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Profile of Michael Caine, Tom Hanks

Aired September 27, 2003 - 17:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: Next on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS, the Oscar winning actor whose made a career of portraying and honoring the American hero.

TOM HANKS, ACTOR: The generation ahead of us did not shirk for a moment from hard work, from the concept of sacrifice.

ANNOUNCER: His road to stardom started with a nomadic childhood.

HANKS: By the time I was 10, I'd lived in 10 different households.

ANNOUNCER: He went from star of a TV sitcom to hitting it big in the movies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He followed up "Big" with some sort of riskier choices. And most of them didn't really pay off.

ANNOUNCER: But his serious roles as an AIDS patient and a simple southerner would earn him back to back Oscars.

TOM HANKS, ACTOR: I went to the academy awards -- again.

ANNOUNCER: The unassuming actor who's become a major force in cinema, Tom Hanks.

Then, Michael Caine is one grumpy old man his new film, "Secondhand Lions."

MICHAEL CAINE, ACTOR: It's defective.

ANNOUNCER: From poverty to international stardom. It's been quite a journey.

CAINE: She said, your father has gone, now you two have got to look after me. And that formed my character for the rest of my life.

ANNOUNCER: After four decades and more than 80 movies, he's as versatile and in demand as ever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's really and truly at the top of his game.

ANNOUNCER: Michael Caine on film, fame and what it's all about. Their stories now on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. PAULA ZAHN, HOST: Hi, welcome to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS, I'm Paula Zahn. Tom Hanks is the nice guy who finishes first in everything. The two-time Oscar winner is the most popular and powerful star in Hollywood. He's definitely one of the most bankable. Kyra Phillips has more.


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For more than 20 years, Tom Hanks has been a major force in America's movies.

HANKS: Fbi! Come out of the bathroom.

PHILLIPS: Last fall, the sting-like caper film "Catch Me If You Can" paired him with his old friend, director, Steven Spielberg.

HANKS: Hey boss, thank you so much.

PHILLIPS: It's good, clean fun racked up $300 million at the box office worldwide.


PHILLIPS: Based on real life, Hanks played an FBI agent, hot on the trail of a conman played by Leonardo DiCaprio.

STEVEN SPIELBERG, DIRECTOR: Tom plays very normal people. The audiences imprint on him and say, I could be this guy. He's not so far out of reach that I couldn't be like him and I want to be like him. He's got great American values, great family values.

PHILLIPS: Hanks makes you believe, you could love a mermaid, be a child again, find love a second time, struggle against hate, be simple and honest, solve any problem, fight the good fight and with hope in your heart, survive one more day.


PHILLIPS: At 47, Hanks is a hopeful man, having learned at a young age not to be intimidated by circumstance. Tom was born July 9, 1956, to Amos and Janet Hanks (ph) in a small town of Concord, California. Just 30 minutes outside of San Francisco.

When Tom was 5, his parents divorced. One night Amos Hanks (ph) came home from work, put Tom and the two older kids in the truck, and drove away. Tom's father remarried, twice more. His mother, three times.

HANKS: My dad worked in the restaurant business, which is, you know, can be itinerant to a degree. We simply moved around a lot. I think by the time I was 10 I lived in 10 different households with 3 1/2 different sets of parents. So...

PHILLIPS: Hanks always refers to his nomadic childhood with humor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you ever want to runaway from home when you were a kid?

HANKS: No, my home kept running away from me so I didn't have the same opportunity. I moved around so much I never was sure where my home was. The biggest goal I had to face every day was finding where we lived that day. That was a little tough. Are we in the apartment or the farmhouse today? I can't remember. No, Billy's around, must be the apartment.

PHILLIPS: Hank says his roving boyhood was the perfect upbringing for an actor.

HANKS: There was also a lot of flying by your seat of your pants and not being intimidated by circumstances.

