Born in a working-class neighborhood of London called Elephant and Castle, Michael Caine, née Maurice Micklewhite, was the son of a porter and a char-lady. He was an unprepossessing young man who initially faced rejection as an actor; he was told that he was too awkward and effeminate. Eventually, he changed his name to Michael Caine, taking the "Caine" part from Bogart's The Caine Mutiny and rose to prominence in Hollywood, hobnobbing with celebrities like Frank Sinatra and John Wayne.
The Elephant to Hollywood is Caine's second autobiography and is written without the help of a ghostwriter, allowing his urbane, sophisticated voice to shine through. Caine is mostly optimistic and, if you didn't know about his humble beginnings, you'd be forgiven for believing that his blasé attitude came from having been born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Instead, the truth is that he got to where he is today by working for it.
Like other actors, Caine's career has had its ups and downs. Since this is Caine's second memoir, it covers the latter part of his life more than the beginnings. At a certain age, Caine noticed that he was only being offered parts meant for older actors, and this brought him down for a bit. However, he rallied and soon became a favorite of Christopher Nolan who tapped him for the Batman movies and Inception. Caine also tells the story of how he fell in love with his second wife, Shakira Baksh, by seeing her in an advertisement on TV. He proceeded to contact her, and she helped him clean up his act because he was having problems with alcoholism at the time.
Another major thing that's happened to Caine in his later life is being knighted, and he describes this, like he describes everything else, in a humorous and slightly self-deprecating way. He notes that when the Queen shakes hands with you, she pushes your hands away slightly to make sure you understand the handshake is at an end. Plus, there's a room in the back for those being knighted to practice getting back up again, possibly not something everyone performs gracefully.
Overall, there's a feeling of old Hollywood about this memoir—something gentlemanly and suave, like Caine himself. Reading the book is like watching Caine on the screen—he's dignified, even if he's not always proper. His expressions of emotion are restrained and seem to pass amidst the jollity of life in general.
Michael Caine, born Maurice Micklewhite, is a British actor who rose to prominence in the 1960s with films such as Alfie, The Ipcress File, Zulu, The Italian Job etc. He received his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1986 for Hannah and her Sisters. His second Academy Award came in 1999 for The Cider House Rules. He was married to actress Patricia Haines for seven years, and they have a daughter named Dominique. After his divorce, he briefly dated Bianca Jagger and is currently married to model and actress Shakira Baksh with whom he has another daughter named Natasha Haleema.
Charming, engaging, and surprisingly forthright, Michael Caine gives us his insider's view of Hollywood and the story of his brilliant second act.
When he was in his late 50s, Michael Caine believed his glamorous, rags-to-riches Hollywood career had come to an end. The scripts being sent his way were worse and worse. When one script really disappointed, he called the producer to complain about the part. The producer said, No, no, we don't want you for the lover, we want you for the father.
Salvation came in the unlikely form of his old friend Jack Nicholson, who convinced him to give acting one more shot. What followed was not only an incredible personal transformation but also one of the most radical comebacks in film history. Learning to accept his new role both on camera and in his own life, Caine went on to win his second Oscar, be knighted by the queen, and deliver some of his best performances to date.
Now he shares the spectacular story of his life, from his humble upbringing in London's poverty-stricken Elephant and Castle, his military service, touching marriage and family life, and lively adventures with friends, to legendary meetings with fellow stars, forays as a restaurateur, and hilarious off-screen encounters from his glittering five-decade career. Caine brings his gift for storytelling and his insider's view to a tale that is funny, warm, and deeply honest. Download and start listening now!