Born Maurice Micklewhite on this day in 1933, Michael Caine has been an icon on the small and big screens for more than 60 years and he's still going strong today at the age of 85. With 160+ acting credits already amassed on his impressive resume, the knighted actor has received two Academy Awards® (along with six nominations) and three Golden Globes (from 11 nominations), and ranks in the Top Ten among all actors in career box-office numbers. With his trademark cockney accent, tilted-head questioning manner and a versatile on-screen persona, Caine has reached legendary status from portraying mild-mannered characters to explosive protagonists. We have gathered together a slew of films from the Warner Bros. Film and Television Library that brings a wide-ranging look into Caine's illustrious career, also proving that a few turkeys are just part of the game. Caine readily admits that he has "made a lot of awful films," but even those misses have grown to become cult fodder fun over the years.
A small bit player in television through much of the late '50s and '60s, Caine finally hit stardom with his Academy Award-winning performance in 1966’s Alfie. A few years removed from his first Oscar®, Caine opened the '70s playing a small-time mobster who unleashes vengeance on those responsible for his brother's death in Get Carter. Decried by some for excessive violence, the movie was a mild success at the time of its release but has grown in stature since the 1990s when a new crop of filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie spoke of the film's impact on them. In 2000, Sylvester Stallone starred in a less-successful remake, which also starred Caine, albeit in a different role. Throughout the rest of the decade, Caine would mix memorable performances such as his Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for 1973's Sleuth, with a roller-coaster series of drama and action flicks, including The Man Who Would Be King with longtime friend Sean Connery. On the other side of the box-office scale, there were even a few harmless disaster films—both in theme and result—from Irwin Allen.
Like the decade before, Caine was very active throughout the '80s, bursting out of the gates in the classic thriller Dressed to Kill, which was followed by Oliver Stone's cult horror flick, The Hand, the controversial Deathtrap, another Oscar nomination and Golden Globe win for 1983's Educating Rita and his second Academy Award for 1986's Hannah and Her Sisters. And on the small screen, Caine snared his second Golden Globe for the popular 1988 television miniseries, Jack the Ripper.
While many of the actors from his generation had retired by the turn of the millennium, Michael Caine hit all-new heights in his career as he effortlessly moved from another Oscar-winning dramatic performance in The Cider House Rules straight into hit comedies like Miss Congeniality, playing the father of cinema's most hilarious superspy in Austin Powers in Goldmember, teaming with Robert Duvall in Secondhand Lions, and with Christopher Walken in the underrated drama Around the Bend. Caine also became an understated presence and instrumental cog in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy and the epic Inception. This was followed by the worldwide hit action/adventure Journey 2: The Mysterious Island in 2012. And last year, along with co-stars Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin, Caine proved in the box-office smash hit comedy Going in Style that great actors age like the finest of wines. And Sir Maurice Micklewhite is certainly one such thespian. Happy 85th, Maurice!