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August 22, 2020

Cockney Cool: Gorgeous Vintage Photos of a Young Michael Caine in the 1960s

Sir Michael Caine (born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr.) made his breakthrough in the 1960s with the role of an upper-class officer in Zulu (1964), after he assured the director that he could do a posh accent despite his Cockney root, which eventually became his trademark. The role brought him to stardom, and he would go on to become famous for using a regional accent, specifically his working-class Cockney, rather than the Received Pronunciation then considered standard for actors.

Reading a copy of the Evening News, 1965. (Stephan C. Archetti)

One of Caine’s notable roles in the ‘60s was the spy Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File (1965), for which he received his first BAFTA nomination. He would reprise the role in a further two films within the same decade: Funeral in Berlin (1966), and Billion Dollar Brain (1967).

In 1966, Caine gained critical acclaim for his performance as the womanising title character in Alfie, which earned him his first Academy Award nomination and second BAFTA nomination. Caine starred in The Italian Job as a Cockney criminal in 1969, a role considered one of his most celebrated throughout his acting career.

Take a look back at the actor when he was young in the 1960s:

In the BBC television movie 'The Compartment', 1961. (Don Smith)

Publicity portrait for the film, 'Zulu', South Africa, 1964. (Silver Screen Collection)

At home with his mother and brother, 1964. (Hulton-Deutsch)

1964. (Alisdair MacDonald and Harris)
1965. (Hulton Archive)

Asleep in a cafe with his head resting on the table, 1965. (Terry O'Neill)

Making himself comfortable with a book and a telephone, 1965. (Larry Ellis)

On a London street, 1965. (Philippe Le Tellier)

1965. (Philippe Le Tellier)

1960s. (Silver Screen Collection)

Smoking a cigarette on a couch in Los Angeles, 1966. (Bill Ray)

Holding a cigarette in one hand and his then-girlfriend, Natalie Wood in the other, 1966. (Bill Ray)

Playing a clarinet in a scene from the film 'Hurry Sundown,' 1966. (Mondadori)

At the Cannes Film Festival, 1966. (Keystone)

Paris, 1966. (Giancarlo Botti)

As Harry Palmer in a scene from the film 'Funeral in Berlin', 1966. (Paramount)

Before leaving London Airport for the USA to collect the 'Star of the Future' award, 1966. (PA Images)

New York, 1966. (Jack Robinson)

At the Plaza Hotel, New York City, during a shoot for Vogue magazine, 1966. (Jack Robinson)

In a scene from the film 'Billion Dollar Brain,' Finland, 1967. (Mondadori)

As the spy Harry Palmer in the film 'Billion Dollar Brain,' 1967. (Douglas Kirkland)

Relaxing with Candice Bergen on the set of 'The Magus,' 1967. (Terry O'Neill)

On the set of 'The Magus,' 1968. (Terry O'Neill)

During a bike ride in a park with Bianca De Macias, Turin, Italy, 1968. (Mondadori)

On the set of 'A Last Valley,' Austria, 1969. (PA Images)

At his home in Grosvenor Square, 1969. (Watford)


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