MICHAEL CAINE, WINDSOR, ENGLAND, 1972
Born Maurice Micklewhite in London, Michael Caine was the son of a fish-market porter. He left school at 15 and joined the British army and served in the the Korean War, where he saw combat. Upon his return to England he gravitated toward the theater and got a job as an assistant stage manager.
He changed his name to Caine after seeing it on a marquee that advertised The Caine Mutiny (1954). He worked in more than 100 television dramas and eventually in the stage hit, “The Long and the Short and the Tall.” Zulu (1964), the 1964 epic retelling of a historic 19th-century battle in South Africa between British soldiers and Zulu warriors, brought Caine to international attention. Instead of being typecast as a low-ranking Cockney soldier, he played a snobbish, aristocratic officer. Although “Zulu” was a major success, it was the role of Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File (1965) and the title role in Alfie (1966) that made Caine a star of the first magnitude.
He epitomized the new breed of actor in mid-’60s England, the working-class bloke with glasses and a down-home accent. He gave a magnificent performance opposite Sean Connery in The Man Who Would Be King (1975) and turned in a solid one as a German colonel in The Eagle Has Landed (1976). Educating Rita (1983) and Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) (for which he won his first Oscar) were highlights of the 1980s, while more recently Little Voice (1998), The Cider House Rules (1999) (his second Oscar) and Last Orders (2001) have been widely acclaimed.
In this exclusive interview David Steen tells the story of how he captured this iconic photograph of Michael Caine at his home in Windsor, 1972