PHILLIPS: By high school, Hanks was flying high, dubbed class cutup and won best actor for his revealing work in the musical "South Pacific." But it was a tragedy, Eugene O'Neal's bar room classic the "Iceman Cometh" that was Hanks defining moment. He had gone to see the play at Berkeley's Reptory (ph) Theater. He came out enthralled. He was hooked.

HANKS: It literally popped my eyes open to think, wait, there's people that do this? This is what they do? Not just for a living, for their life? This is the way they spend their time? This was like lightning for me.

PHILLIPS: A year later, Hanks was building sets as an intern, for the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in Cleveland. Three seasons playing minor roles gave Hanks his equity card and a desire to give New York a try. Headed east with him, Samantha Lewis, his first wife.

PETER CASTRO, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: A lot of people don't know that Tom Hanks was married before and he met someone in the 70s and while he was struggling as an actor and they moved to Hell's Kitchen in New York, a walk-up tenement with roaches the size of little poodles, and it was really, really tough going.

PHILLIPS: After a long year of auditions Hanks got his first movie role in the film "He Knows You're Alone."

HANKS: Most people do, actually. I mean, like to be scared. It's something primal, something basic.

I read something off a piece of paper a guy looks up from the desk and says, you're going to be in the movie $800, but it was a big deal. From there I got on the television show.

LEAH ROZEN, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: "Bosom Buddies." It was sort of "Some Like It Hot" brought to television. But Hanks stood out right away. You could tell the guy was funny.

HANKS: To me, it's like looking at "The Honeymooners."

The woman is possessed.

I see me and Peter there. All we did was laugh through the whole thing.

PHILLIPS: The gender-bending sitcom with Peter Scolari lasted two seasons, and then in 1982, the wigs came off for good. For a year, Hanks pulled in little work. Just some guest bits on sitcoms. On "Family Ties" he was a bright but unlucky corporate whiz kid.

Over on "Happy Days" Hanks played a former classmate of the Fonz. The "Happy Days" connection paid off. Director and former "Happy Days" star, Ron Howard, remembered Hanks and invited him to read for a supporting role in "Splash" that role ended up going to John Candy. Instead, Howard tapped hanks for the lead.

HANKS: I've been waiting for someone and when I find her, she's -- she's a fish.

RON HOWARD, DIRECTOR: He wasn't a movie star but he was, you know, he was just so gifted. He came in, auditioned and won the role.

PHILLIPS: splash cost $9 million to make and was a box office tsunami, bringing in $60 million. Tom Hanks had finally found himself a permanent home: Hollywood.

Coming up next on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS -- Hanks hit big with "Big" but later stumbles badly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; The poor man is starring with a dog and having to chase after the dog in his underwear.



PHILLIPS: In'88, Tom Hanks was hitting all the right notes with his performance in "Big." Hanks was endearing as a young boy trapped in a man's body.

ROZEN: "Big" was Hanks' first blockbuster movie, the film that absolutely put him on the map as one of Hollywood's leading men.

PHILLIPS: For Hanks, "Big" was big. It garnered him his first Academy Award nomination.

HANKS: I had never been to the Oscars before. This was like the senior prom on acid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where were you when you heard you you were nominated?

HANKS: I was sitting on the couch with my wife.

I was essentially nobody but you get out and there's kind of like a riot is going on. It's the most glamorous well-dressed riot you've ever seen.

Remember what the senior prom was like?


HANKS: That was a rough one, boy. As soon as you put on the monkey suit, all of the nerves start jangling.

PHILLIPS: After his Academy Award nomination, Hanks seemed headed for superstardom, but his career suddenly stalled. Falling flat, the now classic cable viewing "Turner and Hooch," "Joe Versus the Volcano" and the box office flop "Bonfire of the Vanities." Then Hanks managed to hit one out of the park with "A League Of Their Own."

HANKS: All right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right! time for the song and dance.

PHILLIPS: Hanks a big Cleveland Indians fan played the washed up tobacco chewing manager as if a pennant depended on it.

