Sir Maurice Micklewhite

Where to start here, dear Reader? Sir Maurice Micklewhite, perhaps better known as Michael Caine, has had such an illustrious life and career that it is difficult to pinpoint a good place to start.

Mr. Caine looking dapper in a hat.

Mr. Caine looking dapper in a hat…

Given that this is the Blog of Funny Names, perhaps we’ll start with the name. Caine was born Maurice Micklewhite, the son of a cook and a fish market porter. His father shared his delightful name, which young Maurice soon figured would perhaps not be the greatest draw in his chosen profession of acting. So he changed it to…Michael Scott.

After using that name for nearly a decade, he relocated to London, but his agent informed him there was already an actor there with the same name. Caine happened to be standing in Leicester Square next to a number of movie theaters, saw one of them was playing The Caine Mutiny, and picked Caine as his name on the spot. He’s often joked that had he looked the other way, his name might have been Michael One Hundred and One Dalmatians. Which isn’t bad either.

...and in spectacles.

…and in spectacles.

Caine quickly became a star appearing in numerous popular films in the 60’s including Zulu, the Italian Job and Alfie. Later he moved to America where his penchant for appearing in terrible, terrible movies made him as famous as his acting talent. Pictures like The Swarm, about killer bees and Jaws IV : The Revenge did some damage to his reputation in the late 70’s and throughout the 80’s. To add insult to injury, he missed the Oscar ceremony where he won the trophy for Best Supporting Actor in 1986 because he was on location shooting the Jaws sequel.

However, you could say Sir Caine has a sense of humor about the film :

I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible. However I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.

Yes, they really did use *that* tagline.

Yes, they really did use *that* tagline.

Sir Micklewhite has made it a bit of a trademark to frequently reference his many awful films in a self deprecating manner, and clarifying he only did them for the money. And made lots of it. These include the early Oliver Stone film The Hand, where he plays an artist whose hand is severed in a car accident. The titular hand subsequently becomes self aware and begins murdering people. It’s quite a film.

Caine lives in the lovely sounding town of Leatherhead in England with his wife of 41 years, Shakira Baksh. The story goes that they met after Caine saw her acting in a coffee commercial, got her number from a friend, called her up and ended up marrying her. I suggest the same approach to Dave for a certain lady in a Dewar’s campaign.

About Arto

Co-founder of the Funny Names Blog, Hawaiian shirt enthusiast, and holder of a funny name himself with too many vowels for any sensible person. Currently residing in San Diego, California, scouring through obscure documents on a hunt for more funny names.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Sir Maurice Micklewhite

  1. Liz says:

    who knew? we all do now, so thanks for that, Arto 🙂 Funny to have to assure the google folk that we are of age to watch that last link. I’ve seen worse on network TV. Love seeing photos of older, classic actors in their younger days. Though MC (or MM) didn’t age too badly.

    • Arto says:

      I know what you mean, sometimes I’ll be watching an older movie and have one of those “is that….?” moments. When you’re used to seeing someone as an old man it’s funny to see them as a 20-year old, hah. Thanks Liz!

  2. amb says:

    Arto, doll, it’s a good thing I love you, otherwise we’d be in a fight over your neglecting to mention “Sleuth” or “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”!! That photo of Caine’s spectacles just about makes up for it, though 🙂

    • Arto says:

      The problem was that he’s made so many good movies, so I decided to focus on the funny bad ones! Those are spectacular spectacles, for sure. Spectaculacles?

      • amb says:

        Oooh, yes, please. Yay for new words! I might borrow that one for an upcoming Wednesday post …

        • Dave says:

          Do it! That is even more fun to say than “What’s crack-a-lackin?”!

          • amb says:

            You’re in luck. I’m just settling in to stockpile some posts now, in preparation for a crazy week, so spectaculacles it is. But you have to act surprised when you read it on Wednesday!

  3. Loved the line about the house and that it was terrific. 🙂

  4. Dave says:

    What the what?!? Maurice Micklewhite?!?!? And a sir?!?! This post is hurting my punctuation mark fingers I’m so baffled!!!?!?!?!!!!?!!!

  5. Dave says:

    Oh man, and yes, I am a total sucker for Claire Forlani in that Dewar’s campaign. It’s mind-blowingly awesome!

  6. Pingback: Wordful Wednesday for June 26, 2013 | words become superfluous

  7. Dorothy says:

    So that’s the case? Quite a reialetvon that is.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s