Sir Michael Caine – English Iconic Actor

Sir Michael Caine is one of England’s greatest iconic actors and is famous for his starring roles from Harry Palmer etc. Michael Caine was born Born Maurice Micklewhite in Rotherhithe, London, on the 14th March 1933. Michael Caine was the son of a fish-market porter and his mother was a cook and housewife. Caine grew up in Camberwell, London, and during the WWII he was evacuated to North Runcton in Norfolk. As a fan, my favourite film would have to be “Zulu” which is shown most christmas’s on British TV.

In 1944, he passed his eleven plus exam, winning a scholarship to Hackney Downs Grocers School. After a year there he moved to Wilson’s Grammar School in Camberwell (now Wilson’s School in Wallington, South London), which he left at sixteen after gaining a School Certificate in six subjects.

He then worked briefly as a filing clerk and messenger for a film company in Victoria Street, London and the film producer Jay Lewis in Wardour Street, London.

In 1952, when he was called up to do his National Service, until 1954, he served in the British Army’s Royal Fusiliers, first at the BAOR HQ in Iserlohn, Germany and then on active service during the Korean War. Caine has said he would like to see the return of National Service to help combat youth violence, stating: “I’m just saying, put them in the Army for six months. You’re there to learn how to defend your country. You belong to the country. Then when you come out, you have a sense of belonging rather than a sense of violence.”

Upon his return to England he gravitated toward the theatre and got a job as an assistant stage manager. He adopted the name of Caine on the advice of his agent, taking it from a marquee that advertised The Caine Mutiny (1954).

In the years that followed he worked in more than 100 television dramas, with repertory companies throughout England and eventually in the stage hit, “The Long and the Short and the Tall.” Zulu (1964), the 1964 epic retelling of a historic 19th-century battle in South Africa between British soldiers and Zulu warriors, brought Caine to international attention. Instead of being typecast as a low-ranking Cockney soldier, he played a snobbish, aristocratic officer. Although “Zulu” was a major success, it was the role of Harry Palmer in Ipcress File (1965) and the title role in Alfie (1966) that made Caine a star of the first magnitude.

He epitomized the new breed of actor in mid-’60s England, the working-class bloke with glasses and a down-home accent. However, after initially starring in some excellent films, particularly in the 1960s, including Gambit (1966), Funeral in Berlin (1966), Play Dirty (1969), Battle of Britain (1969), Too late the Hero (1970), The last Valley (1971) and especially Get Carter (1971). He gave a magnificent performance opposite Sean Connery in The Man Who Would Be King (1975) and turned in a solid one as a German colonel in The Eagle has landed (1976). During the 1980’s “Educating Rita” (1983) and “Hannah and her Sisters” (1986) (for which he won his first Oscar) were highlights of the 1980s, while more recently Little Voice (1998), The Cider House Rules (1999) (his second Oscar) and Last Orders (2001) have been widely acclaimed.

Films and Actor Credits

Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)

Harry Brown (2010)

Playing the part of Harry Brown

Inception (2010)

Playing the part of Miles

Is Anybody There? (2009)

Playing the part of Clarence

Flawless (2008)

Playing the part of Hobbs

The Dark Knight (2008)

Playing the part of Alfred

Sleuth (2007)

Playing the part of Andrew Wyke

Children of Men (2006)

Playing the part of Jasper

The Prestige (2006)

Playing the part of Cutter

Batman Begins (2005)

Playing the part of Alfred

Bewitched (2005)

Playing the part of Nigel Bigelow

The Weather Man (2005)

Playing the part of Robert Spritz

Around the Bend (2004)

Playing the part of Henry Lair

Secondhand Lions (2003)

Playing the part of Garth

The Actors (2003)

Playing the part of Tom O Malley

The Statement (2003)

Playing the part of Pierre Brossard

Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)

Playing the part of Nigel Powers

The Quiet American (2002)

Playing the part of Thomas Fowler

Last Orders (2001)

Playing the part of Jack Dodds

Quicksand (2001)

Playing the part of Jake Mellows

Shadow Run (2001)

Get Carter (2000)

Playing the part of Cliff Brumby

Miss Congeniality (2000)

Playing the part of Victor Melling

Quills (2000)

Playing the part of Doctor Royer-Collard

Shiner (2000)

Playing the part of Billy Shiner Simpson

Curtain Call (1999)

Playing the part of Max Gale

The Cider House Rules (1999)

Playing the part of Doctor Wilbur Larch

The Debtors (1999)

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1998)

Little Voice (1998)

Playing the part of Ray Say

Blood & Wine (1997)

Playing the part of Victor Spansky

Mandela & de Klerk (1997)

Bullet to Beijing (1995)

Midnight in St. Petersburg (1995)

On Deadly Ground (1994)

Playing the part of Michael Jennings

World War II – When Lions Roared (1994)

On Deadly Ground (1993)

Blue Ice (1992)

Playing the part of Harry Anders

Noises Off (1992)

Playing the part of Lloyd Fellowes

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Playing the part of Scrooge

Bullseye! (1990)

Playing the part of Dr Daniel Hicklar/ Sidney Lipton

Mr. Destiny (1990)

Playing the part of Mike

A Shock to the System (1990)