HANKS: Are you crying? There's no crying. There's no crying in baseball.

PHILLIPS: But the question remained, could the comic actor do drama?

HANKS: You are worried we don't have very much time left, now aren't you?

PHILLIPS: In the 193 film "Philadelphia" the deadly serious Hanks surprised both audiences and critics.

CASTRO: With "Philadelphia," it was the first hint that this is --this guy's really special. We're working with something, you know, extremely rare.

PHILLIPS: "Philadelphia" gave Hanks his first Oscar win. But the victory was bitter-sweet.

HANKS: When I have to get up and really explain how I got here in the first place and why I'm standing up at that little plexiglass podium with -- with this cool trophy in my hand, I know that I'm standing there honestly because so many gay men have died of AIDS since 1976.

PHILLIPS: A year later Hanks introduced America to a simple man.

HANKS: You want a chocolate?

PHILLIPS: Forrest Gump.

HANKS: There was no way to describe what the story was yet as you read it, it read faster and faster and faster. I just thought, we've bottled lightning here, something's going on.

PHILLIPS: Something was going on. The movie turned into one of the biggest hits of 1994. And led to a nearly unprecedented honor. Hanks won his second Oscar for "Forrest Gump," becoming the first person in five decades to receive back-to-back Oscar awards for best actor. HANKS: I think Forrest would say, so I went to the Academy Awards again and they gave me an Academy Award again.

RITA WILSON, ACTRESS: I'm a child of the Oscars, I grew up in Hollywood, California, went to Hollywood High School. We grew up watching the Oscars almost like it was a national holiday or something. To be married to this guy who has won two back-to-back and made history is completely surreal.

PHILLIPS: Actor and producer Rita Wilson has been at Hanks' side for more than a decade. Wilson played Hanks love interest in the 1985 film "Volunteers."

WILSON: What do they say?

HANKS: Move this log and I'll sleep with each one of you.

PHILLIPS: Hanks first marriage ended in 1987 and a year later he and Wilson married. Hanks says its Wilson who made him the man and the star he is today.



HANKS: She is a delight a great lady and my best friend. I have found a level of contentment and peace with my wife that I wish everybody could have.

WILSON: This is my good luck charm. He's my good luck charm, first and foremost.

HANKS: I get the feeling that she thinks I'm the greatest guy in the world.

WILSON: I think he looks like Roy Orbison.

HANKS: And I think you look like a pretty woman. My wife is amazing, is she not?

PHILLIPS: By 1995, Hanks was a megastar. But still, very much the same Mr. Nice guy.


PHILLIPS: Tom "terrific" was on a roll. After two Oscars, he leapt at the chance to play different characters, but always with his trademark heart and soul.

HANKS: Fire!

PHILLIPS: In 2000, Hanks did the near impossible: co-starred with a volleyball and kept viewers riveted for two hours in the film "Castaway."

HANKS: You gotta love crab. CASTRO: If that's not aura, if that's not sheer presence and power, I don't know what is. And I can't think of one other actor that could have pulled that off so well.

PHILLIPS: And in 2002, Mr. Nice guy finally played his version of the bad guy.

HANKS; Excuse me, I'm looking for a Mr. McDoggle.

PHILLIPS: A fundamentally decent hitman in the critically acclaimed "Road to Perdition."

HANKS: I'm making a withdrawal.

PHILLIPS: When the story of Tom Hanks continues, Tom Hanks shoots for the moon and honors America's heroes.

SPIELBERG: He's got great American values, great family values, and the darn guy should run for president of the United States someday. He'd win!



PHILLIPS: By the mid 90s Tom Hanks was deep into a new phase of his career, honoring America's history and the human spirit.

HANKS: You always hope that your movies are somehow going to be weighty. That you know they're going to make some sort of difference in the national consciousness and I think that "Saving Private Ryan" was not only an important history lesson but also I think an important emotional connection that an entire generation of people made with a previous generation.

