Michael Caine Biography

Michael Caine is a distinguished actor renowned for his Cockney accent and powerful depiction of roles. Check out this biography to know about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: March 14, 1933

Nationality: British

Famous: Quotes By Michael Caine Actors

Age: 86 Years, 86 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Pisces

Also Known As: Maurice Joseph Micklewhite.Jr

Born in: Rotherhithe

Famous as: Actor

Height: 6'2" (188 cm), 6'2" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Patricia Haines, Shakira Caine

father: Maurice Joseph Micklewhite

mother: Ellen Maria Burchell

siblings: David Burchell, Stanley Caine

children: Dominique Caine, Natasha Caine

Personality: ISFJ

City: London, England

More Facts

education: Wilson's School, Hackney Downs School

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Michael Caine is a distinguished actor renowned for his Cockney accent and powerful depiction of roles. He was born as Maurice Joseph Micklewhite in a working class family in South East London and was named after his father, who was a porter at a fish market. From there he rose to become one of the most celebrated stars in the English as well as American entertainment industry. In a career spanning almost sixty years, Caine has appeared in around 115 films and earned numerous awards and nominations. Today, he is regarded as a British film icon and is ranked as the ninth highest grossing box office star. In spite of such adulation, he still remains a family oriented private person much interested in charity work. Although he had to change his name in the beginning of his career he never forgot his root and so when he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000, he accepted the honor as Maurice Micklewhite. Apart from being an established actor, Caine is also a reputed writer and has authored nine books, which includes his autobiographies ‘What’s It All About’ and ‘The Elephants to Hollywood’.

