Introducing himself has become one of his catchphrases, but actor Michael Caine has never made it official, until now.
Born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, the 83-year-old movie icon never bothered to change it despite going by his stage name for decades, until hassles at airports following increased security due to threats from the Islamic State.
“An airport security guard would say, ‘Hi, Michael Caine,’ and suddenly I’d give him a passport with a different name on it,” Caine said, according to the Guardian on Friday. “I could stand there for an hour. So I changed my name.”
The London-born Oscar-winning star, famous for his strong Cockney accent and myriad catchphrases, assumed his new moniker in 1954, when his agent informed him that there already was an actor with his first choice of a stage name, Michael Scott. In a phone box in London’s Leicester Square at the time, Caine looked around for inspiration and saw a banner for the movie “The Caine Mutiny,” which starred his own idol Humphrey Bogart. He later joked that had he looked in a different direction, he could today be known as “Michael One Hundred and One Dalmatians.”