PHILLIPS: In the grizzly and realistic war movie "Saving Private Ryan," Hanks plays Captain Miller, the tormented leader of a battle weary squad. Steven Spielberg directed.

HANKS: When I read the script I only could see Tom playing Captain Miller. I didn't have a second choice, I went right to Tom. Tom represents, you know, the best of in all of us. Young people look at him as their father and older people look at him as their -- as their squad leader, their Captain Miller. And we would go into battle with him leading us.

PHILLIPS: Hanks' battles raged on with another World War II epic "Band of Brothers." A tribute to an elite rifle company that parachuted into France on D-Day morning.


PHILLIPS: Hanks, who co-produced the HBO series with Steven Spielberg researched the project for years.

ROZEN: You just have a sense of a guy who has broader interests than how big is my trail somewhere are they giving me only yellow M&Ms?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Liftoff. We have Liftoff.

PHILLIPS: Another passion, the space race, was fueled by a life long interest. Hanks can name every Apollo astronaut, every mission, every glitch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay, now, let's everybody keep cool.

PHILLIPS: As boy growing up in the 60s, he wasn't the only kid in love with space travel and galaxies far away.

HANKS: Even it was just having a cool Fireball XO-5 lunch boxes we all thought that it was -- we'd be living there. It was not -- it was a natural order of things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand by for contact.

HANKS: What world history has told us is that you go to a place, you figure out how to get there, you figure out how to stay there and then you live there.

CASTRO: Astronauts were heroes to him. He would actually go home and in a four-foot pool tie a brick around his ankle just so that he could be weightless and pretend to have a wrench and pretend to fix something as if he were working on a spaceship. That's how much he loved astronauts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Apollo 13 space craft has had a serious power supply malfunction. The spacecraft is operating on battery power alone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Houston, we have a problem.

PHILLIPS: Hanks was 13 when his beloved astronauts faced tragedy aboard Apollo 13. He has never forgotten it.

HANKS: Milton Berle stopped a Cubs game.

MILTON BERLE, ENTERTAINER: For a moment of prayer for the crewmen of the Apollo 13.

HANKS: And I remember seeing banner headlines in the "San Francisco Chronicle."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a bulletin from ABC news.

HANKS: I'd run home to see what was going to go on.

PHILLIPS; In 1995, the boy who loved space starred in "Apollo 13"

HANKS: What did you do?

PHILLIPS: The retelling of the dramatic moon mission.

HANKS: Houston, I'm switching over Quad C to main A.

ROZEN: It was tense. And it was adventurous and it was exhilarating and Hanks held it altogether as the commander on board.

PHILLIPS: Hanks journeyed further into space as executive producer for HBO's greatly honored miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon."

HANKS: That's one small step for man. This is John Malphei, This is Michael Bostic, this is Tony Tow, this is Brian Grazer (ph). These men all worked very, very hard on "From The Earth to the Moon" and that's why we are standing here right now.

PHILLIPS: With his chronicle of the U.S. space program, Hanks had once again grabbed onto a story with a moral center.

HANKS: The generation ahead of us did not shirk for a moment from hard work, from a concept of sacrifice. Miller time was not in their consciousness. They understood that if you wanted to get some things done, you put your head down and you worked on it every day until it was finished. And there was no better promise of America, in fact, than to be able to work on something you love until its conclusion.

PHILLIPS: Tom Hanks has made a career of working on something he loved, whether it's a story of AIDS discrimination or a simple southerner named Gump. For Hollywood's optimist, it is a love of heroics. Heroes of space. Heroes of war. And a love of telling the great American stories.

HANKS: You know, I've been able to do some work out there that I hope has been able to surprise folks, at the same time it's been able to amuse them and perhaps enlighten them at the same time it's been able to entertain them. Doesn't seem like hard work even though it is. It always seems like fun though sometimes it's not. It's a nice gig.