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Childhood and Early Life
  • Michael Caine was born as Maurice Joseph Micklewhite on 14 March 1933 in London. His father, also named Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, was a porter at the Billingsgate fish market and his mother, Ellen Frances Marie (née Burchell), was a cook and charwoman.
  • Caine has a younger brother named Stanley Micklewhite. They grew up in Southwark in London. When the World War II broke out his father was drafted in the military and they were evacuated to North Runcton in Norfolk.
  • On passing his eleven plus examination in 1944 Michael enrolled at Hackney Down Grocers’ School, winning a scholarship to fund his education. However, in 1945, he shifted to Wilson's Grammar School in Camberwell, where under the guidance of his English teacher he began to take interest in literature.
  • On receiving his School Certificate in 1949 Michael began to work as a filing clerk in a film company. In April 1952, he was drafted into the national service and took active part in the Korean War. He never forgot what he experienced during this war. .
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  • On being discharged from the national service in 1954 Michael first obtained a job of an assistant stage manager at Westminster Repertory in Horsham, Sussex. According to the terms and conditions, he was also required to perform some walk-on parts for the company. Later, he shifted to Lowestoft Repertory in Sufolk.
  • Some time now, he also realized that to succeed in the entertainment industry he needed to change his name. He first became Michael Scot and then inspired by Humphrey Bogart’s film ‘The Caine Mutiny’ (1954), he changed his name to Michael Caine.
  • In 1956, Michael Caine made his film debut with ‘Panic in Parlour’. But since he played the part of an un-credited sailor, ‘A Hill in Korea’, also released in 1956, is considered to be his debut film.
  • Around the same time, he also started appearing in small roles in television series. His first role on the television was in ‘Adventure of Sir Lancelot’. However, in this program he appeared as Michael Scot and therefore ‘The Lark’ episode of BBC Sunday Night Theatre was actually his television debut as Michael Caine.
  • The first ten years of Caine’s acting life were really hard. He kept appearing in several films, television and radio programs as well as in stage productions. His big break came in 1963, while he was playing Meff in ‘Next Time I'll Sing to You’, a Cockney comedy at Criterion Theatre in Piccadilly.
  • Stanley Baker, who was producing a film on the historical battle between the British and the Zulus, offered him the part of a cockney soldier in his film ‘Zulu’. Since the role had already been assigned to another Cockney actor Caine got the role of a snobbish, upper class officer.
  • ’Zulu’, premiered on 22 January 1964 received extremely positive reviews. Moreover, the film helped Caine to receive international attention. In the same year, he also appeared as Horatio in 'Hamlet at Elsinore', produced by BBC in association with Danish radio.
  • However, it was his next film ‘The Ipcress File’ (1965), which actually made him a star. His depiction of Harry Palmer earned him his first BAFTA nomination. Incidentally, he went on to play Palmer in four other films; ‘Funeral in Berlin’ (1966), ‘Billion Dollar Brain’ (1967), ‘Bullet to Beijing’ (1995) and ‘Midnight in Saint Petersburg’ (1995).
  • The romantic comedy drama film ‘Alfie’ (1966) was another of his major works of this period. In this film, Caine played the role of a womanizing chauffeur Alfie Elkins and earned two awards and three nominations, including the nomination for Academy Award for Best Actor.
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  • In the same year, Caine traveled to the USA on the request of Shirley MacLaine and appeared as Harry Tristan Dean, opposite her, in ‘Gambit’. The film was highly successful and Caine received his second Golden Globe Award nomination.
  • The film was followed by few other hits like ‘Funeral in Berlin’ (1966), ‘Play Dirty’ (1969), ‘Battle of Britain’ (1969), ‘Too Late the Hero’ (1970), ‘The Last Valley’ (1971) and ‘Get Carter’ (1971), ‘The Eagle Has Land (1976), ‘The Silver Bears’ (1978), ‘California Suit’ (1978), Bridge Too Far’ (1977) etc.
  • Although he received critical acclaim for his roles in all of these films, two of his best works in 1970s were ‘Sleuth’ (1972) and ’The Man Who Would Be King’ (1975). Appearing as Milo Tindle in ‘Sleuth’ he received his second Academy nomination along with costar Oliver Lawrence. . .
  • Caine began the 1980s with box office hits like ‘Dressed to Kill’ (1980), ‘The Island’ (1980), ‘Educating Rita’ (1983) etc. Ultimately, it was ‘Hannah and Her Sisters’ (1986), which earned him his first Academy Award. Few Other significant works of this decade were ‘Mona Lisa’ (1986), ‘Jaws, The Revenge’ (1987), ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988).
  • Subsequently, Caine slowed down a bit, appearing in mediocre films for better part of the 1990s. Then 1998 onwards he experienced a resurgence in his career. His next two films ‘Little Voice’ (1998) and. ‘The Cider House Rules’ (1999) earned him several awards and nominations.
  • He began the next millennium with a period drama film, ‘Quills’, which was a huge hit at the box office. It was followed by many more hit films such as ‘Miss Congeniality’ (2000), ‘Last Orders’ (2001), ‘The Quiet American’ (2002), ‘Secondhand Lions’ (2003), “Around the Bend’ (2004), and ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008).
  • ’Inception’, a 2010 multi starrer, was another of his noteworthy works. Although he did not get any award for it, he received number of nominations for his role of Professor Stephen Miles. His last released film is ‘The Last Witch Hunter’.
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Major Works
  • ’The Man Who Would Be King’ (1975), directed by John Houston, is considered to be one of Michael Caine’s early major works. In this film, he costarred with Sean Connery and the duo was much-admired for their lovely double act and clowning. Houston had also praised Caine for his improvisation in this film.
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  • ‘The Quiet American’ (2002) is another example of his major works. Set in 1952 in Saigon, the story revolves on a love triangle between Thomas Fowler, a British journalist played by Caine; Alden Pyle; an American aid worker and Phuong, a Vietnamese woman. It also talks about growing American involvement in Vietnam, which later culminated into Vietnam War.
  • Caine considers ‘Educating Rita’ (1983) to be his best work. In this film, he enacted the role of Dr. Frank Bryant. It not only earned critical acclaim, but also two major awards.
Awards & Achievements
  • In his six decades of film career Caine has won numerous awards including two Oscars. He first won the Academy Award in 1986 for his role in ‘Hannah and Her Sisters’ in the Best Supporting Actor category. Then in 1999, he won the same award in the same category for his role in ‘Cider House Rules’
  • In addition, he was nominated for the Academy Awards in the Best Actor category four times; for his role in ‘Alfie (1966), ‘Sleuth’ (1972), ‘Educating Rita’ (1983) and ‘The Quiet American (2002).
  • He has also received Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy twice; first for ‘Educating Rita’ and next for ‘Little Voice’ (1998).
  • In 2000, Caine received a BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award. Earlier in 1983, he had won BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his role in ‘Educating Rita’.
  • In 1992, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). Next in 2000, he was knighted as Sir Maurice Micklewhite CBE by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Michael Caine married actress Patricia Haines in 1955. Their daughter Dominique was born in 1956. They later divorced in 1962.
  • On 8 January 1973, he married actress and model Shakira Baksh. They have a daughter named Natasha.
  • Caine is very proud of his working class background. Although he now lives in Leatherhead, Surrey he also has a small apartment in south east London, near the place where he grew up. In addition, he also has an apartment at the Apogee in Miami Beach, Florida.
Net Worth
  • Michael Caine has an estimated net worth of $75 million.

1. Secondhand Lions (2003)

  (Comedy, Family, Drama)

2. The Dark Knight (2008)

  (Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller)

3. Zulu (1964)

  (War, History, Drama)

4. The Man Who Would Be King (1975)


5. Sleuth (1972)

  (Mystery, Thriller)

6. The Italian Job (1969)

  (Comedy, Crime, Thriller, Action)

7. Get Carter (1971)

  (Crime, Thriller)

8. Inception (2010)

  (Action, Adventure, Thriller, Sci-Fi)


Academy Awards(Oscars)
2000 Best Actor in a Supporting Role The Cider House Rules (1999)
1987 Best Actor in a Supporting Role Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
Golden Globe Awards
1999 Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical Little Voice (1998)
1989 Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Jack the Ripper (1988)
1984 Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical Educating Rita (1983)
BAFTA Awards
1984 Best Actor Educating Rita (1983)
People's Choice Awards
2009 Favorite Cast The Dark Knight (2008)

See the events in life of Michael Caine in Chronological Order

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Article Title
- Michael Caine Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- July 25, 2017
Michael Caine

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