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9

October

SIR MICHAEL CAINE CONSIDERS RETIRING

Edward Lloyd

SIR MICHAEL CAINE CONSIDERS RETIRING

Sir Michael and Lady Shakira CaineScreen Legend Sir Michael Caine says that he has achieved all of his ambitions, and is now contemplating retiring from his extraordinary film career.

Remembered for his starring roles in The Ipcress File, Zulu, The Italian Job and Alfie, among his 115 films, the 81 year old actor's main motivation to make a film is money and an Oscar, and he has enough money and two Oscars.  He loves his work, and enjoys his home and garden in the Surrey countryside, good TV, reveres his family and friends, and supports the NSPCC, and brain health research. 

Friends and co-stars recently feted Sir Michael at The Royal Albert Hall, who praised Shakira, his wife of 42 years and "the nicest person in the world", for keeping him grounded.  During his illustrious 58 year film career, the versatile actor has retired many times, only to be offered a script he could not turn down.  He is due to film his last script in December.
Trained in repertory theatre, he began his career as a cockney actor, and worked at a theatre in Sussex. After being turned down for the role of a cockney Corporal in Zulu, the director asked him to play an upper class officer.  It suited him well, and his acting threshold changed.

Sir Michael reminisces on a splendid night out at The Savoy Grill with Noel Coward, during the filming of The Italian Job.  Sir Laurence Olivier wrote a formal letter to the actor during the filming of Sleuth, saying it was alright to call him Larry.  When the actor arrived in Hollywood, where he lived for eight years, he took his mother, who remarked at all that hysteria climbing up the wall.  He found his Hollywood compatriots delightful, "they like a bit of King Arthur".  He was born Maurice Micklewhite in Bermondsey in 1933, to his father a Billingsgate fish porter, who read voraciously and was into technology, and his mother a cleaner.  He has since received the Freedom Of Southwark Borough.  He was evacuated during the war to a couple who would lock him in a cupboard for the weekend and go out socialising.  He went to work at 16 with Peak Films, and then The Rank Organisation.  In the early 1950's, he had to do military service, and in 1956 made his film debut in 'A Hill in Korea'. The 1964 film Zulu was to secure his place as an established star. He was knighted by The Queen in 2000, and chose to use his real name in tribute to his hero father.  He was married first to the actress Patricia Baines, and secondly to Shakira Baksh.  

Sir Michael's legion of admirers will feel that the distinguished actor has deservedly earned some relaxation, and they will continue to enjoy his important and charismatic contribution to Cinema. If a really good script comes along......

Sir Michael Caine, Ricky Gervais

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