ZAHN: Tom Hanks has lent his voice to an animated feature due out during the holidays next year. He has also reteamed with Steven Spielberg for a romantic comedy set to open next summer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE; We're not looking.

ANNOUNCER: Coming up, Michael Caine teams up with Robert Duval in a "Secondhand Lion" for laughs...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I leave you some pamphlets?

ANNOUNCER: and adventure in a tall Texas tale. A look at Caine an screen and off when PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues.



ZAHN: Welcome back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. At an age when most film stars begin to fade, Michael Caine just keeps on acting, one movie after another. His latest is the comedy/adventure "Secondhand Lions" with Robert Duval. But it hasn't been all laughs and cheer for Caine. His success has been tempered by decades of hardship, heartache and hard work. Here's Thomas Roberts.



THOMAS ROBERTS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Michael Caine is the world's most famous cockney, and proud of it.

CAINE: I remember people trying to discourage me because of my background and my voice and my education from trying to do anything, and I thought, well, if I ever get anywhere, I don't want to hide it.


ROBERTS: He's Alfie. He's Harry Palmer. He's Austin Power's dad. One man, a whole lot of movies.

SYDNEY POLLACK, PRODUCER: Michael Caine is difficult to categorize because he's essentially a character actor who's been elevated to a real leading man, although he does not have conventional leading man's looks.

ROBERTS: Versatile and prolific, Michael Caine is, above all, a movie star. Critically acclaimed, internationally recognized.

BRENDAN FRASER, ACTOR: He's world famous. He's had a career that's spanned over 50 years, and that is remarkable.

ROBERTS: The Oscar winner appeared in more than 80 films, from "Zulu" to "The Cider House Rules." And even though Caine is now 70, he shows no sign of wearing out his welcome.

LEAH ROZEN, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: When he comes out on that screen, you have no idea, is this a good guy, is this a bad guy? Is this a funny guy, is this a really nasty criminal boss? You don't know. You've no fixed image, and I think that's the key to Michael Caine.

ROBERTS: Caine is full of surprised in his new film, "Secondhand Lions."

CAINE: This is the best idea you ever had.

HALEY JOEL OSMENT, ACTOR: You bought a used lion?

CAINE: It's defective.

OSMENT: Can I keep him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gentlemen, do you worry about the future? The Mississippi Mutual Insurance Company ...

ROBERTS: Caine joins fellow veteran actor Robert Duval in this coming-of-age story, and goes toe-to-toe with the Texas native, trading his legendary cockney accent for a slow southern drawl.

CAINE: Someday you're going to have to start acting your age.

ROBERTS: "Secondhand Lions" the tale of a young wayward boy, his two crazy uncles and their adventures during one unpredictable summer in the early 1960s.

Despite all his success, Michael Caine still seems amazed at all his good fortune. Still can't believe that he's realized what at the beginning of his life must have seemed an impossible dream. It's been a long journey from a childhood of poverty and a dark family secret.

Michael Caine was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr. in 1933 in London's impoverished East End. He was born within earshot of the Bow Bells of St. Mary's, which according to British lore, made young Micklewhite a true Londoner, a cockney.

CAINE: I came from a family which was very poor, and the only thing we didn't have was money. I was never hungry, I was never dirty, I was never unloved, I was never hated, I was never abused. None of those things which poor people are supposed to be responsible for.

ROBERTS: But life was a struggle for the Micklewhites. Maurice Sr. was often unemployed, a casualty of the depression. Ellen Micklewhite brought in what she could by scrubbing floors. And Maurice Jr.? He found escape in the cinema.

CAINE: I'm afraid I used to play truant a lot. I used to see seven movies a week, I was completely obsessed with the cinema and, of course, still am. I wanted to be a cinema actor.

ROBERTS: But acting would have to wait. World War II brought the German blitz to London. While Maurice Sr. went off to fight in Dunkirk and later in Italy, his wife and two young sons fled to the countryside. A life-altering event.

