Michael Caine has been the acting alias of Maurice Micklewhite for decades, but now he’s made the permanent transition to his more famous moniker.
Speaking at a London Q&A this week, Caine revealed that the switch was prompted by ISIS. The Oscar-winner was tired of being questioned about the name Micklewhite on his passport every time he had to go through airport security.
The only solution? Get an official name-change through deed poll.
“I changed my name when all the stuff started with ISIS.”
“I changed my name when all the stuff started with ISIS and all that,” the Dark Knight star said. “[Airport security guards] would say, ‘Hi Michael Caine’, and suddenly I’d be giving him a passport with a different name on it.
“I could stand there for an hour. So I changed my name.”
Originally going under the name Michael White, Caine embraced a new name in 1954 thanks to a phone call with his agent and a lightning bulb moment regarding Humphrey Bogart.
“One evening my agent said, ‘I’ve got you a job, I’ve got you three days but you can’t call yourself Michael White, so give me another name’,” he explained.
“I was in a telephone booth in Leicester Square and I was opposite the Odeon and I looked up – and my favourite actor is Humphrey Bogart – and there it was, it said The Caine Mutiny, so I said, ‘Caine! Michael Caine!'”
And that’s how Hollywood history was made.