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Something to Say: Michael Caine

A successful film star in spite of his common-man, cockney accent, Michael Caine is thoroughly enjoying his wealth, his fame and his "swinging bachelor" image. As we hear in this 1970 interview with Tony Thomas, Caine is a self-proclaimed sybarite (a person devoted to pleasure and luxury). He feels he can only be comfortable in that role because he lives in a country where he can ride around in his Rolls Royce, but he pays enough taxes to contribute to a country which has social security and a public health system. Although he sees being Michael Caine as an achievement, he's clear that "I'll always be Maurice Micklewhite (his birth name) all my life". 

• Michael Caine was born Maurice Micklewhite on March 14, 1933, the son of a fish market porter and a cleaning woman. In this clip he tells Tony Thomas that as such he was not rich in terms of money, but certainly was in terms of family life.

• Caine's first stage-name was Michael Scott, but when he was making the move from stage and television work to film, he discovered the name was already in use. He took the new surname from a movie marquee advertising the 1954 film The Caine Mutiny.

• His first film role came in 1956, with an appearance in A Hill in Korea, but the film which brought him fame was Alfie, in 1966. He also became known for the iconic anti-hero spy Harry Palmer in the 1965 film The Ipcress File.

• Michael Caine moved to the U.S. in the late 1970s when he could no longer tolerate Britain's exceedingly high tax rates, but he returned in the mid-1980s, after tax laws had been relaxed somewhat.

• He published his autobiography, What's It All About? in 1992, drawing the name from the theme song of his most famous film, Alfie. He says he wrote the book in order to set right all the misconceptions of previously published biographies and magazine articles. He has also written some books on trivia, and a how-to book on acting.

• His list of major awards is long, beginning in 1966 with a National Society of Film Critics award for Alfie, including two Academy Awards for best supporting actor, three Golden Globes, and culminating in a knighthood in 2000.

Medium: Radio
Program: Something to Say
Broadcast Date: July 5, 1970
Guest(s): Michael Caine
Host: Warren Davis
Interviewer: Tony Thomas
Duration: 42:26
This clip was edited for copyright reasons.

Last updated: February 3, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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