CAINE: My father had gone. And what's going to happen, maybe he'll die and get killed, you know, which is obviously very likely. And she looked at the two of us and she said, your father has gone, now you two have got to look after me, and that formed my character for the rest of my life. I'm like a benign godfather. Right, we'll take care of you, mum.

ROBERTS: After the war, Maurice Sr. returned home and his family returned to London. He found steady work at the Billingsgate Fish Market and made it clear he expected his firstborn to follow in his footsteps, but Maurice Jr. had other plans.

Coming up -- Maurice Micklewhite becomes Michael Caine, and fights a war of his own in Korea.

CAINE: By the time I got there, we were fighting the Chinese, and the Chinese used to eat garlic. They ate garlic like a snack, and you could always smell them coming at night. You could smell them.

I couldn't eat garlic for years. I'd smell garlic, it frightened the life out of me.



ROBERTS: Michael Caine has always been obsessed with movies.

CAINE: I've seen probably every film that was ever made, quite frankly, good, bad, or indifferent in the English language, and quite a lot in several other languages.

ROBERTS: Maurice Micklewhite, the man who would become Michael Caine, began acting in grammar school. He joined a youth club in the East End of London and took to the stage. He also got a job in the mail room of a film company, anything to be near the cinema.

But duty and war would delay Micklewhite's aspirations. He was called into the national service, into the Korean conflict. It was Maurice Micklewhite's best role to date.

CAINE: I couldn't take to army discipline, but I was very smart. I acted as though I was taking to it.

ROBERTS: It was an abrupt transition that changed him. The Korean War brought the inconspicuous and reluctant Private Micklewhite to the front lines.

CAINE: That was like first world war, old trench warfare, trench warfare (UNINTELLIGIBLE) bombardment. And the scary thing, patrols at night, where you control no man's land, you know. I don't want to control no man's land. Let no man have it.

ROBERTS: The end of the Korean War delivered Maurice Micklewhite from military service and back to London, where the aspiring actor set out to become a professional.

One of the first things to go was the family name. Maurice Micklewhite became Michael Caine, after "The Caine Mutiny," starring his favorite actor of all time, Humphrey Bogart. Caine also had to pay his dues.

CAINE: You know, you played a policeman that comes in at the end and arrests the villain in "Agatha Christie." And the butler. I played lots of them. I'd make a very good butler, as a matter of fact.

ROBERTS: Michael Caine's success was anything but overnight. It was more than a decade in the making.

CAINE: I was 10 years in the revetory (ph) theater, little tiny parts in second feature films. Again, the policeman and the butler, I was repeating the same thing in the movies. I did 10 movies a year, I did 10 lines, in 10 movies in one year, you know, and earned 10 pounds.

ROBERTS: Caine worked sporadically throughout the 1950s. It was a lean time with few breaks and a good deal of heartache.

CAINE: I had a disastrous marriage, had a great, great child, and my father died of cancer -- all of this while I was out of work.

ROBERTS: By 1960, Michael Caine was a father, he was divorced, and he was broke. But success was just a movie away. "Zulu" put Michael Caine on the map.

CAINE: I made "Zulu," which was my first proper part in a real film, when I was 29. The first movie, you never make any money. And so I was absolutely broke until I was 30. And then when I was 32, I bought my first car, which was a Rolls-Royce.

ROBERTS: "The Ipcress File" introduced secret agent Harry Palmer, the anti-James Bond.

CAINE: Thank you for a wonderful evening.

ROBERTS: It was Caine's first movie with his name above the title, a name that would become known around the world thanks to Caine's next role in...


ROZEN: "Alfie" was the movie that made Michael Caine an international movie star. And what he brought to that was really Michael Caine exponentially increased. He took this cockney -- Michael Caine was a cockney. The guy was a womanizer; Michael Caine always had an eye for the ladies.

CAINE: He had a tremendous sense of innocence. Although he was treating the women badly, it wasn't sadistic. But at the end of the film, he does look at the camera, and says, sometimes I look back -- I think sometimes I look back at my life and I wonder, what it's all about, you know what I mean? And he realizes what he's been doing hasn't been satisfying.

