British actor Sir Michael Caine turns 90 and Hollywood pays tribute to one of the best and most enduring exponents of his craft. Caine, born Maurice Micklewhite, grew up poor in London. It was only after his military service that he began acting in the mid-1950s, calling himself Michael Caine.
His breakthrough came in the 1964 film "Zulu," in which he played British Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead, who must hold his own against a force of Zulu warriors in the 19th century.
His acting talent stood out in particular when he was able to show his first Oscar nomination for best actor in 1967 for "Alfie". At the ceremony, however, he had to admit defeat to Paul Scofield (1922-2008) with "A man for every season".
He was denied the award for best actor at the Oscars in 1967, but he took home the golden boy for best supporting actor in 1987 for "Hannah and Her Sisters".
For "God's work and the devil's contribution" he even managed the feat a second time in 2000. He dedicated his acceptance speech primarily to his fellow nominees and even made them laugh a few times. Only Jude Law (50) did not seem to be joking in view of his defeat and could only smile tiredly.
Caine maintained a close friendship with James Bond actor Sean Connery (1930-2020), especially in the early days of his career. Both shared the desire to become famous in the 1950s and both laboriously worked their way up through smaller film and theater roles - with success. In 2000, Queen Elizabeth II bestowed a great honor on both film stars: she knighted Connery on July 5th and later Caine on November 16th.
In 1973, Caine married the former "Miss Guyana" Shakira Caine (76), who has literally been by his side ever since. "My wife just accompanies me everywhere," Caine told the Daily Mail in 2018. This made their marriage last so long. He just never had the opportunity to think about a fling.
With her, the man with the distinctive Cockney accent has his daughter Natasha (50), who in turn has three children. These three grandchildren are also the reason that grandfather gave up alcohol. In an interview with Candis magazine, he said: "I've decided to live a little longer, I've stopped drinking and I've found a new perspective on life." He thought he wouldn't have any more grandchildren - "and suddenly I have three".
His grandchildren are his fountain of youth and have "breathed new life into him". He is "completely obsessed" with them, as is his wife. After his two Oscar awards and the knighthood, he thought "it couldn't get any better". "But then I got my grandkids, that's better than anything." In addition to his legendary Hollywood career, his "biggest achievement" is being a father.
Caine has an older daughter named Dominique (67). This comes from his first marriage to the actress Patricia Haines (1932-1977), to whom he was married from 1955 to 1962.
Caine appeared as Butler Alfred from 2005 to 2012 in the Batman trilogy by director Christopher Nolan (52) alongside Christian Bale (49). The charming supporting role also brought Caine back to a younger audience. Generally speaking, Nolan has had a crush on his compatriot Caine ever since. The veteran took part in at least eight of his blockbusters, most recently in "Tenet" (2020).
In the latest Nolan work "Oppenheimer" the veteran will probably be missing. Remarkable, after all, the director last managed without his regular actor in "Insomnia" in 2002.
The now 90-year-old Caine is still not thinking about quitting, although it seemed so for a short time in October 2021.
Rumors of acting retirement emerged after the two-time Oscar winner revealed on BBC radio show Kermode and Mayo's Film Review that his film 'Best Sellers' will likely be his last. "Strangely, it turned out that it really is my last role," said the then 88-year-old.
But he rowed back a little later, denied the rumors and wrote unequivocally on Twitter: "I'm not retired and not many people know that." As a result, he was last seen in the Czech historical film "Medieval", the most expensive film production in the country at 23 million euros. Who knows how many more stripes he will follow.