Playing the part of Graham Marshall

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)

Playing the part of Lawrence Jamieson

John Huston: The Man, The Movies, The Maverick (1988)

Playing the part of Himself

Without A Clue (1988)

Playing the part of Sherlock Holmes

Jaws: The Revenge (1987)

Playing the part of Hoagie

Surrender (1987)

Playing the part of Sean Stein

The Fourth Protocol (1987)

Playing the part of John Preston

The Whistle Blower (1987)

Playing the part of Frank Jones

Half Moon Street (1986)

Playing the part of Lord Sam Bulbeck

Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

Playing the part of Elliot

Mona Lisa (1986)

Playing the part of Mortwell

Sweet Liberty (1986)

Playing the part of Elliot James

Water (1986)

Playing the part of Baxter Thwaites

The Black Windmill (1986)

The Holcroft Covenant (1985)

Playing the part of Noel Holcroft

Blame It on Rio (1984)

Playing the part of Matthew Hollis

The Jigsaw Man (1984)

Playing the part of Sir Philip Kimberley/ Sergeo Kuzminsky

Beyond the Limit (1983)

Playing the part of Charley Fortnum

Educating Rita (1983)

Playing the part of Dr Frank Bryant

Deathtrap (1982)

Playing the part of Sidney Bruhl

Victory (1981)

Playing the part of Captain John Colby

The Hand (1981)

Playing the part of Jon Lansdale

Dressed to Kill (1980)

Playing the part of Dr. Robert Elliott

The Island (1980)

Playing the part of Blair Maynard

Ashanti (1979)

Playing the part of Dr David Linderby

Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979)

Playing the part of Mike Turner

California Suite (1978)

Playing the part of Sidney Cochran

Silver Bears (1978)

Playing the part of Doc Fletcher

The Swarm (1978)

Playing the part of Brad Crane

A Bridge Too Far (1977)

Playing the part of Lieutenant Colonel Joe Vandeleur

Harry and Walter Go to New York (1976)

Playing the part of Adam Worth

Peeper (1976)

Playing the part of Leslie Tucker

The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

Playing the part of Lieutenant-Colonel Kurt Steiner

The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

Playing the part of Peachy Carnehan

The Romantic Englishwoman (1975)

Playing the part of Lewis

The Wilby Conspiracy (1975)

Playing the part of Keogh

The Black Windmill (1974)

Playing the part of Major Tarrant

The Destructors (1974)

Playing the part of Deray

Pulp (1972)

Playing the part of Mickey King

Sleuth (1972)

Playing the part of Milo Tindle

X Y & Zee (1972)

Playing the part of Robert

Get Carter (1971)

Playing the part of Jack Carter

Kidnapped (1971)

Playing the part of Alan Breck

The Last Valley (1971)

Playing the part of Captain

Too Late the Hero (1970)

Playing the part of Private Tosh Hearne

Battle of Britain (1969)

Playing the part of Squadron Leader Canfield

The Italian Job (1969)

Playing the part of Charlie Croker

Deadfall (1968)

Playing the part of Henry Clarke

Play Dirty (1968)

Playing the part of Captain Douglas

The Magus (1968)

Playing the part of Nicholas Urfe

Billion Dollar Brain (1967)

Playing the part of Harry Palmer

Gambit (1967)

Playing the part of Harry

Hurry Sundown (1967)

Playing the part of Henry Warren

Tonite Let s All Make Love in London (1967)

Playing the part of Himself

Woman Times Seven (1967)

Playing the part of Handsome Stranger

Funeral in Berlin (1966)

Playing the part of Harry Palmer

Solo For Sparrow (1966)

Playing the part of Mooney

The Wrong Box (1966)

Playing the part of Michael Finsbury

Alfie (1965)

Playing the part of Alfie

The Ipcress File (1965)

Playing the part of Harry Palmer

Zulu (1964)

Playing the part of Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead

The Wrong Arm of the Law (1962)

The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)

Carve Her Name With Pride (1958)

How to Murder a Rich Uncle (1958)

Playing the part of Gilrony

The Key (1958)

The Two-Headed Spy (1958)

Playing the part of Gestapo Agent

A Hell in Korea (1956)

Playing the part of Private Lockyer

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Producer Credits

Blue Ice (1992)

Producer

The Fourth Protocol (1987)

Executive Producer

There is, in a filmography of over 80 titles (plus TV work) and his own performances seem from 5 out of 10 up to 10 out of 10. When the material was right, as in The Man Who Would Be King (US, d. John Huston, 1975), few can touch him for conviction and subtlety. In the latter film, his second wife, Shakira Baksh, played her last screen role;

Caine now runs his own production company, M & M Productions, with business partner Martin Bregman. He was made a CBE in 1992, knighted and awarded a BAFTA fellowship in 2000.

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Copyright © 2010 Paul Hussey. All Rights Reserved.

My family tree has been traced back to the early Kings of England from the 7th Century AD. I am also a direct descendent of Sir Christopher Wren which has given me an interest in English History and Icons which is great fun to research.

I have recently decided to write articles on my favourite subjects: English Sports, English History, English Icons, English Discoveries and English Inventions.

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Copyright © 2010 Paul Hussey. All Rights Reserved.

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