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Michael Caine legally changed his name for this specific reason

Michael Caine's birth name was Maurice Micklewhite and remained his legal name for most of his life, until awkward airport encounters made him change it.

Michael Caine

Archibald Leach (better known as Cary Grant). Reg Dwight (better known as Elton John). Mark Sinclair (better known as Vin Diesel). Arnold George Dorsey (better known as Engelbert Humperdinck). The entertainment industry is littered with stars who have changed their names – usually to something far more glamorous. One such famous example is Michael Caine, who changed his name from Maurice Micklewhite.

For over 60 years, Michael Caine remained a stage name, with the Hollywood star continuing to go by Maurice Micklewhite on his passport. However, he decided to officially change it, once and for all, after airport security increased post-911, with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I changed my name when all the stuff started with ISIS,” Caine said, via Yahoo Movies in 2016. “An airport security guard would say, ‘Hi, Michael Caine,’ and suddenly I’d give him a passport with a different name on it. I could stand there for an hour. So I changed my name.” Caine celebrated his 90th birthday on March 14, 2023 with friends including Tom Cruise (who chose the party over attending the Oscars).

Caine has starred in over 130 movies since the mid-1950s, reaching fame with Zulu, spy movie The Ipcress File and Alfie – which were all released one after the other between 1964-66. Some of his other famous roles include The Italian Job, Get Carter, Dressed to Kill, Educating Rita, Hannah and her Sisters, and Jaws: The Revenge. He was nominated for an Oscar for roles in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and the 2000s, and won two for Best Supporting Actor.

If you haven’t seen Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan’s warring Michael Caine impressions, do yourself a favour and watch the clip above which comes from one of the best ever comedy series. Our little gift just for you. Caine was last seen in Best Sellers opposite Aubrey Plaza.

Check out our guide to the best movies of all time.