Michael Caine says his wife 'literally saved my life' after she got him to stop drinking.

By Mia McNiece
October 29, 2018 04:52 PM
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"My Generation" Screening - 61st BFI London Film Festival - After Party
Credit: David M. Benett/Getty

After sixty years in the movie business, British actor Michael Caine, 85, has seen it all.

He has starred in 100 films, won two Oscars and even received a knighthood. But in his new book, Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: And Other Lessons in Life, he shares personal stories about finding success and facing tough times.

The Alfie star says he found himself at a low point in his life around the age of 40 when he began heavily drinking. “I was never bombed on set, but I thought that a small vodka for breakfast was nothing to worry about, and in the early 1970s I was drinking two bottles of the stuff a day,” he writes.

Luckily, it was around this same time that he met his wife, model Shakira, and says she helped him turn things around.

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“By an immense stroke of good fortune, Shakira arrived in my life just in time. The empty feeling vanished and she got on my case. Then, to top it all, she got pregnant and I was given a second go at fatherhood, and soon I got myself straightened out. I gave up alcohol entirely for a year and now I never drink during the day, and with dinner it’s just wine,” he writes. “Shakira literally saved my life.”

The actor is the father to two daughters Natasha and Dominique (with his first wife actress Patricia Haines) and now has three grandchildren.

Michael Caine and Christopher Nolan
| Credit: Pierre Suu/FilmMagic

In his book, he writes that he had considered retiring but an unexpected knock at his front door changed all that. Director Christopher Nolan came to his house one Sunday morning and asked him to take on the role of butler Alfred opposite Christian Bale’s Batman in The Dark Knight.

“There I was, at the age of seventy-one, cast in one of the greatest trilogies ever made and about to kick off ten years of movie-making heaven,” he writes.

Today, the actor is extremely grateful for the good fortune he has had on and off screen.

“I have also been extraordinary lucky in my personal life,” writes Caine. “Meeting my wife Shakira and having the most wonderful life with her for forty-seven years.”