NPR FOR THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t


Michael Caine‘s memoir, The Elephant to Hollywood, recounts the highs and lows of a career that has now spanned more than five decades. (The title refers to the part of London — called Elephant and Castle — where Caine grew up.) In it, he candidly talks about his journey from South London to the screen, detailing his battles with stage fright and his jaunts around the world once the films Zulu and Alfie catapulted him onto the international stage. He also details how early in his career, he worked hard to make audiences realize that he and Alfie, a hopelessly promiscuous bachelor, were not one and the same. “People would say ‘You’re really like Alfie,’ and I’d say ‘No. … There’s a major difference between Alfie and me,” he recounts, laughing. “I was going with women he’d never go near. It’s the quality of life. You always have to look for the quality of life. … Alfie was a man who would have sex anytime, anywhere with anybody. That was not me at all. Never in a million years. I was a romantic, put it that way.” Michael Caine has appeared in more than 100 films. He has received two Oscars, for Hannah and Her Sisters and for The Cider House Rules. In 1992, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and in 2000, he was knighted.

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