Childhood & Early Life
Maxwell Caulfield was born Maxwell Newby, on November 23, 1959, in Belper, Derbyshire, England. Maxwell has reportedly claimed that he was born in Glasgow, although there have been no confirmed sources for this information.
By the time he was 7 years old, his parents had divorced. His mother later married Peter Maclaine, a former marine who did not like Maxwell. As a result, Maxwell spent a lot of his childhood years feeling sidelined and alone. It was during this time that he became attracted to the prospect of becoming an actor.
By the time he was 15 years old, Maxwell was thrown out of his house by his stepfather. Maxwell then continued to work as an exotic dancer at the ‘Windmill Theatre’ in London. He worked there to earn an “equity card” to work as an actor in the theater productions. He also managed to get a “green card” and moved to New York to become an actor. He adopted a new surname, “Caulfield,” inspired by the lead character’s surname from JD Salinger’s novel ‘Catcher in the Rye.’
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In 1978, Maxwell made his stage debut with a production of the play titled ‘Hot Rock Hotel.’ The following year, he played the first lead role of his career, in the play titled ‘Class Enemy,’ which was organized at the ‘Players Theatre’ in West Village, New York. His performance was critically acclaimed, and he was honored with a ‘Theatre World Award’ for his work.
By 1980, he moved to Los Angeles and played key roles in two successful plays, ‘The Elephant Man’ and ‘Hitting Town.’ Around the same time, he was also made an integral part of the ‘Mirror Repertory Company’ and performed in many plays, such as ‘Paradise Lost,’ ‘Rain,’ ‘Inheritors,’ and ‘The Hasty Heart.’
He also appeared in many ‘Broadway’ productions, such as ‘An Inspector Calls’ and ‘Loot.’ By the 1980s, he had also started appearing in films and TV series.
In 1980, he made his TV debut with a supporting role in the series titled ‘Ryan’s Hope,’ which featured him in the role of ‘Punk.’ He then appeared in supporting roles in TV films such as ‘The Parade’ and ‘Journey’s End.’
He had already made his film debut in 1967, with a small role (‘Ted’) in the film titled ‘Accident.’ The film, however, credited him as “Maxwell Findlater.” “Findlater” was his mother’s maiden name.
He made his full-fledged film debut in 1982, with a lead role in the musical drama film ‘Grease 2.’ Although the film was a moderate critical and commercial success, Maxwell’s performance was appreciated universally. He became a sensation of sorts with his portrayal of ‘Michael Carrington’ in the movie.
Maxwell then played one of the leading roles (‘Bill’) in the British science-fiction comedy film ‘Electric Dreams.’ The film received average reviews and failed to leave a mark at the box office.
In 1985, Maxwell was signed to play ‘Miles Colby’ in the soap opera ‘The Colbys.’ Maxwell appeared on the show until 1987 and made appearances in 49 episodes. He played the same character (‘Miles Colby’) in eight episodes of the 1985 soap ‘Dynasty’ and in the 1991 TV miniseries ‘Dynasty: The Reunion.’
In 1986, Maxwell played the lead role of ‘Ray Ellis’ in the zombie horror film ‘The Supernaturals’. In the next few years, he appeared consistently in small roles in series such as ‘Counterstrike,’ ‘Monsters,’ and ‘Sirens.’
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He also continued his film appearances with roles in films such as ‘Midnight Witness,’ ‘Calendar Girl,’ and ‘Allen Intruder.’
In the mid-1990s, he faced continuous failures at the box office with unsuccessful films that were universally criticized, such as ‘Empire Records.’
In the late 1990s, Maxwell appeared in the lead role of ‘Jeff Thompson’ in the Bollywood film titled ‘Divine Lovers.’ The film was directed by Bollywood director B Shubhash and was a disaster at the box office.
By the time the 2000s arrived, his film career had taken a huge dip and he was seen only in small films, such as ‘Dragon Storm,’ ‘The Hit,’ and ‘Facing the Enemy.’
His TV career, however, kept him relevant for a while. Throughout the 1990s and the 2000s, he played key roles in series such as ‘Spider-Man,’ ‘Strip Mall,’ ‘Casualty,’ and ‘Emmerdale.’
He continued to work in the theatrical productions all through his career.
He has served as a playback singer, too. He performed ‘Say No More (Mon Amour)’ for ‘Empire Records’ and ‘Who's That Guy?,’ ‘(Love Will) Turn Back the Hands of Time,’ ‘Charades,’ and ‘We'll Be Together’ for ‘Grease 2.’
He has worked as an associate producer for the 2001 movie ‘Facing the Enemy.’