My Generation (premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September, 2017). A third volume of memiors, Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: And Other Lessions in Life, was published in 2018.
 
 
Caption TK
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Michael Caine Forecourt ceremony, Friday,July 11, 2008. Michael Caine shows off hands agreeably dirty.
 
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