ROBERTS: Caine received his first Oscar nomination for "Alfie." He had arrived in London and Hollywood. The poor kid from South London found it all a little hard to take in.

CAINE: Shirley McLaine gave a party, and the first person to come in was Gloria Swanson and the second person was Frank Sinatra. I was the guest of honer. I didn't know what to say to anybody, I just stood there dumbfounded.

ROBERTS: But on screen, Michael Caine could hold his own with the very best. He earned his second Oscar nomination for "Sleuth," co-starring Sir Lawrence Olivier. Professionally, Caine was on top of the world. Personally, he was enjoying his hard-won celebrity and his bachelorhood.

CAINE: I had no intention of getting married at all. I mean, one of my recurring nightmares was I'd wake up in the middle of the night sweating in a wedding ceremony somewhere. ROBERTS: Caine may not have been looking for love, but love was about to find him. When PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues, Michael Caine finds his soul mate, and discovers a long lost brother.

CAINE: I obviously didn't know my mother had had an illegitimate child.





MICHAEL CAINE, ACTOR: We've got to brass it out, Danny. Danny! Brass it out!

THOMAS ROBERTS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "The Man Who Would Be King" continued a string of outstanding performances by Michael Caine. The epic adventure paired Caine with his long-time friend, Sean Connery.

LEAH ROZEN, MOVIE CRITIC, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: He was a scoundrel, but he was a lovable scoundrel, along with Sean Connery. And they're just -- you know, what a great combination.

ROBERTS: "The Man Who Would Be King" also featured a cameo by the new love in Michael Caine's life, an exotic model named Shakira. She had literally caught Caine's eye as he was watching a Maxwell House coffee ad on TV.

CAINE: I just saw her, and I thought, My God, that's the one. And I -- I got in touch with the advertising agency and found out who she was, and I found her and married her. And I've been married to her for 30 years yesterday.

ROBERTS: Caine finished the '70s with some less memorable appearances in such films as "The Swarm." But as he had done throughout his career, Caine would find redemption by taking risks.

CAINE: What's happened to me is that I've always not only gone out on a limb, I've had to go out on a limb to do pictures that are interesting to me.

ROBERTS: Caine took on a very challenging role in Brian DePalma's 1980 thriller "Dressed to Kill." Caine played a psychiatrist with a deadly passion for women's clothing.

ROZEN: You didn't know at first that he's the bad guy, so he had to sort of establish himself as someone you almost liked, and then the sort of weirdness had to creep in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were my tutor.

CAINE: But look, I told you I do not want to do it. ROBERTS: Michael Caine's portrayal of a disheveled alcoholic teacher in "Educating Rita" brought him his third Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Doctor, are you drunk?

CAINE: Drunk? Of course, I'm drunk.

ROZEN: "Educating Rita" was, in some ways, almost his comeback role as, Oh, he's really quite a bit older now. Oh, he can play character parts.

ROBERTS: Caine was again passed over at the Oscars, but he wouldn't have to wait long for another chance. "Hannah and Her Sisters" proved to be an artistic success and a sleeper hit.

CAINE: And the surprise of my life was to be nominated. When they rang me and said, You've been nominated, I said, How did this -- the film had been forgotten.

Look, you did this because you...

ROBERTS: Caine's surprise nomination for "Hannah and Her Sisters" led to his first Oscar win, for Best Supporting Actor. But Caine wasn't available to pick up his award. He was off making "Jaws IV: The Revenge."

CAINE: Son of a bitch. Let's get out of here.

ROZEN: When you look at the whole of Michael Caine's career, there are some really great films in there, and there are some true stinkers.

ROBERTS: Though Caine admits that he's made some bad movies; he also likes to add that he's made a lot of money at the same time.

CAINE: I remember my agents said, he said, Well, if you're going to be a hooker, charge a lot.


