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The year 2000 may be the highlight of MICHAEL CAINE's (Jasper) life. Not only did he receive his second Oscar® for the film The Cider House Rules, he was honored by Queen Elizabeth II with knighthood. Thus from being born Maurice Micklewhite, he is now Sir Michael Caine.

Michael Caine's versatility as a major international star has shown itself in more than 90 motion pictures, earning him the New York Critics' Best Actor Award for Alfie; a Golden Globe Best Actor and a BAFTA Best Actor for Educating Rita; a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for Little Voice; and a total of six Academy Award® nominations (Alfie, Sleuth, Educating Rita, Hannah and Her Sisters, The Cider House Rules and The Quiet American), culminating in Oscars® for Best Supporting Actor in Hannah and Her Sisters and The Cider House Rules.

Although Caine has made his mark as an outstanding actor, it should be noted that he is also an author with the publication of his autobiography What's It All About?, together with the definitive Acting on Film (based on the highly successful series of lectures he gave on BBC Television).

Caine was born in South London on March 14, 1933. His father was a Billingsgate fish-market porter and his mother, a charwoman. They were very poor, living in a gas-lit, two-room flat, until The Blitz forced his evacuation (with his younger brother, Stanley) to the safety of a farm in Norfolk. After the war, when he was 12, the family moved into a "prefab” in London's East End. A childhood fascination for cinema, an insatiable hunger for novels, frequent visits to the gallery of the Old Vic Theatre, performances in school plays and a taste of directing drama in a youth club all stimulated his imagination and belief that he would one day be an actor.

He refused to accept his family expectation that he become a fish porter. Leaving school at 16, he worked in a number of menial jobs until National Service with the Royal Fusiliers took him to Korea. Upon his discharge, he spent his days in manual work, but used his evenings to study acting. His first job in the theater was as assistant stage manager in Horsham, Sussex, and he was soon able to move to the Lowestoft Repertory Theater in Suffolk as juvenile lead. There, he married the leading lady, Patricia Haines, but parted after two years. Now-deceased Patricia Haines bore him a daughter, Dominique (known as Nikki), with whom he enjoys a close relationship.

Self-confidence and a name change to Michael Caine (his nickname plus one word lifted from The Caine Mutiny) encouraged him to move to London, where he acted with Joan Littlewood's Theater Workshop. He played a minor role in the film A Hill in Korea and obtained bit parts in other movies, along with walk-on roles in a couple of West End plays…but it was not enough to live on.

Taking a gamble, he moved to Paris, where, for several months, he eked out a bare existence. Returning to London (with cash borrowed from his mother), he pursued acting full-time. Touring Britain with one repertory company after another, he developed a relaxed stage presence and perfected a vast range of accents. In the next five years, he played more than 100 television dramas and became a familiar (but nameless) face to millions. They were threadbare years shared with flatmates Terence Stamp and composer John Barry.

Caine went on to understudy Peter O'Toole in the role of Private Bamforth in the London stage hit The Long and the Short and the Tall, and when O'Toole dropped out, he took over the part and toured the provinces for six months. Following this, his television and film parts grew more substantial.

The turning point in his film career came at the age of 30 in 1963, when he was given the role of effet

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