Biography and films, a great British actor..Michael Caine

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Billion Dollar Brain

Dir. by Ken Russell (1967), starring Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland & Karl Malden

Billion Dollar Brain is a 1967 British espionage film directed by Ken Russell and based on the novel of the same name by Len Deighton. The film features Michael Caine as secret agent Harry Palmer,..

Bullet to Beijing

Dir. by George Mihalka (1995), starring Michael Caine, Michael Gambon & Mia Sara

Bullet to Beijing is a 1995 made-for-television film that continues the adventures of the fictional spy Harry Palmer, who appeared in the 1960s films The Ipcress File, Funeral in Berlin, and Billion…

Bullseye!

Dir. by Michael Winner (1990), starring John Cleese, Michael Caine & Roger Moore

Bullseye! is a 1990 comedy film starring Michael Caine and Roger Moore. It was directed by Michael Winner..

Cars 2

Dir. by Brad Lewis and John Lasseter (2011), starring Owen Wilson, Michael Caine & Vanessa Redgrave

Cars 2 is a 2011 American computer-animated action comedy spy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is the sequel to the 2006 film Cars and features…

Carve Her Name with Pride

Dir. by Lewis Gilbert (1958), starring Michael Caine, Paul Scofield & Jack Warner

Carve Her Name with Pride is a 1958 British war drama film based on the book of the same name by R.J. Minney.The film, directed by Lewis Gilbert, is based on the true story of Special Operations..

Funeral in Berlin

Dir. by Guy Hamilton (1966), starring Michael Caine, Marthe Keller & Oskar Homolka

Funeral in Berlin is a 1966 British spy film directed by Guy Hamilton and based on the novel of the same name by Len Deighton. It is the second of three 1960s films starring Michael Caine as the..

Midnight in Saint Petersburg

Dir. by Douglas Jackson (1996), starring Michael Caine, Serge Houde & Michael Sarrazin

Midnight in Saint Petersburg is a 1996 thriller film starring Michael Caine for the fifth time as British secret agent Harry Palmer. It served as semi-sequel to Bullet to Beijing which had been..

The Black Windmill

Dir. by Don Siegel (1974), starring Michael Caine, Donald Pleasence & John Vernon

The Black Windmill is a 1974 British spy thriller directed by Don Siegel and starring Michael Caine, John Vernon, Janet Suzman and Donald Pleasence. It was produced by Richard D. Zanuck and David..

The Eagle Has Landed

Dir. by John Sturges (1976), starring Robert Duvall, Michael Caine & Donald Sutherland

The Eagle Has Landed is a 1976 British film directed by John Sturges and starring Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland and Robert Duvall. Based on the novel The Eagle Has Landed by Jack Higgins, the film..

The Fourth Protocol

Dir. by John Mackenzie (1987), starring Pierce Brosnan, Michael Caine & Ned Beatty

The Fourth Protocol is a 1987 British Cold War spy film featuring Michael Caine and Pierce Brosnan, based on the novel The Fourth Protocol by Frederick Forsyth….

The Ipcress File

Dir. by Sidney J. Furie (1965), starring Michael Caine, Sue Lloyd & Gordon Jackson

The Ipcress File is a 1965 British espionage film directed by Sidney J. Furie, starring Michael Caine and featuring Guy Doleman and Nigel Green. The screenplay by Bill Canaway and James Doran was.

Michael Caine – Biography

Michael’s south London accent and pleasant, but not classically handsome face were hardly the makings of a matinee idol; which makes his long-running and amazingly prolific career an even greater testament to skill and effort. He has made some fantastic films as well as, by his own admission, some downright awful ones becoming in the process much more than just a star. Sir Michael Caine is an icon.

Born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite on March 14, 1933, Michael grew up in a two-room flat without electricity in an area close to the Thames. His father, Joseph, was a fish market porter; his mother Ellen worked as a cleaning lady, and the youngster was raised to follow in the family footsteps, entering the fish trade like his father and grandfather before him.

Michael had other ideas, however. In the local cinema he found an escape from the bombed out ruins of post-war south London and dreamed of becoming an actor. After doing his national service in the Army serving first in West Berlin and later seeing combat in the Korean War Michael returned to England in 1953 and gravitated towards the theatre. He took night classes in drama while supporting himself with various day jobs, and adopted the stage name Michael Scott. He had to change names in the mid-Fifties, after he tried to join Actors Equity to get a TV role and found there was already another Michael Scott. Pressed for time and calling his agent from a phone box on a London street, the actor spotted a cinema marquee advertising The Caine Mutiny and the moniker was sealed.

In the years that followed, Michael appeared in more than 100 television dramas, with repertory companies throughout England, and later in the stage hit The Long And The Short Of It. In the latter he served as Peter O’Toole’s understudy, a role he later assumed on tour. He also met and fell in love with a young English actress, Patricia Haines. The couple married in 1955 and a year later had a daughter, Dominique. The relationship ended, however, in 1957.

Michael’s breakthrough came playing against type as an upper crust, effete army officer in the 1964 film Zulu. But it was the roles of working-class spy Harry Palmer in 1965’s The Ipcress File, and as a charming Casanova in Alfie, the following year, that would make Michael a household name. His delivery of cockney assuredness combined with just a hint of self-doubt also earned him a Best Actor nomination for the latter film.

Michael was the epitome of the new breed of actor emerging during the mid-Sixties in England the working class “bloke” with glasses and a down-home accent.

He would reprise the Harry Palmer character on two further occasions towards the end of the decade in Funeral In Berlin and The Billion Dollar Brain, as well as knocking out other classics such as The Italian Job and Get Carter. And a tour de force performance opposite Laurence Olivier in the 1972 thriller Sleuth won him a second Oscar nomination in 1972.

As his career went from strength to strength, Michael’s private life also moved ahead when he fell in love with Guayanese model and former Miss World competitor, Shakira Baksh, whom he had spotted in a TV coffee ad. After asking around he finally got her phone number, and the two were soon dating. They married in 1973 and had a daughter, Natasha, the same year. “Shakira understands Michael more than anybody,” observes pal Roger Moore. “They’re completely compatible.”

The late 1970s and 1980s were something of fallow period for the actor, although amidst the dross there were some gems. Michael earned his third Oscar nomination for his portrayal of an alcoholic English literature professor in 1983’s Educating Rita. Three years later he finally scooped an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Woody Allen’s Hannah And Her Sisters, playing a man who is infatuated with his wife’s sister. Most of Michael’s best work in this period, however, was for the small screen, in dramas such as 1988’s Jack The Ripper for which he earned a Golden Globe and as the troubled title character in Jekyll & Hyde (1990).

Bouncing back onto the big screen in 1998 with Little Voice, he gave a stand-out performance as sleazy agent Ray Say in a film already brimming with excellent acting. A year later Michael scooped his second Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Cider House Rules, playing a loveable orphanage-running abortionist complete with American accent. In 2000, he was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his contribution to the arts.

As he approaches his 70th birthday, it seems there is no stopping the actor. Enjoying something of a renaissance following his Oscar win, in 2002 he popped up as the father of super spy Austin Powers a character which his Harry Palmer had surely inspired in Austin Powers In Goldmember. His role in The Quiet American earned him a further Best Actor Oscar nomination in 2003.

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