Michael Caine credits his mother with "making a man out of him". The 81-year-old actor and his late younger brother were born and raised in London by their parents Ellen and Maurice, who fought in World War II. It was the period when both little boys were left alone with their mother that Michael believes turned him into the man he is today. "She was an incredible woman. Although my brother and I were both 6ft 2in, she was a little fat woman, 5ft 1in. When my dad went away – he went away for five, six years during the war – I was six and my brother was three, and instead of her moaning and crying, she made men of both of us in one sentence," he told the British edition of Esquire magazine.
‘That’s how I’ve been all my life – I look after everybody.’
"She turned and she looked at us, and said, 'Your father has gone so now you two have to look after me.' And we both said, 'Right mom. Don’t you worry. We’ll look after you.' And we became men at that one sentence. And that’s how I’ve been all my life – I look after everybody."
It isn't just that single line from his mother which Michael believes contributed to his personality. He also learnt to make the best of his circumstances by taking after his parent's positive outlook on life.
"Well, we were poor, and from her I learned to tolerate poverty with a smile," he recalled fondly. "[She was] very funny. Funnier than my dad. I’m funny like my mother; I’m not funny like my dad. He was very sarcastic. He could be quite biting. I’m not like that. I bend over backwards not to hurt anyone’s feelings."
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