ROBERTS: By the end of the 1980s, Michael Caine was an Oscar winner. He was rich, but he was homesick. Caine, his wife, Shakira, and their daughter, Natasha, returned to London. The homecoming, however, was bittersweet.

CAINE: My mother died, but she was quite old then, and it was -- I mean, it's not one of those unexpected things, you know, where she was 89. She'd never been ill in her life, and she died in her sleep. So I thought that was fair enough.

ROBERTS: But Michael Caine's mother had taken a shocking secret to her grave. She had given birth to another son out of wedlock and kept him hidden. It wasn't until two years after her death that Caine learned he had an older half-brother and that he had spent most of his life in mental institutions. CAINE: I obviously went and saw him, and then sort of started to improve his situation a little bit. And he used to talk to me, but I couldn't understand what he was saying. But he knew who I was because he had a television, and he had a picture of me on the wall that my mother had given him, of her with me, and then a picture of me in "Zulu." He died about 18 months after I found him.

ROBERTS: Michael Caine took some time away from his movie career in the early '90s. He wrote his autobiography, "What's It All About?" He also advised others with a how-to book on "Acting in Film." "An Actor's Take on Movie-Making" featured Caine's now famous advice that actors in dramatic roles should never blink.

CAINE: You don't blink in a serious situation or in a situation where you want to show a position of strength. You just hold someone, as I'm doing you now. And I can do this forever, you know what I mean?

ROBERTS: Michael Caine returned to prominence on the big screen in 1998 with "Little Voice." Caine gave a standout performance as Ray Say, a sleazy and desperate talent agent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My spine turns to custard. I get goose pimples all over.

CAINE: That's amazing. I don't believe that.

ROBERTS: Caine continued to impress audiences and critics alike with "The Cider House Rules." As Dr. Wilbur Larch, Caine donned an American accent for the first time.

CAINE: Are you so stupid you imagine you're going to find a more gratifying life?

ROBERTS: "The Cider House Rules" earned Michael Caine his fifth Oscar nomination and his second award for Best Supporting Actor.

In 2000, Caine was honored again, not for an individual film but for a lifetime of achievement. The Cockney actor born Maurice Micklewhite received a knighthood and became Sir Michael Caine. Today Sir Michael remains in high demand and the accolades keep rolling in. He received an Oscar nomination for his role in "The Quiet American."

CAINE: I know I am behaving badly, but I have ever intention of behaving badly.

ROBERTS: And Caine was Mike Myers's only choice to play the father of both Austin Powers and Dr. Evil in "Goldmember."


CAINE: Hello, son.

MYERS: Your spy car's a mini?

CAINE: It's not the size, mate, it's how you use it. Mike Myers wrote me a letter, which I saw him on television describing as the most ass-kissing letter he ever wrote anybody, to try and make me play the part.

If you've got an issue, here's a tissue.

But also, I knew I was a sort of a biological father. The minute I saw him as a spy in the '60s with glasses on, I knew he'd seen Harry Palmer in "The Ipcress File," which was true.

ROBERTS: Caine has returned to comedy in his latest film, "Second Hand Lines."


ROBERTS: Michael Caine likes to say that he was 30 years a loser and 40 years a winner. He's known poverty and despair, but also fame and fortune. For Caine, that's what it's all about.

CAINE: I just came along, tried to amuse you for a few years, and that was it. That was all. And I consider myself blessed, having been a movie actor, which is what I always wanted to be. I just consider myself very lucky.


ZAHN: Michael Caine plays a Nazi war criminal in his next film, "The Statesman." It's a thriller that opens in limited release this December. That's it for this edition of PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. Coming up next week, Kobe Bryant heads back to court. I'll look at superstar's fall from grace.

I'm Paula Zahn. Thanks so much for joining us. Hope you'll be back with us again next week.

ANNOUNCER: For more celebrity news, pick up a copy of "People" magazine this week.


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